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The Ultimate List of Birds Homeschool Nature Study Resources Using the Outdoor Hour Challenge

You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard. It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures!

Birds Homeschool Nature Study

This is not required, but it is always good to have some birds homeschool nature study references on hand for your part of the world. Here are some bird resources I have shared about:

Review of Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists

Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists – What would the world be without birds? Birds are a favorite subject for young children as they spy birds in their yards and at near-by parks. Nurturing a love of birds is easy when you have one or two of Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists on hand. These compact field guides are beautifully illustrated and feature many of the birds you can find right outside your own window. They are enjoyable to page through and you will find yourself sharing these books over and over with your family.

It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources.

Favorite Bird Field Guides and Resources by Tricia – everything from each child choosing a favorite bird to study to bird field guides with bird songs, a window observation feeder and a suet recipe.

John James Audubon quote and bird chalk pastel art lessons.

A Homeschool Bird Study with Chalk Pastels by Erin – A chalk pastels bird study with Nana is a wonderful way to introduce bird art lessons in your homeschool. Chalk pastels are perfect for preschoolers to adults. They are super easy to use with no long art supply list needed. You’ll love adding these vibrant birds to your next homeschool nature study or in preparation for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

The Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool by Heather – It’s that time of the year when citizen scientists everywhere are gearing up for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). It’s easy to participate and the bird count is a great way to contribute to actual data being used by ornithologists. You can have a Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool!

Bird Study Outdoor Hour Challenges in Homeschool Nature Study Membership

All of the birds homeschool nature study resources listed are available as an Outdoor Hour Challenge in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. If you have a membership, you will be able to pull up the Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your birds nature study.

Birds course Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum
  • Autumn Bird
  • Winter Bird and Migration – Winter Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Winter Birds – Winter Wednesday Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Spring Bird Bird Song –  Spring Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • American Dipper – Bird Set #1 Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Baltimore Oriole – Summer Nature Study Continues
  • Belted Kingfisher – Autumn Nature Study Continues
  • Catbird – Autumn Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Chickadee – More Nature Study Winter Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Chicken – Autumn Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Clark’s Nutcracker – Bird Set #1
  • Common Raven – Forest Fun Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Crane- Bird Set #1
  • Egret – Bird Set #1
  • Flicker –Winter Nature Study Continues
  • Goose – Autumn Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Hawks – Autumn Nature Study Continues Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Horned Lark – Bird Set #1
  • House Sparrow – More Nature Study Autumn
It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources.
  • Hummingbirds and Nests – More Nature Study Summer
  • Magpie – Bird Set #1
  • Owl and Owl Pellets – Summer Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Owl Study and Printable Notebook Page
  • Pelican – Bird Set #1
  • Quail – Forest Fun
  • Robin – More Nature Study Spring
  • Sandhill Crane – Bird Set #1
  • Sapsucker – Autumn
  • Snipe – Bird Set #1
  • Starlings
  • Swallows – Autumn
  • Swan – Bird Set #1
  • Turkey – Autumn
  • Western Tanager – Forest Fun
  • Woodpeckers

This collection of Outdoor Hour Challenges features an incredibly interesting group of birds: pelican, sandhill crane, Clark’s nutcracker, egret, American dipper, horned lark, magpie, swan, and snipe.

Learning all about birds Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum

This Homeschool Nature Study Course is a collection of the Birds By Color series with custom notebooking pages, clear images, and lots of links and resources for you to use in your bird nature study. You can access this book by purchasing an Ultimate or Journey level membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study website.

 Studying Birds By Color

  • Red Birds – Robins, Cardinals, House Finches
  • Blue Birds – Jays and Bluebirds
  • Yellow Birds – Goldfinches and Meadowlarks
  • Hummingbirds – Flight
  • Brown Birds – House Sparrows, House Wrens, and mourning Doves
  • Black Birds – Crow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Starling, and Cowbird
  • Black and White Birds – Woodpecker, Chickadee, Nuthatch, Towhee
  • Gray Birds – Pigeon and Mockingbird
It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources.

Follow our Bird Nature Study Pinterest Board!

Even More Misc. Bird Study Ideas

We encourage you to take a closer look at these bird study ideas:

  • Feet
  • Flight
  • Eyes and Ears
  • Beaks
  • Feathers
  • Wing and Tail Shape
  • Starting a Bird Life List
  • 10 Ideas for Keeping a Bird Life List
  • Birding By Ear
  • Bird Study and Nature Table Printable
  • Bird Field Guide Cards Printable

Additional Homeschool Nature Study You May Find Helpful

Join the Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support!

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

Can you believe all of these bird resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing series on bird nature study, bird watching and attracting birds plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges for nature study in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are 25+ continuing courses with matching Outdoor Hour curriculum that will bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! In addition, there is an interactive monthly calendar with daily nature study prompt – all at your fingertips!

