Outdoor Hour Challenge – Catbird

Outdoor Hour Challenge Bird Nature Study Catbird @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Catbird Study

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 95-97 (Lesson #24) in the Handbook of Nature Study.  I really love the narrative part of this lesson and I would encourage you to read it and highlight some interesting sections to share with your children before you go outside this week.
  • Look up the range map on All About Birds to see if you have catbirds in your area. Here in California we don’t have catbirds but an alternate study could be the cowbird or the mockingbird.
  • Listen the catbird song and call on All About Birds: Catbird.
  • View a video of the catbird: All About Birds-Catbird. Here are two more really interesting videos: Catbird in Florida and Catbird in California.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • For this challenge, use your sense of hearing to listen for bird sounds. This can be done just about anywhere, even your own backyard. Teaching your children to listen carefully is a huge part of a successful nature study program so use birds as a way of practicing this life skill.
  • Look for catbirds but make note of any birds that you see during your outdoor time. Have your child use as many descriptive words as possible if you happen to observe a bird. If they are new to bird study, make sure to give them some vocabulary like beak, tail, wing, feathers, etc.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create a nature journal entry for the catbird or any other bird you studied this week. Have your child recall the sound of the catbird (use the link in the preparation section if necessary). Have them describe the catbird’s song and call. Do they think it sounds like a cat?
  • If your family can provide a birdbath, set one up within sight of a window for observation. Keep the birdbath filled and then watch to see if you get any visitors like the catbird. Keep a list of birds you observe in your birdbath.
  • Advanced study: Compare the catbird with the mockingbird.


Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library
If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study 2015 ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study 2015 announcement page for more details.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

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