Outdoor Hour Challenge – Autumn Salvia Study

 

“The structure of this flower may be studied in the schoolroom and its mechanism there understood; but the most important part of the lesson is the observation out of doors upon the way the bees work the stamen levers when seeking the nectar.” – Anna Botsford Comstock

We don’t have red salvia in our area but I purchase purple salvia every year to have in pots on my patio. The bees love it!

Salvia Study 2

You can search your local garden nursery for salvia or look for it as a native plant if it grows in your neighborhood.

scarlet salvia

Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Star

Use this link to the challenges in the archives:

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Autumn Salvia Flower Study (from the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook)

Salvia Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Please note that if you don’t have any salvia to study this week….pick another garden flower and create an “autumn flower” nature journal page instead. Salvia is in the mint family so you may be able to find another plant in the mint family to study.

An alternative study would be to watch a bee on a flower and then complete a bee study using the Handbook of Nature Study. Here’s a link to the Outdoor Hour Challenge for Bees.

OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button

This challenge is found in the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook found in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships here on the Handbook of Nature Study. You can print the notebooking pages and the coloring page included in the ebook to supplement your nature study this week.

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Our Bird Feeders Central Oregon – September 2019

What kind of bird feeders do I personally use in my yard?

august bird list

This is actually a frequently asked question that comes to my email box after I share one of my monthly bird lists. I thought I would create a post that shares images and a short description of each of the feeders we use here in our Central Oregon yard. I’ll be adding this post to my FAQ page for future reference and inspiration.

Getting Started FAQ Button

 

Front Yard Feeders

front 3 feeders

In my front yard, I have three kinds of feeders available during the summer months: a seed hopper style feeder, a hummingbird nectar feeder, and a cylinder suet feeder.

eco tough wild bird seed feeder

The hopper feeder (Eco Tough Classic Feeder) is on a post about six feet high with a squirrel baffle to keep our resident hungry squirrels from destroying the feeder and eating all the seed.  I purchased the feeder and baffle from Wild Birds Unlimited.  This feeder has held up to our brutally cold temperatures and lots of visitors. See their website for their lifetime guarantee information: Eco Tough Warranty.  The seeds that fall from the feeder are cleaned up by ground feeding birds like doves, jays, and towhees.suet and humming bird feeder

The suet feeder and suet cylinder are also from Wild Birds Unlimited and they’re a favorite for the woodpeckers and nuthatches. The hummingbird feeder I bought at my local Ace Hardware (Pennington brand). I fill it up with my own homemade sugar water. It will hang up on the pole from April to October to feed the hummers that migrate here for the warmer season.

feeders and bird bath

I also have a bird bath that I keep filled and the flat rocks under the feeder catch the lawn sprinkler water in the mornings. The birds use both as a water source.  This year the sunflowers have really sprouted from the seeds dropped from the feeder.

These three feeders are situated very near to a pine tree and I notice that the smaller birds will land on the limbs of the tree and then drop down to the feeders. The hummingbirds sit up in the branches to guard their food source. There are nesting boxes across the yard where a chickadee family and a bluebird family nested this year.

 

 

Back Yard Feeders

suet and seed feeder bird

In our backyard we have several other feeders that see a lot of visitors. The most popular feeder is the “squirrel proof” seed feeder. It has a wire barrier around it so the squirrels can’t easily eat from it. Don’t be fooled, they will climb up the pole and try to swing it so the seeds fall to the ground…little tricksters.

2 flickers suet bird feeder

I also have this more traditional suet feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited, the Eco Tough Tail Prop Suet Feeder. It always has flickers and woodpeckers hanging from it early in the morning. Later on, the chickadees, nuthatches, and other clinging birds come to eat. This is one tough feeder.

These feeders are along the fence line, near a tree, and a bird bath. I have them situated so I can sit in our living room and at the kitchen table to observe birds.

2 flickers suet bird feeder

I have a small finch feeder filled with thistle seeds hanging on a low pole in our garden. The goldfinches and house finches make good use of this feeder. I can’t remember where I purchased it but it’s made with wire mesh and the tiny thistle seeds are accessible through the holes. I think this link to Amazon might be the one that I have: Thistle Feeder.

Please note that the Amazon links in this post are my affiliate links.

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On the far end of our yard, I have another hexagon shaped seed feeder (from Tractor Supply) and another suet feeder. These two I don’t always keep filled in the summer because the red-winged blackbirds and starlings will swarm them. I’m not sure why they like these better than the others but they do. I fill both of these feeders in the winter once the blackbirds have moved on for the season.

cylinder suet wild bird feeder

This cylinder feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited is high up on a pole because the squirrels were ravaging it when it was lower. My husband custom made the pole and I have to use a hook on a stick to get it down and then place it back up. You purchase the seed cylinders from Wild Birds and just slide the block in when the birds empty it. The favorite mix around here, the one that attracts the widest range of birds, is the one with dried cranberries.

Our Bird Feeders Central Oregon 2019

Typing this up made me realize just how many feeders I have in my yard. I’m such a bird nerd but it truly gives my life so much pleasure as I see the birds come and go each season. I enjoy their beauty and their songs that have become the soundtrack of our life here in Central Oregon. I sometimes fail to notice the bird song until I slow down and really listen. I had a friend housesit for us earlier this year and she told me afterwards that she loved sitting in my yard just listening to the birds. It reminded me to stop and take note!

I hope this helps you create a little bird sanctuary in your own yard for your family to enjoy.  Hanging just one feeder will benefit your bird lovers. Pick a feeder that will attract the kinds of birds you want to visit your yard.

 

 

Learning About Birds 3D cover

Look for my Learning about Birds ebook in my Member’s Library!

 

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge Hawk – Bird Study

Learning about hawks using the Handbook of Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenge will prepare your family for the next time you encounter one of these majestic birds in person. We often spot hawks sitting on fence posts, telephone poles, and atop trees in the forest. They can be seen flying or soaring over the tree tops, making it necessary to have a little knowledge of what they look like from below in order to identify them.

The Outdoor Hour Challenge linked below has some wonderful resources for gaining the skills to make a hawk identification even from a distance.

Red-shouldered+hawk+Handbook+of+Nature+Study+2.jpg

Use this link to the challenges in the archives:

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Hawk Bird Study (from the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook)

Hawk Bird Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

I invite you to read the information and then share it with your children. Perhaps you can pick one of the hawks mentioned in the lesson and start with learning about one hawk. After you learn about that one, pick another hawk for another nature study session.

If you get overwhelmed by the amount of information about hawks, remind yourself that birding and bird watching can be lifelong activities.

OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button

This challenge is found in the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook found in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships here on the Handbook of Nature Study. You can print the notebooking pages and the coloring pages included in the ebook to supplement your nature study this week.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist august 2019

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 22 ebooks and so much more!