-First published by Barb January 2011 and updated by Tricia January 2022

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Brown Birds 2018


Outdoor Hour Challenge

Brown Birds – House Sparrows, House Wrens, and Mourning Doves

From the Archives and from the Learning About Birds ebook

“Anyone who attempts to recognize birds by sight alone misses much of the pleasure that comes to those who have taken the time and pains to learn bird songs and use them as a means of bird recognition. It is true that not all people have a talent for music; but everyone interested in birds can learn to identify the songs and most of the call notes of common birds.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 42

Use the ideas and resources in the challenge linked above to learn more about the birds in this week’s challenge. In addition, make sure to listen to the birds singing in your neighborhood. The mourning dove is a particularly easy bird to identify by its cooing sound. Listen here: mourning dove song. See if your children can imitate this common backyard bird.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

This brown bird challenge is from the Learning About Birds ebook here on the Handbook of Nature Study. It’s found in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships for you to download and use with your family. If you would like to gain access to this ebook, you can purchase a membership now and have instant access.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy
Use the discount code BIRDLOVER5 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.


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Winter Feeder Birds – Our Sierra Foothills Friends

We spend a lot of time observing feeder birds as part of Project Feederwatch so this week’s focus on winter feeder birds is a perfect way to dig a little deeper. We have developed quite a list of backyard birds as part of this project. You can see our list here: Handbook of Nature Study – December Bird List. We have never seen a chickadee at our feeder but we still did the research as part of this Winter Bird Study Challenge.

  • We stared our nature study time focused on Chickadees as suggested in the More Nature Study Book 2 challenge. We pulled out the field guides and looked up to see what kind of chickadees we may see in our area.
  • My son also used Cornell’s All About Birds site to read more on the Mountain Chickadee which appears to be the only chickadee we may possibly observe. He completed the advanced notebook page from the ebook using information from the website.

We have heard the Mountain Chickadee on hikes up the mountain but have never actually seen one that I can remember. You can be sure we will keep our ears and eyes alert when we are out in that area again.

Since we didn’t get to observe a chickadee this week, I gave them the option to choose one of our feeder birds to learn a little more about and complete a notebook page recording their findings.

I chose the Mourning Dove which is a regular visitor to our front and backyard feeders. If I see one dove, I always look for the mate. They travel in pairs and seem to look out for each other as they bob along eating seed that has fallen from the platform feeders. I used a coloring page from Cornell’s Feeder Bird coloring book. I always feel so clumsy when I try to sketch a bird so having the simple outline to work from makes my journaling more enjoyable.

There is a past Outdoor Hour Challenge for brown birds including the mourning dove here: Outdoor Hour Challenge- Gray Birds: House Sparrow, House Wren, and Mourning Dove. Our entry for the challenge is found here: Brown Birds.

My son did my Project Feederwatch bird count with me today as part of this challenge. He looked up three additional birds in the field guide to complete his winter bird study.

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Ten Images I Should Have Posted On The Blog

I post lots of photos on this blog of our adventures, gardening, and nature study. You can only imagine how many images I don’t share….perhaps thousands (30-40 a week adds up especially when you add in longer trips). I decided to share ten of those images that didn’t make the blog for your viewing enjoyment.

Yellowstone Color

#1 This was from an amazing day at Yellowstone…totally unplanned and we were on half-speed since both my boys were really sick with some sort of sinus cold. We had planned a glorious day of hiking at Teton National Park, but since they were sick we altered plans and opted to drive the short distance up to Yellowstone and take a leisurely day and let things happen. Sometimes you just need to be flexible and this was one of those times. It was a great day with some great images… this was the same day we saw the grizzly bear and cubs driving back from Yellowstone to Jackson.
Roosevelt Elk
#2 Roosevelt Elk in Northern California are such majestic animals…very powerful. This photo reminds me of a great camping trip full of boy stuff, including lighthouses, long deserted beaches, crazy long hikes in the redwoods, and roasting monster size marshmallows over the campfire.
Hiking with Boys
#3 The real story of hiking with boys is shown in this photo. How do they always find something to climb on, over, or through? This gate leads to a fantastic little spot that we discovered this year and have been back in just about every season, including January with about four feet of snow.
Yellowstone Wildflowers
#4 There is not nearly enough time and space to share all my wildflower photos with you on this blog. These are along the roadside inside Yellowstone National Park. Honestly, if I didn’t always have boys waiting for me I could get stuck on just taking photos of flowers.

Prepare yourself for a different sort of image….

Dead Salmon Head - Fall 2011
#5 Yep, this is one of my boys’ favorite images of all 2011. They spent quite some time posing this salmon head for a photo. Mr. A had his camera phone out and was snapping away before I even took any images. Gross but sort of cool when you examine it….I think it looks like a fossil. Later they found a really funny looking dead fish but I will spare you the images.
Mallard Duck - Tahoe
#6 You must click over to Flickr and look at this one really big…the texture of the feathers is awesome. Do you think I will ever learn to identify more kinds of ducks. Mallards are the only ones I can name for sure…something to work on in 2012.

