Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge Skunk Cabbage Nature Study

You may never have heard of this this week’s subject, skunk cabbage! Our family has encountered it on several hikes that have taken us along creeks and damp places. Keep your eyes on the look out for this rather large, green plant and the tell- tale flower and perhaps even the odor.

Just for Fun: Before you begin your study of skunk cabbage, ask your children why they think this plant is called skunk cabbage. Let them guess and throw out ideas. You might even add these ideas to your nature journal page.


Outdoor Hour Challenge Skunk Cabbage nature study

Skunk Cabbage

Image Credit: John Rusk

Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog but you’ll find the detailed challenge in the Forest Fun ebook that is available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, a coloring page, and notebook pages.

Forest Fun ebook cover graphic

We are working through the Forest Fun ebook which is a brand new series of nature studies featuring things you might find in the forest. It’s not too late to join us by purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist or Journey level membership.

Topics in this ebook include:


Skunk Cabbage


Common Raven

California Quail

Western Tanager

Black Bear





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If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 24 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!



Great Backyard Bird Count 2020-Resources and Printables

What? The Great Backyard Bird Count
When? February 14-17, 2020.
Who? Anyone around the world!
How? Count birds in your yard and at your feeders. Report the data to the Great Backyard Bird Count.


Need some more information?
Great Backyard Bird Count

Video: Great Backyard Bird Count

Get prepared with printable checklists for your area…by zip code or town name.

Our family is going to be counting and I’ll share our results here on the blog soon!


>>>>>Here is our bird list results from 2019: Great Backyard Bird Count Results 2019

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter January 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy button

Additional Resource: Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter from January 2016.

If you’re a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you have access to the archives of newsletters, including the one noted above. I invite you to download this edition that features bird nature study ideas.


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Top Ten Birds Reported in the Great Backyard Bird Count=

Great Place to Start for Beginners

1. Northern Cardinal

2. Mourning Dove

3. Dark Eyed Junco

4. Downy Woodpecker

5. American Crow

6. House Finch

7. American Goldfinch

8. Blue Jay

9. Black Capped Chickadee

10. Tufted Titmouse

 This is a great beginner’s list of birds to know and be able to identify. Use the links above to take a peek at these common birds that may be visitors to your neighborhood. Make sure to scroll down to the “similar species” section for each bird and that will give you additional birds to look for if you don’t have that particular bird in your neighborhood. Also, reading the “Backyard Tips” and “Find This Bird” sections will give you some clues and hints for actually viewing this bird in person.

If you want to start keeping a list of birds you observe, you may wish to visit this entry on:

10 Ideas for a Bird Life List.

Download and save the Cornell Feeder Bird coloring book. This book has many of the most common birds you will see in your backyard and it makes a perfect complement to your family’s bird nature study.

Nature Book Club Egg and Nest Study @handbookofnaturestudy

I wrote about the book Birds, Nests, and Eggs as part of the Nature Book Club. You may wish to click over and read that entry and use the printables available in that entry for additional study.

New Printables for Members – Antlers, Horns, and Panting

Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:

1. Antlers and Horns Notebook Page: Have you ever researched the difference between antlers and horns? This notebook page will be a perfect place to record your findings.

2. Panting in Mammals Notebook Page: Here is your chance to look into why animals pant and then put your information down in your nature journal.

(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.

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