Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Spring Bird Study

We have been watching the Red-Winged Blackbirds eating at our backyard bird feeder and listening to them too, near our house and at the farmer's field.

As part of our ongoing nature study, we decided to find out more about these particular birds. The Handbook of Nature Study has a couple of pages (pg 117 to 119) on this particular type. The Red-Winged Blackbird male is one of the earliest visitors in the spring in our area, the female comes a few weeks later. The male is mostly black with red and yellow on the epaulets, while the female is mostly brown.

I read the pages aloud from the Handbook of Nature Study and discussed our observations together, using some of the questions from the lesson on page 119. I find these questions are a great starting point to get our conversations going, but I wouldn't try to use every single question available!

We found the Red-Winged Blackbird in the Feeder Birds Colouring Book by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and National Audubon Society and used it on our notebook page instead of sketching the bird this time.

We also listened to its song on our Backyard Birdsong Guide (from Cornell) and online as well at the All About Birds site.

We went for a walk near our house and could hear a lot of birds. I took a short video and you can hear the Red-Winged Blackbirds in it, along with a few other birds, and our dog panting too!

Barb at Handbook of Nature Study Blog has excellent suggestions for doing this Spring Bird Study


  1. Very encouraging report! I'm having a hard time narrowing down which birds to study- I think - like usual - I'll just go out with the boys and wait to hear what they see. :)

  2. Very nice, as per usual...we are behind ont his lol. We never see those Red-Winged Blackbirds around here, they look so nice.

  3. I think we enjoy a few of the suggestions questions and ideas for study each time we come back to a particular subject. If you go over a few from the HNS this time, then the next time you want to spend a little time on the blackbird, you will have some fresh material. I have learned over the last few years that our nature study builds each time we visit a topic.

    Thanks for the video and I immediately recognize the red winged blackbird! That is one I actually know for sure.

    Have a great week.


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