Outdoor Hour Challenge: Swallows and Swifts Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Swallows and Swifts Nature Study

This week we kick off the autumn series of Outdoor Hour Challenges with a bird study! Use the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock (Lesson 28) to learn more about these beautiful flyers.

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge Swallows and Swifts @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Swallows and Swifts.

This nature study lesson not only helps you learn about swallows, it will introduce the idea of bird migration using links and maps.

 

Swallows NB 2 Swallow NB Page 1

The follow up pages in the ebook will help you easily record your observations and research.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 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:

  • Swallows and swifts
  • Catfish
  • Jewelweed
  • Prickly lettuce
  • Cockroach
  • Field horsetail
  • Catbird
  • Calcite, limestone, marble
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Hedgehog fungi
  • Sapsucker
  • Brooks

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Learning About Birds 3D cover

Included in your membership will be the Learning About Birds ebook.

Print the ebook sample here: Learning About Birds from the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

New Printables for Members: First Day of Autumn and Full Moon

Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:

1. First Day of Autumn Grid Study and Nature Journal Toppers printable:  I think we are all ready for a little change in the season! Using these printables in your nature journal will help jump start your nature journaling year.

2. Full Moon Planner 2020 notebook page:  I have so enjoyed gazing at the full moons this summer. But,  I seem to lack enthusiasm as soon as the evenings turn chilly. I wanted a way to remind myself to get outside and look at the moon in all the seasons so I created the planner page to help encourage our family to take note of each of the full moons over the next year. Please join me and I hope the helps you create a record of your moon observations.

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

First Day of Autumn Printable Notebook Page

Full Corn Moon is September 2, 2020!

Full Moon 2020 Planner Page

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

September 2020 nature planner page

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.


It’s time to pull out this autumn favorite!

Outdoor Mom – August 2020

This has been a month for insect watching! It’s been a long time since I picked a “focus” nature topic for the month and it’s reminded me of the value of being alert to seeing things I might otherwise miss.

dragonfly lake hosmer kayak float july 2020

Dragon flies were the star for several of our outings on the water.  I have a fun memory of floating on the river with blue dragonflies landing on my arms and hat. Then there were the larger black and white dragonflies that look like small hummingbirds. They were spotted high up on tops of reeds and sticks, hanging out over the water where they sat waiting for a meal.

 wildflower garden august 2020

The wildflower garden has been abuzz with all kinds of insects. It makes me happy to sit nearby and listen and watch as they hop on, hover over, and dip into the colorful flowers.

We decided the meadow out behind the house should be called “grasshopper acres” this month because of the abundance of hopping and leaping that happens as you walk through the grasses. They are everywhere.

insect nature journal page august 2020

I’m keeping myself accountable this month with an insect page in my nature journal. It’s nothing fancy but it will remind me of a few of the insects I encountered during this month of looking for insects.

partial list august birds 2020

Our bird list this month has some surprise entries. The most inspiring addition was the Common Nighthawk. I wish I could post a video of the flying acrobatics of this amazing flyer! We noted the pointy wings, the white patches under the wings, and watched it on several late afternoons and evenings over the river.

Then there was the exciting visit of five Great Egrets. We observed them flying down at the river with their long thin necks, stick-like legs, and long yellow beaks. This is the first time we’ve seen a group of egrets here in our Oregon neighborhood.

But, the most compelling visitor we had this month is the Cooper’s hawk. He’s been hunting at my bird feeder. Twice I watched him dive at the feeder as the little birds flew off in every direction. Afterwards, both times, he sat in the tree over the feeder, unsuccessful in capturing anyone. I was able to get a good look at him as he actually posed for a few photos. A rather large and handsome hawk, he sat and patiently waited for a long time before flying off.

window decal review 2020

It’s hard to capture them in a photo.

 

On another bird related note, I installed some window decals that are designed to alert birds and prevent bird strikes. Our living room has a HUGE picture window and it has been the scene of many bird strikes and deaths in the past. I purchased the Window Alert window decals in the hope of reducing the number of birds who run smack into our window glass. They were easy to adhere to the exterior of the window. I was worried that they would annoy me as I look out the window but I’m happy to say that I don’t even really notice them anymore.

Do they work? I can’t say they have eliminated ALL of the bird strikes from happening, but I have noted that the very few that still hit the window must see the decals and slow down enough that it isn’t a fatal collision. We haven’t had a single bird death since putting the Window Alert decals up.

I call that pretty successful. I purchased them at our local Wild Birds Unlimited store for $6.95. The package says to replace the decals every four months since the UV coating will eventually fade and not be as effective. I guess I’ll get another set next spring.

Here are a few more fun things we did outdoors this month.

fishing crooked river august 2020

We made a day trip to the Crooked River to have a picnic and go fishing.

Koosah falls oregon august 2020

We took a new hike at Sahalie and Koosah Falls. What a magnificent place to take a 3-mile hike alongside the McKenzie River. I think this is my top pick for a day hike here in Oregon.

lavender farm hood river july 2020

My daughter and I had an awesome time cutting lavender at the Hood River Lavender Farm. What great memories we made that day! It was a hot day and the scent of lavender was thick in the air. We tasted lavender lemonade for the first time and loved its refreshing flavor.

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Are you following me on Instagram? I post regularly about my garden, the Central Oregon habitat, and our adventures. If you add the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge to your Instagram posts, I’ll come visit your images!

Want to join in the Outdoor Mom post?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this month we went…
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting…
  • I added nature journal pages about…
  • One last image…

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

All members here on the Handbook of Nature Study have access to the 2020-2021 nature plan for the Outdoor Hour Challenge. Look for it in your library.