Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Clark’s Nutcracker Bird Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Clark’s Nutcracker Bird Nature Study

The Clark’s nutcracker is a bird that not many of us will encounter, especially at a backyard feeder. This bird lives high in the mountains and actually is an important part of the forest’s story. As they cache seeds for their food stores, they are actually helping to broadcast the seeds that may end up sprouting into new trees to replenish the forest.

clarks nutcracker nature journal

We see the Clark’s nutcracker every time we visit Crater Lake National Park here in Oregon.

Although the nutcracker is not a common backyard bird, your family will enjoy learning how birds and their unique habits help humans and the earth.

Outdoor Hour Challenge clarks nutcracker

Fun Fact:

The Clark’s nutcracker has a pouch under its tongue to carry seeds long distances. They bury tens of thousands of seeds each summer as winter food caches. The seeds not retrieved play a crucial role in new pine forests.

Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you will find the detailed challenge in the Bird Nature Study Set #1 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.

Here are some videos for you to watch in preparation:

Bird Set ebook cover image

Birds in this ebook include the pelican, sandhill crane, Clark’s nutcracker, egret, American dipper, horned lark, magpie, swan, and snipe.

Download a sample of the book here: Bird Nature Study Set #1 Sample

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

Learning About Birds 3D cover

You may wish to also download and use the Learning About Birds ebook available in the Ultimate Naturalist Library.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge:Sandhill Crane Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Sandhill Crane Nature Study

Our bird study is leading us to a nature study of the sandhill crane this week. I’ve long admired this bird for its unique story and its migration habits. We currently live in the migratory path of the sandhill crane. I won’t forget the evening my son and I were out on a walk and we heard the sandhill cranes coming with their bugling call far overhead. It was an awesome experience.

crane july 2020 sparks lake

Then, last summer, we were out on one of the Cascade lakes and there were sandhill cranes feeding along the shore in the reeds. It was a highlight of my summer to see them up close for the very first time.

Outdoor Hour Challenge sandhill crane

Use the Outdoor Hour Challenge to learn more about this amazing bird in hopes that someday you too will encounter it in your travels.

Watch a video and look up a link to get your study started:

Make sure to look at the range map in a field guide or on All About Birds to determine if you might spot a sandhill crane in your area. Don’t forget to think about its migratory path and the time of year you’re most likely to have a sandhill crane in your region.  We’ve heard them flying overhead at certain times of the year so make sure you listen to the sound of the sandhill crane which is quite distinct, like a rattling bugle: Sandhill Crane.

Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you will find the detailed challenge in the Bird Nature Study Set #1 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.

Bird Set ebook cover image

Birds included in this ebook: pelican, sandhill crane, Clark’s nutcracker, egret, American dipper, horned lark, magpie, swan, and snipe.

Download a sample of the book here: Bird Nature Study Set #1 Sample

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, you can click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

Learning About Birds 3D cover

You may wish to also download and use the Learning About Birds ebook available in the Ultimate Naturalist Library.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

 

 

Nature Goals 2021: 1st Quarter Update

Nature Goals 2021

1st Quarter Update

Nature Study Goals 2021

In the original 2021 nature goals entry, I talked a lot about the process of making goals and then refining goals as you saw the need. Here were the steps:

  • Be flexible.
  • Review your goals periodically.
  • Break larger goals into smaller steps.
  • Make a reasonable list.
  • Create achievable goals.

If you’d like to read the complete entry with all of the suggestions, you can click here: Nature Study Goals 2021.

One way that I review my goals and how I’m doing, is to reflect back at the end of each quarter to see how things are going. You can read the goals for the year in the entry linked above. I will give you a little update for each goal below.

garden prep april 2021

We have cleaned up the boxes and made sure the drip watering system is ready to go for seed sowing. Probably going to wait until May 1st to get seeds started.

Backyard Habitat development:  We just started working in the garden in the past few weeks. But, I have on paper a lot of ideas we want to implement this year. For the first quarter we made plans, ordered seeds, and spent time observing what was already working as far as supporting the local wildlife. This quarter will be the heavy lifting aspects of creating more wildlife friendly habitat. If this is something you are interested in doing for your family, you can read my entry: Creating a Wildlife Habitat in Your Own Backyard.

Painted Hills March 2021

Look for an entry in May that reveals our day trip to the Painted Hills.

Local Hikes: We found new places to hike even in the winter as part of this local hikes goal. There are several places along the Deschutes River that are accessible to hiking in the winter. We chose sunny days to explore Sawyer Park and Steelhead Falls. We drove out to the Painted Hills for a day hike with some of the kids. I’m saying this quarter went better than expected and I’m eager to do some spring hiking here in Central Oregon.

Make notes in field guides: I’m keeping up the habit of making notes in my field guides as we identify new species of birds, animals, and plants.

crossbills february 2021

Our unexpected visitors! We had a group of crossbills come through on a Feederwatch count day.

Project Feederwatch and Great Backyard Bird Count: The Feederwatch project is coming to a close here at the end of April. We’ve only missed a couple of weeks of counting and it has helped us be aware of the comings and goings of the birds at our feeders. The GBBC was another enjoyable experience as we took part in the worldwide bird count. I’ll be posting about the particulars soon!

Go camping: We didn’t make it out camping in the first quarter. But, we have several trips planned for the spring season and one for the summer.

succulents april 2021

Learn about succulents: I spent some time reading books about succulents over the quarter. Our library has quite a few to choose from since succulents are a big part of the landscaping here in Central Oregon. I went out yesterday and looked at the ones we have in our yard and they are all looking mighty healthy. I noticed new growth and spreading for many of them. I will continue to work on my knowledge as we get into our real growing season.

I did a pretty good job of keeping all my goals in mind this quarter. Now, I just need to keep it going.

Have you created nature study goals for your family?

Could you use some help in keeping nature study a regular part of your week?

You can join as an Ultimate Naturalist Library member and immediately have access to hundreds of nature study ideas and printables.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Click the graphic above to see the complete benefits of a membership. Join and make 2021 the best year of nature study ever for your family!

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