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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 – Owl Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Owl Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Owl Nature Study

From the Archives and from the Summer Nature Study ebook

This week is one of my favorite “hands-on” bird studies of them all! Use all of your senses to look for signs of an owl, including their sounds and owl pellets. If you don’t know what an owl pellet is, take a look at the link in the archive post for more information.

If you find an owl pellet or you order one up for your family, you will learn so much about an owl and their diet.  See the link in the archive post for suggested sources for owl pellets. There’s even a link to a virtual owl pellet dissection!

Owl nature study dissection

Plus, make sure to take a look at this blog entry from my family’s owl study to get an idea of how you can use an owl pellet to supplement your owl study: Raptors of the Night.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Using Your Senses

Join us for this exciting series of nature study topics as we work through the Summer Nature Study – Using Your Senses ebook.  Although this ebook is titled “summer nature study”, most of these nature study topics are applicable at all times of the year.

This ebook is found in the Ultimate level membership 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.

Members also have access to a complete bird study ebook!

Learning About Birds 3D cover

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Owl Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Owl Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Owl Nature Study- Archive

I heard a Great Horned Owl during the night last week and it made me anxious to read more about owls as part of this week’s challenge. I invite you to join me in a little owl nature study using the two linked archive challenges below.

Summer Owl Study : You will find a free printable owl notebook page in this entry along with some helpful and interesting owl links, including a link to how to draw an owl.

Summer Series Owl Study: In this challenge, you will be using your senses to learn more deeply about owls. There are also links that will help you study more in depth an owl pellet. Links are provided for purchasing your own owl pellets, free printables, and even a virtual owl pellet dissection.

Please note that Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level members have access to members only printables each month in addition to the newsletter printables. You will need to log into your account and then go to the “Other Releases” section.

Getting Started FAQ Button
Need help getting started with your nature study using the Handbook of Nature Study? Check out the fresh “Getting Started” page here on the website!

Learning About Birds 3D cover

Don’t forget that Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level members have access to the brand new Learning About Birds ebook!

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Summer Owl Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Owl Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge: Summer Owl Study

Use the ideas in the Summer Series #5 Owls challenge to get your nature study going this week. There are lots of links and resources for you to use, including links to purchase an owl pellet to dissect. Our family found this to be a great learning experience!

Special Activity: Owl Study Printable

Pick an owl and complete the free printable notebook page. Here are some really cool links to use with your study:

Getting Started Suggestion:

If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #4. This would be a great week to start a month-long or summer-long focus on birds. Keeping track of each bird you observe in your yard on the Running List notebook page included in the Getting Started ebook is a fantastic way to learn more about your neighborhood birds. Keep it simple and fun for your kids!

Outdoor Hour Challenge Getting Started Ebook @handbookofnaturestudy

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

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Barn Owl Study – Using All About Birds

Barn Owl at Arizona Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson, Arizona

This week’s challenge was to learn more about our local owls: Owl Study. In past owl studies we focused on the Great Horned Owl, the Western Screech Owl, and the Spotted Owl. This time we decided to learn more about the Barn Owl.

We started off listening to the sounds of the Barn Owl and I have to admit if I ever heard this sound at night I would be terrified. It is such a scary sound and not at all one I want to hear too often. It sounds more like a scream than a bird sound. This owl does not make the typical hooting sound we have come to associate with owls of all kinds.

Here is the link: Barn Owl Sounds.

We read the information on the All About Birds website which includes this interesting information on where you might see a Barn Owl:

“Many people’s first sighting of a Barn Owl is while driving through open country at night—a flash of pale wings in the headlights is usually this species. Barn Owls also often live up to their name, inhabiting barns and other old, abandoned buildings, so keep an eye out for them there. Barn Owls don’t hoot the way most other owls do; you can listen for their harsh screeches at night.”

We finished up with a notebook page for our nature journal. It is all in preparation for the time in the future when we may see or possibly hear this bird. You may want to do your own research on the Barn Owl…it is the most widely distributed owl worldwide (see map at the bottom of this website: Common Barn Owl).

Here is what the Peterson Field Guide says about the Barn Owl:

“A long-legged, knock-kneed, pale, monkey-faced owl. White heart-shaped face and dark eyes, no ear tufts. Distinguished in flight as an owl by the large head and mothlike flight..”

I may just have to put that in my nature journal. 🙂

Have you started your owl study yet? 

OHC Blog Carnival

Don’t forget to share with the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival!

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Owl Study


Outdoor Hour Challenge:
For this challenge, look up which owls live in your area and make a list. You can use a field guide or look up owls on All About Birds: Owls.

Choose one of the owls to learn more about, including the sound that the owl makes. In my experience, you will hear owls more than you will see them

Here are the links to previous Owl Challenges:
Summer Series – Owl Challenge 
Our Family’s Owl Study with Owl Pellet Dissection 

Special Activity: Owl Sounds and Printable Notebook Page




Pick an owl and complete the free printable notebook page. Here are some really cool links to use with your study:

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #4. You can find some simple instructions for drawing an owl on Art Project for Kids: How To Draw An Owl. You can also use the notebook page that comes with the Getting Started ebook to record anything else you heard or saw during your outdoor time this week.

