“The bluebirds are usually ahead of the robins in the northward journey and often arrive in New York amid the blizzards of early March…There is a family resemblance between voices of the bluebird and robin, a certain rich quality of tone; but the robin’s song is far more assertive and complex than is the soft purling song of the bluebird, which has been vocalized as ‘tru-al-ly, tru-al-ly.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 62
Outdoor Hour Challenge Birds #2
Jays and Bluebirds
Inside preparation work:
1. Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 39-40 about bird beaks. Try to think of two birds
that you can observe in person to compare their beaks. Use the illustration on page 41 to show different beak shapes.
Here is a website to see many different birds, their beaks, and an explanation of how they use them. Bird Adaptations-Beaks
2. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 62-65 about the bluebird. You might like to mention that the bluebird is in the thrush family just like the robin and they bear a family resemblance.
3. Backyard Birds: Read aloud with your child page 14 and 15 on jays. Jays are easy to spot because of their color and if you have opportunity to observe a jay, make note of the beak shape. Take notice of the field marks pointed out in the illustrations in the book.
4. Peterson Field Guide: Make note of the beak illustrations on page 18(W) or page 24(E). Look up in the index the blue jay and the bluebird. Observe the illustrations carefully and read the narrative descriptions and explanations.
Outdoor Hour Time
Allow at least 10-15 minutes of outdoor time to explore your backyard, neighborhood, or a near-by park. This time you are going to try to focus on finding a bird in order to observe its beak. Every bird has a beak. Sometimes the best way to get children to really see something is to get them to compare two things together. Try to get them started by asking them simple questions.
Here are a few to get you started:
How is the bird using its beak? (eating, pecking, scooping, preening, fluffing, carrying, etc)
Is the bird’s beak longer than its head? Shorter than its head?
Is the beak rounded? Pointy? Bent? Straight? Curved?
Don’t spend too much time talking about birds during your Outdoor Hour, try to observe quietly for a good part of the time. You can discuss and review during your follow-up time.
If you put out a bird feeder with the last challenge, take a few minutes to make sure it is filled up with seeds. Use the opportunity to observe any birds that visit the feeder during your Outdoor Hour Time. Work on your listening skills each time you go outdoors and try to hear the bird sounds in your neighborhood.
Follow Up Activity For Jays and Bluebirds
You can make a nature journal entry for the jay and the bluebird if you would like.
The two jays from this challenge are included in Cornell’s bird coloring book: Feeder Birds Coloring Book. You can use these as the basis of your nature journal or you can use the simple line drawings as a pattern for your bird sketch.
I also found this link to the National Bluebird Society a great help in our bluebird study and it includes coloring pages for all three bluebirds. http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/PDF/educational%20packet.pdf (see pages 21-23 for the coloring pages)
You can also try to sketching in your regular nature journal a few shapes of beaks and then explain how they are used by the bird. If you are using NotebookingPages.com’s bird nature study set, you can complete the notebook page for beaks in your nature journal as well.
For Other Birds You Observed
For your follow up activity you can learn more about any bird that you observed. If you know what kind of bird it is, look it up in the Handbook of Nature Study for more information. You can also use the Peterson Field Guide or an internet resource such as whatbird.com or Cornell’s bird website at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/
Here are the links for this week’s birds. You can use these links to listen to the bird’s call if you are working on learning to identify birds by their calls.
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.
Use code discount5 to save $5 on any purchase $10 or more from the NotebookingPages.com Shop. (This does not include membership purchases.)