Brussel Sprouts at the Farmers Market

#7 I planned on writing a post that included this image and sharing how much I HATE brussel sprouts although they are really quite interesting to look at. Who likes brussel sprouts anyway?
Love this Combo of Trees and Flowers
#8 This is a combo I am thinking about for my yard. Isn’t it pretty? Love the white of the birch and the yellow of the yarrow together.
Mourning Dove on the Utility Wire
#9 My daily friend who visits our feeder. There is a pair that sits on the utility wire across from our house and they make the most amazing sound when they fly….mourning doves are a great bird.
Barb Birdwatching
#10 This is what my family sees me doing a lot….gazing out the window at a variety of things, mostly birds.
If you would like to see my Flickr set with my favorite images from the blog from 2011…here you go:

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Bird Stories for the Week: Hummingbird, Hawk in the Feeder, Raven, and Doves

Spring is a time for the birds. They seem to be everywhere and always making beautiful songs or calls to get each other’s attention. We have been keen to look out for new birds but the birds that came along this week were totally unexpected.

3 11 11 walking trail hummingbird

First, there was this Anna’s Hummingbird along our walking trail….he was giving his little squeaky sound which caught our attention. (If you click the link, there is a button to listen to what he sounds like.) I’m surprised that we were able to snap a good image of him before he sped off up the hill. I love that it is getting closer to hummingbird time in our yard….time to clean up the old feeder and get it hung on its hook.

3 10 11 Raven

Here is another bird that we heard before we saw him in our front yard. This Common Raven was up atop the utility pole across the street making a terrible racket. HERE is what he sounds like. There is a distinct difference between the sound of a crow and that of a raven. We have never had a raven here before at the house but I have seen them just up the road a bit so perhaps he was just passing through. (Sorry for the blurry photo but he didn’t let me get ready before he flew away.)

Mourning Doves on the Wall

The mourning doves have made themselves a common visitor to the frontyard feeder. They show up in a pair and strut around under the feeder to clean up after the sparrows who spill seed. The doves took a break on the new retaining wall, perhaps they felt at home with the metal quail sculptures there along the edge. It was worthy of a photo.

Mourning Dove 1

Here is a close up of one of the doves in my front yard under the feeding station. They are typically found scratching around the base looking for a little nibble. The sound they make as they fly away is like a whirring, you can hear it on the Cornell page.  (Scroll down and listen to the “wing whistle” clip.)

Swainsons Hawk

This one is hard to see but it is a Swainson’s hawk that is tormenting the birds in my yard. It has been here every day and is getting bolder and bolder. Mr. A saw him swoop down and get a sparrow and fly away. I have seen him making a move to the birds in the feeder and he actually perched on top of the feeding station one time. Today he landed on the ground near the feeder and looked right at me. Although I really think he is a beautiful, fascinating creature….I wish he would eat his lunch somewhere else.

“Their eyes are remarkably keen; they can see a moving creature from a great height, and can suddenly drop upon it like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. Their wonderful eyes are far-sighted when they are circling in the sky, but as they drop, the focus of the eyes changes automatically with great rapidity, so that by the time they reach the earth they are nearsighted, a feat quite impoissible for our eyes unless aided by glassses or telescope.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 108 (section on hawks)

We had robins and cedar waxwings pass through again which is always interesting. There was also a honking V of Canada Geese that flew overhead this morning.  So ends our bird week in review….

What have you seen this week? Leave me a comment with your most interesting bird observation this week. I love to learn about new birds.

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Backyard Birds Part 2

Today it snowed. Today it rained. Let’s just say we were surprised at how many birds we had in our feeders despite the crazy weather.

I had my Canon Rebel out again and did some practicing and experimenting with various settings.

Western Scrub Jay in Sweet Gum Tree 2
This is a resident Western Scrub Jay in our Sweet gum tree. I like the little sticker balls in this photo.

Mourning Doves 2
This is my absolute favorite photo of the day. A pair of Mourning doves perched in the Sweet gum tree and did some posing just for me.

Mourning Dove 1
I love their little pink feet. They also make a wonderful sound when they fly. If you would like to hear what it sounds like, click over to Cornell and scroll down to where it has the listing for wing whistles. This is exactly what it sounds like.

Junco in the Rain
Here is one of our many, many juncos sitting in the rain.

Northern Mockingbird 1 with worm
This photo is from yesterday and even though it is a little blurry, I thought you might like to see one of our Northern Mockingbirds with a tasty little treat in his mouth. He stopped on my neighbor’s mailbox and looked over his shoulder at me before flying off.

That’s enough birds for today……thanks for indulging my bird photography habit.