Outdoor Hour Challenge
Summer Series #5 Owls
Train Your Senses
- Sight: Look for signs of owls: nesting sites, owl pellets. Observe the owl’s eyes, ears, beak, feathers, claws. Keep your eyes out for birds all summer and try to study at least one bird for your nature journal.
- Hearing: Listen for the screech and hoot of owls. See if you can hear an owl snap its beak. Listen for other bird’s songs.
- Touch: Feel the feathers of an owl or other bird if you get a chance at a museum or zoo.
Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 100 to 103 (Screech Owl, Lesson 26). Make note of any interesting facts as you read for future reference. Listen to the owl’s song on AllAboutBirds.org: Western Screech Owl and Eastern Screech Owl.
2. Read in Discover Nature at Sundown pages 40 to 65 (reference to evolution). This section on owls is packed with interesting information, maps, and instructions for additional activities. Pages 59 to 63 outline a study using regurgitated owl pellets that you dissect to discover what the owl has eaten.
Owl Pellets for a dissection activity.
Outdoor Hour Time:
Spend your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time this week looking and listening for birds. Try some birding at different times of day and if you are in an area that has owls, plan on spending some time outdoors listening and watching for these magnificent birds. Use AllAboutBirds.org to identify any owl songs you hear, either hoots or screeches. Also, if in the course of your week you find another bird that you are interested in learning more about, please take a few minutes to do some observations of that bird as well.
Remember that we are trying to learn to use more of our sense in our nature study and keep the suggestions above in mind when you are outside at any time this week. Birds can be seen just about anywhere: bird feeder, birdbath, ponds, parks, beaches, in trees, flying over your house, and places that you go each day. Although the focus this week is to learn a little more about owls, you can show interest in any bird that you come across this week.
Complete the owl pellet dissection if you have collected or purchased one for this challenge. Follow the directions that come with your pellet and record your findings in your nature journal.
Here is a free online chart of bones you might find in a pellet and some additional free instructions. You can watch a virtual owl pellet dissection HERE.
- Free set of owl notebook pages and dissection notebook page on NotebookingFairy.com.
There are two notebook pages provided with the ebook, one for the owl and one for any bird you decide to study. You can also record your observations and thoughts in your blank nature journal if you wish. Extra coloring pages for six different owls can be found HERE.
If you would like all the Summer Series Challenges in one place, I have an ebook gathered for you to purchase for your convenience. Here is a link to a complete description:
Summer Series of Outdoor Hour Challenges