Blog Logo 1

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

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Nighttime Critters – Our List from the July Newsletter

Chiminea
Summer evenings outdoors….with our chiminea.

We have been working on our July Newsletter Nighttime Critter Challenge all month. I wanted to post a little of what we are observing and learning to give you an idea of how you can pick a few things from your area to study in the evening hours.  I will update our list after the end of the month with any new finds.

Our most predominant nighttime critters of interest are the Brown bats that come every single night to fly in our backyard. I wrote about them back in May as part of mammal study.  For the July newsletter challenge for Nighttime Critters, I decided to share a few of our other nighttime visitors of interest. This study was sort of on-going because when the weather is hot, we tend to drag sleeping bags out to the back deck to sleep in the cool night air. We all lay awake and listen and watch as the nighttime settles in around us.

Shooting stars, satellites zipping across the sky, the moon, the swaying trees in the breeze, and the night sounds all entertain us as we wait for sleep to come.

Great Horned Owl Nature Journal
Fill In The Circle and Fill In With Color Example – Poor owl sketch…he has such a crooked beak.

One of the things that we have discovered sleeping outside on hot summer nights is that we have quite a few great horned owls in our neighborhood. We can hear them calling back and forth right after the sun goes down and then again at around 5 AM. Here is a link to AllAboutBirds.org and if you click the sound button, you will hear the two types of sounds we hear from our owls: Great Horned Owls. We have yet to actually see them but they are out there…no doubt about it.

We also are serenaded by crickets when the temperatures get just right. It is amazing how you don’t hear any crickets and then all of a sudden it is as if someone turned on a cricket soundtrack and they all chirp at the same time. The lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study gives a great illustration showing the parts of the cricket and an excellent explanation of how he “sings”. (Lesson 82)

 “The wing covers are much shorter than the abdomen and beneath them are vestiges of wings, which are never used. The male has larger wing covers than the female, and they are veined in a peculiar scroll pattern. This veining seems to be a framework for the purpose of making a sounding board of the wing membrane, by stretching it out as a drumhead is stretched.” Handbook of Nature Study.

Turn in your copy of the Handbook of Nature Study to read much more in the lesson explaining this interesting creature.There is such a simple explanation of the mechanics of the crickets chirping that it is perfect for sharing with younger children. The crickets and the frogs compete in our neighborhood for the winner of the “background” noise. It seems as if one or the other is singing their little hearts out.

We smell skunks quite a few nights a week. Sleeping outside we hear rustling in the garden and I think it is the skunk. I know they dig around the base of the birdfeeder outside our window but over the years I have decided that if he leaves me alone, I will leave him alone. Here is another entry where I talk about our nighttime visitors.

Nighttime Critter LIst - Outdoor Hour Challenge
List from the July Newsletter. I cut it out and taped it inside my nature journal.

One last nighttime critter we have had around the neighborhood is the raccoon. Our neighbor has been sharing how they keep forgetting to bring in the dog’s food dish at night and the raccoon has decided that it makes a easy snack taken just outside their patio door. We have had our share of raccoons in the yard over the years but we haven’t seen any lately. Here is an entry sharing one raccoon experience: Raccoon Visitor.

 
Well that gives you a taste of what we have around here in the evenings. I just thought of something else I need to put on my list….moths.

I look forward to reading about your nighttime critters. Don’t forget to post your entry and then submit it to the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival before 7/30/11 for a chance in the July Newsletter giveaway!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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Raptors of the Night-Owls: Summer Series #5


As much as we tried over the past few months to observe an owl up close, we just were not able to make it happen this time around. We are hoping to at least hear some owls when we go on our next camping trip to Yosemite National Park in a few weeks. We heard Western screech owls last year. Don’t you think they sound like bouncing rubber balls?

We listened to Western Screech Owls, Great Horned Owls, and Spotted Owls online as part of this challenge. We rarely see owls but we do hear them frequently in our part of the world.

We took the challenge to dissect an owl pellet. One of my sons was eager and the other one was not so eager to complete this activity. The mood changed once we got started and they each ended up learning quite a bit about owls from this activity.

Owl Pellet Dissection
(Maybe we should have found some smaller gloves.)

We each had our own pellet to dissect and I decided I am not very good at this sort of thing. I am not a “detail” sort of person so this was a frustrating activity. In the end, I let the boys finish my pellet. The boys on the other hand were awesome at this activity. I was amazed at the minute bones they were able to extract from the mass of fur.

Tiny Skulls
We all think we had mole and mouse bones in our pellets and we each found skulls and jaws with teeth.

Jaw with Teeth
Now that was interesting to me! Little tiny jaws with tiny little teeth!

