Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Nature Study: Bird Focus: The American Crow (Nature Study Challenge # 32)

To begin our study of birds, I asked the question, "If you were to go on a walk and see a bird and you wanted to come back home and describe this bird to someone, what things would you talk about to describe it?" They answered that they would talk about color, size, shape and habits. We focused on size today. I told them that if they could learn the size of three birds, this would be useful to use as a comparison to any bird they would want to describe. The American Crow is approximately 17 inches long  (measurement is from the beak to the tip of the tail), and is considered a large bird. The American Robin is about 8 inches long and is considered a medium bird and the House Sparrow is about 6 inches long and is considered a small bird. I made silhouette cut-outs of these three birds so that the boys could get a real sense of these sizes.

"The Crow has the keenest intelligence of all our common birds. It does good work for us and also does damage. We should study its ways before we pronounce judgemet, for in some localities it may be a true friend and some others an enemy."
-Handbook of Nature Study, page 126
We then began our study of the American Crow. We listened to its call from The Backyard Birdsong Book, and colored it's picture. We learned that it is entirely black -feathers, beak, and legs. The feathers do have a purple sheen to them, however. Both the males and females are entirely black, which is unusual. Usually the males and females have different coloration.

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