Western Tanager Nature Study and Journal Page

I’ve been looking forward to the Western Tanager bird study (Outdoor Hour Challenge – Western Tanager) ever since we saw our very first tanager visitors to the feeder last spring. Their bright colors reminded us of the tropical flowers we see in Hawaii!

western tanager may 2019

Would you like to see my nature journal page for the Western tanager?  I tend to follow the same format for my bird pages, including the four key graphics from the AllAboutBirds.com website. I include a sketch and some pertinent facts. I use my field guide and the website to gather my information so it’s a super easy page to make.

Western Tanager nature journal

I struggle with drawing and depicting birds accurately but in the end I get the basic idea onto the page even if it isn’t exactly the way I picture it in my head.

Tip: You can always add a photo instead of sketching if it makes you more comfortable.

I was just telling a friend who’s starting out with identifying the birds at her feeder that she should just take it one bird at a time. Birding is something you can do for a lifetime so if you can manage to learn about and identify just one new bird a month for the next ten years, imagine the number of birds you will be familiar with.

Nature study is just the gathering of knowledge over time.

One bird, one tree, one flower at a time.

Getting Started with Nature Journals

Would you like some more ideas for nature journal pages? There is a page on my website devoted just to nature journal ideas. I invite you to click over and scroll through for something that catches your eye!

Forest Fun ebook cover graphic

The Western Tanager Outdoor Hour Challenge is found in the Forest Fun ebook available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Use the discount code OHC10 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

You can also use the Learning About Birds ebook from the Ultimate and Journey level memberships to learn more about the birds in your local area. This book can be used over multiple years as you identify a bird and want to learn about it more in depth.



Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge:Elk Nature Study

Elk Nature Study

This week we’ll learn about the majestic elk as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge. I never had any real experience with elk until we moved to Central Oregon. Now, each spring, we have them right out our back door.

With this nature study lesson, you’ll have a chance to learn about this large mammal and do some comparing to other mammals you see more regularly.

Alternate study: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Deer Nature Study.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Elk Nature Study

Here are a few ideas to get you started with an elk nature study:

  • Choose your resource for learning about the elk. This could be a field guide, a book from your local library or an online resource. Here’s a link to a webpage that has an abundance of information on elk in North America: Elk Network.  You will find facts, videos, and range maps on that page that will help you learn about this magnificent animal.
  • This website has a printable fact sheet about elk: USDA American Elk.


Please note that I won’t be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you’ll find the detailed challenge in the High Desert ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

High Desert Ebook cover graphic

If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 25 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Bitterbrush
  • Sagebrush
  • Greater sage-grouse
  • Succulents
  • Mountain Lion
  • Coyote
  • Pocket Gopher
  • Bristlecone Pine
  • Elk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Juniper
  • Snowberry
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
  • River Otter


Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020Please use the discount code OHC10 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.





New Printables for Members – Vernal Pools and Snow Plant

Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:

1. Snow Plant Nature Study Notebook Page- This time of year you may find yourself walking along your favorite trail and spot some snow plant. If you do a little research ahead of time, you will be armed with a few facts and things to look for when you see a snow plant in person.

2. Vernal Pool Notebook Page – Spring is vernal pool time in our area. Look up the definition of a vernal pool and then make plans to go out to discover one in your area.

snow Plant Nature Study Notebook PageVernal Pools Habitat Notebook Page

(See the end of this post for more information on how you can become a member.)

Note: If you have any subjects you would like me to create nature notebook pages for, please let me know in a comment here on the blog or in an email: [email protected]

Printables for Members Button

Print a complete list of printables available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by clicking the button above.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Use the discount code NATURE5 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership!

april page image

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library. Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.