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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 – Black Birds 2018

Black+Birds+nature+study+@handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com.jpg

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Black Birds – Crow, Red Winged Blackbird, Cowbird, and Starling

From the Archives and from the Learning About Birds ebook

The birds in this week’s challenge are some of the more common birds most of us see during our daily activities. The challenge is to take a few minutes this week to observe and learn about one of the birds listed above. Currently, we have starlings and red winged blackbirds in our birdfeeders so we might do a compare and contrast of these two black birds.

The secondary part of this nature study challenge is to focus on looking at a bird’s eye color. Many times eye color is a field mark in identifying a particular bird. For example, some of the blackbirds in our feeders have a gold eye. This helped us to determine that we have brewer’s blackbirds and red winged blackbirds.

Note: There is a fantastic crow video in the archive link above so don’t miss it!

Learning About Birds 3D cover

This black 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.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Use the discount code BIRDLOVER5 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

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Our Starling Bird Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Starling Bird Study

Of course, the week we had scheduled to observe and learn more about starlings…they have vanished from the neighborhood! They were constant visitors during the autumn months right outside my office window in the pistache trees that line the side of our house. I could hear them out there as they ate the bright red fruits from the tree. But even though the opportunity had passed see them in person, I have plenty of photos from my archives to use as the basis for our study.

I decided to try to determine where they go once they leave our neighborhood. I did some online research and found that most starlings stay right here in the continental U.S. during all seasons. But, I have been watching and they are definitely gone from our area. I think it has something to do with the food supply…which I note later below.

Starling Bird Study Nature Journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Journal Idea: Coloring Page from Cornell’s Bird Coloring Book (page 28). I cut the blackline drawing out and used colored pencils to attempt to show the speckles but wasn’t successful. It is really hard to get it right. Anyway, I decided to use the drawing anyway and focus on the recording good information on the page instead. This is actually quite an interesting bird.

Great Information is found in: Discover Nature Close to Home (one of my Nature Book Project selections) – see pages 59-66. This is my affiliate link. I also used the AllAboutBirds website.

Starling Bird Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Here are two sort of blurry images of starlings I have in my archives. This one from November 2014 shows the speckled look to the bird during autumn and winter. The starlings seem to be around our house only as long as there are those fruits on the pistache tree. Now that the fruits are gone, so are the starlings. We will look forward to their appearance again when the season is right.

Starling Iridescent @handbookofnaturestudyThis is an image of a starling from 2011 in February. I also have a really bad video of this bird from that day (it was just too far away for a good one). There were two of them along with some robins in the trees across from our house. They were eating something off the tree….not sure what. Anyway, this photo shows the iridescent color of the starling at certain times of year. So pretty!

Have you had a chance to look for some birds this month? Don’t forget that the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up February 12-15, 2016! Mark you calendars!

 

 

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Starling Bird Study

 

Starling Bird Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Starling Bird Nature Study

Inside Preparation:

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Take a bird walk and note any birds you observe during your fifteen minutes. During the autumn and winter, starlings have their speckled plumage and look like they have white spots. If it is the spring and summer, notice their iridescent sheen. If you happen to spot a flock of starlings, try to count them!
  • If you don’t see any starlings this week, make sure to take a few minutes to make careful observations of any bird found during your outdoor time. Talk about the color, shape, size, beaks, feet, or wings of the bird with your children. Give them some words to use and have them make a journal entry once you are back inside. Keep it simple and fun.

Follow-Up Activity

  • Create a nature journal entry for the starling. Use the notebook page in the January 2016 Handbook of Nature Study newsletter if you have access to a membership here on the website. Or, you can create a simple entry with a sketch and some notes.
  • Advanced study: Learn about how birds sleep! This is something that I am interested in learning more about and here is a great starting point: Where do birds sleep?  Write a short summary of what you learned in your nature journal.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

 

I highly recommend the NotebookPages.com North American Birds set for your nature study notebooks. Please note I am an affiliate and have used this product in the past and loved it.

Birds of North America Notebooking Pages

 

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Backyard Birds – Autumn Images

I love the way this image came out with the gray sky as the background and then the shapes of the sticker balls and leaves.

The bird watching in our neighborhood has significantly improved with cooler weather. The number and variety of birds has been amazing! Every day I end up with my camera and binoculars viewing some new bird visitor….in my feeder, under my feeder, in the berry bushes, in the pistache tree, in the birch tree, in the sweet gum tree.

This was obviously on another day when we had crystal clear skies. This Western bluebird and many of his friends were eating the fruits of the pistache tree. These are such pretty birds and they always seem to come in a flock.

I love it when I load the photos onto my desktop and I find I have captured a “moment”. This is another Western bluebird image showing his magnificent wings and ability to grab a bite to eat on the fly. Love it!

Here is another one of those surprise images. I think this is a starling and I love the way it shows his legs and feet and speckled belly.

