Winter Bird Nature Study

2554230385_267cdef370_mOur next challenge from the Handbook of Nature Study’s Outdoor Hour Challenge  – More Nature Study Book 2 is – Winter Bird – Chickadee .

On the first notebook pages of the Winter series – a question was asked to the boys  – What do you hope to learn this winter about these topics?  Jon’s question: “Why do the birds only hop and never walk.” 

We’ve spent literally hours watching the Oregon Juncos, various Sparrows, Varied Thrush, Towee, Blue Jay, and any other wandering birds at our feeders.  Since he’s asked the question, we’ve spent focused time looking at their legs, how them move, how they hop. They have a sort of wing supported hop. Quick wing action, like they aren’t even hopping –but “flying just a bit” to move. We observe the pecking order, and know that when a certain species appear, others fly away, some can be there at the same time, others not so much. No one likes Stellar Blue Jay, he gets to eat alone. When looking up the question on the internet – we learned that it thought to be an energy conservation and safety awareness combination.  I think of a player on a basketball court. or Volleyball.  Always on the toes, knees bent, arms out. Always ready to move, always alert of the field. Ready to defend, ready to grab the ball, ready to run. I’m not sure I’ll look at the deck quite the same again – than to see a cute little Birdie Basketball game going on.  The boys watched some funny bird videos from tropical areas watching the Moon Dance and such – funny.





We are really enjoying the extra effort that has been put into the older notebooking pages. Jon still enjoys the more basic page – he is a drawer, observer, talker.  Nate enjoys the teen page – he is a thinker, digger, explorer, writer. I love notebooking. Have I said that?


P1030177We didn’t find any information in our field guides in regards to their hopping – here is the pile that you see strewn across the table.




I was going to make it a separate post – but since y’all are here – Here are our feeder birds.












I had over a hundred, cut down to 35, cut down to these. Mostly through our rain soaked window – This is just a foot away from my chair and my laptop, so I get to watch them a lot. Jon found this stick, it has many holes drilled into it, probably from Northern Flickers , and it makes a very nice birdfeeder! We have a hanging feeder, but with 80 mph winds, we took it down!

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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5 Responses to Winter Bird Nature Study

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am going to borrow the log bird feeder idea as well if you don’t mind:) The holes in mine will probably be made by my happy young boys, though, who would love to chop up a log!

  2. zonnah says:

    I had to laugh at the amount of pictures you took because I did the exact same thing recently through our window 🙂

  3. Tricia says:

    Gorgeous birds (love the log bird feeder!) and a wonderful study. Beautiful snow pictures 🙂

  4. Sara says:

    Love the photos! What are the orange birds? We don’t see those in Coastal Virginia…

  5. Since you all posted the question about birds hopping vs walking, I have been observing our birds. The only ones that seem to be “walking” are the mourning doves and they bob and waddle but no hopping.
    I am going to have Mr. B do some research on this same topic and see what he comes up with because it is interesting to see the design in our backyard birds.
    I loved seeing all your feeder birds and I do love the log turned feeder….I must find a log of our own for that as well.
    Thanks for always sharing such interesting things with the OHC.

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