Impromptu Nature Studies – Feather Identification

An ordinary afternoon of playing in the unseasonably warm temperatures allows for much discovery and learning. Impromptu nature studies are one of our favorite parts of homeschooling. There is nothing like taking an afternoon to explore and see what you can find. With no homework to occupy their afternoons and evenings, nature is a big part of my kids lives. They would rather be outside than inside on any day. While I cannot be with them all the time since Sugar Plum needs naps and warmth, they bring their stories and discoveries to me. We have a special area they can put their treasures and we can dig a little deeper! Their interest and love of nature continues to grow because this freedom to explore is abundant.

impromptu nature studies - feather identification
photo courtesy of Sunshine

impromptu nature studies - feather identification

Yesterday, Sunshine was exploring outside and came in with many beautiful treasures. One of her favorite things to find are rocks and feathers. Both of which she had found yesterday. Upon showing me, she immediately wanted to know what type of bird they came from. We studied the type of feather, she described it to me and we looked very closely at what we thought initially were spots, but were actually bars of black. After a lot of searching in books, and online databases we discovered that they belonged to a snowy owl.

Photo from Missouri Dept of Conservation - http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/snowy-owl
Photo from Missouri Dept of Conservation – http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/snowy-owl

She was beyond excited to know we had a snowy owl near our house. We did more research on the snowy owl and listened to his call so that she may be able to identify it later.

We are taking a nature walk today to begin our study of pine trees, but we will also be searching for a snowy owl while we explore.

I love that our nature studies can take place anytime, anywhere and my kids have the desire to find and explore in nature. Nature studies are such a great way to learn about our world. Those impromptu nature studies are even more exciting because they are discoveries of treasure, unexpected and beautiful!

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