We had a couple of days this month when we had turkey vultures by the tens all soaring over our house. All of those black specks are turkey vultures just soaring and swirling around. We looked it up on the internet and there is an official name for this….a kettle of turkey vultures.

 
Fun Turkey Vulture song on YouTube.com

We also had one day where the sparrows came by the hundreds to eat at our feeders, in the trees, and on the street as well. It was an amazing sight.

We have been counting birds as part of Project Feederwatch a couple of days a week.

Here is my list:

  • House sparrows
  • House finches
  • White-crowned sparrows
  • Dark eyed juncos
  • Titmouse
  • Anna’s hummingbirds
  • Lesser goldfinches
  • Spotted towhees
  • Western bluebirds
  • White-breasted nuthatches
  •  Cedar waxwings
  • American robins
  • Mourning doves
  • European starlings

Next month one of the Outdoor Hour Challenges is to note how the weather affects animals and birds in our neighborhood. This will be a fun way to see how our autumn birds stack up against other seasons. 

 

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European Starling Mimics a Hawk

We were out for our afternoon walk with the dog when we thought we heard a red-tailed hawk. We stopped to listen and take a good look but what we saw were two smaller dark birds in the top of the evergreen. They were chattering and I was thinking it was a myna bird….somewhere I had heard one before and I remembered its distinctive whistles and calls.

Starlings 2 11
I tried to zoom in and get a good look but they were too far away. They flew away.

Starling 2 13 11
We continued on the trail and then we heard the chattering again. This time I was able to get a little closer and take another photo. I cropped this one so it is a tad blurry but you can see what the basic shape is for this bird.

When we got home we pulled out the field guide and it told us that the starling and the myna are related. What was the most fascinating fact we learned is that the starling will mimic the red-tail hawk. You can hear it on AllAboutBirds.org:
European Starling (scroll down and listen)
This is exactly what we heard!

Still learning after all this time!

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Outdoor Hour Challenge: Birds-Crow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Starling, and Cowbird

Outdoor Hour Challenge Birds #6
Crow and Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird and Starling

Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 117-119 about the red-winged blackbird and pages 124-127 about the crow. Read the suggested pages and then prepare you children to observe these birds the next time they have a chance.

2. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study the section on bird’s eyes and ears on page 38. The suggestions for observation include questions that you can apply to any bird you see during your outdoor time during your bird study.

3. Read in Backyard Birds pages 28-35 on black birds: Crow, Red-winged blackbird, Brown-headed cowbird, and the Starling.

4. Peterson Field Guide: Look up and read about the crow, the red-winged blackbird, the brown-headed cowbird, and the starling. Use the guide to determine the color of each bird’s eye this week.

Here is a video I found that shows how crows have learned to do an amazing thing. I am amazed, but I am always in awe of what our Creator has made.

Here is the link if you need to click over to YouTube.com: Amazing Crow

Outdoor Hour Time:
For this challenge you should plan on spending your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time enjoying your own neighborhood if possible. Look for places that you might find different birds to observe. We found a great pond not too far from our house in the back of our city park. It is home to a number of ducks and geese. Maybe you have a place that you can find to visit frequently to get to know the particular birds that make that spot their home for at least part of the year.

This week challenge yourself to make some observations of a bird’s eye. It is hard to get close enough to most birds to see their eyes but perhaps you can find a duck, goose, or chicken to complete the suggested observations from the Handbook of Nature Study on page 38.

Just for Fun
Some children like to keep detailed records of what birds and how many birds they see. You might think about taking a small notepad and pencil for your child to tally the birds seen during your outdoor time. This can be a simple list of birds seen and then a tally after each bird showing the grand total of that particular bird seen. Keep this activity fun and continue as long as your child is interested.

Follow Up Activity for the Crow, the Red-winged Blackbird, the Starling, and the Cowbird
Complete nature journal pages for any of the birds in this challenge that you found particularly interesting. You can complete pages for the birds you directly observed and save the rest for future birding experiences if you wish. If you were able to observe the bird’s eye, make sure to sketch that into your nature journal as well. You can use the questions in the lesson on the bird’s eyes and ears found on page 38 of the Handbook of Nature Study.

Follow Up Activity For Other Birds Observed:
If you are using the bird pages from Notebooking.com (shown below), you can complete a page for the eyes and ears of a bird. Make a nature journal page for one new bird that you observed this week. You can also use your Peterson Field Guide to help identify your bird.

Also I am highly recommending that you purchase the Bird Bundle from NotebookingPages.com as a great supplement to your study of birds using the Outdoor Hour Challenge. Note: These are affiliate links.

All About Birds Basic Study Notebooking Pages
Birds of North America Notebooking Pages

Use code discount5 to save $5 on any purchase $10 or more from the NotebookingPages.com Shop. (This does not include membership purchases.)