Bone Chart and Bones
There were amazing amounts of bones in each little pellet.

Bone Chart and Bones 2
Although this was not a challenge where we were able to see the owls in person or even hear them in the night, we learned so much from our reading, online research, and the dissection. We are all looking forward to being on the lookout for both hearing the owls and seeing owl pellets during nature walks.

“Owls and hawks are predators that have an ecological relationship with each other. This means that whereas owls hunt predominantly at night, hawks fill their niche during the day. Both birds hunt similar prey species.”
Discover Nature at Sundown, page 49.

Just one interesting thing we have been thinking about: There is a cycle of raptor activity-owls at night and other raptors like hawks and falcons during the day. There is always some sort of raptor activity going on in the woods. Fascinating.

Whose-Awake-Me-Too…..hopefully we hear a little of that call on our camping trip this time.

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OHC Summer Series #5 Owls


Outdoor Hour Challenge
Summer Series #5 Owls

Train Your Senses

  • Sight: Look for signs of owls: nesting sites, owl pellets. Observe the owl’s eyes, ears, beak, feathers, claws. Keep your eyes out for birds all summer and try to study at least one bird for your nature journal.
  • Hearing: Listen for the screech and hoot of owls. See if you can hear an owl snap its beak. Listen for other bird’s songs.
  • Touch: Feel the feathers of an owl or other bird if you get a chance at a museum or zoo.

Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 100 to 103 (Screech Owl, Lesson 26). Make note of any interesting facts as you read for future reference. Listen to the owl’s song on AllAboutBirds.org: Western Screech Owl and Eastern Screech Owl.

2. Read in Discover Nature at Sundown pages 40 to 65 (reference to evolution). This section on owls is packed with interesting information, maps, and instructions for additional activities. Pages 59 to 63 outline a study using regurgitated owl pellets that you dissect to discover what the owl has eaten. (Please note this is an affiliate link to Amazon.com)

Owl Pellets for a dissection activity.

  1. http://www.pelletlab.com/barn_owl_pellet
  2. http://www.hometrainingtools.com/owl-pellet-jumbo/p/PM-PELLJUM/
  3. http://www.acornnaturalists.com/store/STUDENT-OWL-PELLET-KIT-P2683C0.aspx

Outdoor Hour Time:
Spend your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time this week looking and listening for birds. Try some birding at different times of day and if you are in an area that has owls, plan on spending some time outdoors listening and watching for these magnificent birds. Use AllAboutBirds.org to identify any owl songs you hear, either hoots or screeches. Also, if in the course of your week you find another bird that you are interested in learning more about, please take a few minutes to do some observations of that bird as well.

Remember that we are trying to learn to use more of our sense in our nature study and keep the suggestions above in mind when you are outside at any time this week. Birds can be seen just about anywhere: bird feeder, birdbath, ponds, parks, beaches, in trees, flying over your house, and places that you go each day. Although the focus this week is to learn a little more about owls, you can show interest in any bird that you come across this week.

Follow-Up Activity:
Complete the owl pellet dissection if you have collected or purchased one for this challenge. Follow the directions that come with your pellet and record your findings in your nature journal.

Here is a free online chart of bones you might find in a pellet and some additional free instructions. You can watch a virtual owl pellet dissection HERE.

Free set of owl notebook pages and dissection notebook page onNotebookingFairy.com. There are two notebook pages provided with the ebook, one for the owl and one for any bird you decide to study. You can also record your observations and thoughts in your blank nature journal if you wish.

This owl challenge is found in this ebook here on the Handbook of Nature Study website. You can find it in the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.
Summer 2010 Nature Study FinalUltimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

 

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Birds Up Close

One thing that frustrates this bird lover is that it is nearly impossible to get up close to live birds in the wild. So when the opportunity presents itself to get a really good look, even at a zoo or museum…I grab it. We were able to observe quite a few beautiful birds at the Living Desert Museum. If you live in California or even in Nevada, you might want to check this museum out and include it on your next roadtrip.

This Burrowing owl was so gorgeous and he impressed me very much with his wide eyes and his colorful pattern on his wings and body.

They had a hummingbird and butterfly aviary that I could have spent all day wandering around. We spotted this hummer on the littlest nest around. Click the photo to see the texture of his feathers. I will post photos of some of the butterflies soon.

I am amazed at the way the birds are so different from each other. They may all have feathers, wings, and legs but the variety of how those pieces are put together is an amazing testimony to our Creator.

Most of the birds at this museum are not able to be released into the wild. Some have lost a leg or a wing and the owl in the first photo of this entry is blind. This bird is a kind of heron and I forgot to write down his exact name but he was so pretty…and sleepy. 🙂

I encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity that comes along for nature study. I was surprised to see that this particular museum had a badger exhibit so we were able to observe a real live badger as part of our Outdoor Hour Challenge…..more on that in another post.

https://naturestudyhomeschool.com/2013/02/outdoor-hour-challenge-owl-study.html