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Category: Nature Study

Just wanted to share Satori’s new bird journal which we’ll be using as we read The Burgess Bird Book for Children.  You may notice below that she re-did some of her words and drawings, I put on a white sticker so she could redo them (just in case you’re wondering why 3 parts look strange). The below binder will house information about the birds we’re learning in the book.  We should actually make a new cover page.

Each chapter I’m printing out several bird photos of the bird we’re studying.

Then if we find a bird coloring page we’ll do that first while taking care to notice that bird’s particular markings. I’m taking one  of your suggestions and also printing off a fact list, map, and other helpful stuff. Even if she can’t read it all this year, one day she’ll look back and read it all with pride. 🙂

Here is Satori’s very first drawing, it is Jenny the House Wren.


This is Bully the House Sparrow. I blurted out that it looked more like a turkey, so she didn’t want it in her book. I gave her a quick bird anatomy/drawing lesson and she wanted to try again.

Here’s her second attempt of which she is more proud. She traced a drawing I had printed out, then used black marker to outline it. Finally, colored it in with her Lyra Ferby pencils.

I thought it would be cool if both Satori and I could draw realistic looking birds, so we’re doing a quick study of simple bird anatomy. I printed off this “Parts of a Bird” PDF page several times, and we’ll refer to it several times until the parts of a bird become second nature. Hopefully being familiar with the parts of a bird will help both of us draw future birds.

Here’s a interactive Bird Anatomy page that deserves a look! After  you play with that page, surf around for more fun stuff.

I also started printing off bird photos. These are all 4″x4″ and then laminated. On the bag are stickers with some facts about the bird.

Finally, another great idea I got from you readers is a bird tree to post these birds on! I’m still thinking about how to do this. Of course once it’s up we’ll share the pictures!

A Burgess Bird Book Companion

I’ve put together a list of resources to complement this fantastic book. This companion document is not affiliated with the Burgess Bird Book for Children, it is simply a handy reference to list related links. I’ve linked to the top bird identification sites and to free coloring pages. I couldn’t resist looking up the Audubon plush birds with sound calls, we have a few in our collection.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children by Thornton W. Burgess – This book is in the public domain and I’ve provided links to read the entire story free online, which you can print out or read on-screen, as well as links to an audio recording. If you want a physical copy of the book, the link above will take you to a newly illustrated, full-color version. There is also a Kindle version for your iPad/Kindle, which has B&W illustrations.

Each chapter describes a story about Peter Rabbit and the birds that live around him. The chapter covers two birds on average. Children will learn their physical appearance, characteristics, eating and nesting habits, behavior, songs, and calls.


Chapter List

  1. Jenny Wren Arrives
  2. The Old Orchard Bully
  3. Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows
  4. Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty
  5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed
  6. An Old Friend in a New Home
  7. The Watchman of the Old Orchard
  8. Old Clothes and Old Houses
  9. Longbill and Teeter
  10. Redwing and Yellow Wing
  11. Drummers and Carpenters
  12. Some Unlike Relatives
  13. More of the Blackbird Family
  14. Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark
  15. A Swallow and One Who Isn’t
  16. A Robber in the Old Orchard
  17. More Robbers
  18. Some Homes in the Green Forest
  19. A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black
  20. A Fisherman Robbed
  21. A Fishing Party
  22. Some Feathered Diggers
  23. Some Big Mouths
  24. The Warblers Arrive
  25. Three Cousins Quite Unlike
  26. Peter Gets a Lame Neck
  27. A New Friend and an Old One
  28. Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat
  29. The Constant Singers
  30. Jenny Wren’s Cousins
  31. Voices of the Dusk
  32. Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something
  33. A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester
  34. Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo
  35. A Butcher and a Hummer
  36. A Stranger and a Dandy
  37. Farewells and Welcomes
  38. Honker and Dippy Arrive
  39. Peter Discovers Two Old Friends
  40. Some Merry Seed-eaters
  41. More Friends Come with the Snow
  42. Peter Learns Something About Spooky
  43. Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill
  44. More Folks in Bed
  45. Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters

1. Jenny Wren Arrives

“Introducing the House Wren”


2. The Old Orchard Bully

“The English or House Sparrow”

3. Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows

“The Song, White-throated and Fox Sparrows”


4. Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty

“The Chipping, Vesper, and Tree Sparrows”


5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

“The Bluebird and a Robin”

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6. An Old Friend in a New Home

“The Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher”

7. The Watchman of the Old Orchard

“The Kingbird and the Great Crested Flycatcher”

8. Old Clothes and Old Houses

“The Wood Pewee and Some Nesting Places”

9. Longbill and Teeter

“The Woodcock and the Spotted Sandpiper”
  • Handbook of Nature Study – Woodcock pg 136; Spotted Sandpiper pg 142

10. Redwing and Yellow Wing

“The Red-winged Blackbird and the Golden-winged Flicker”

11. Drummers and Carpenters

“The Downy, Hairy, and Red-Headed Woodpeckers”

12. Some Unlike Relatives

“The Cowbird and the Baltimore Oriole”

13. More of the Blackbird Family

“The Orchard Oriole and the Bobolink”

14. Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark

“The So-called Quail and the Meadow Lark”

15. A Swallow and One Who Isn’t

“The Tree Swallow and the Chimney Swift”

16. A Robber in the Old Orchard

“The Purple Martin and the Barn Swallow”

17. More Robbers

“The Crow and the Blue Jay”

18. Some Homes in the Green Forest

“The Crow, the Oven Bird, and the Redtailed Hawk”

19. A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black

“The Ruffed Grouse and the Crow Blackbird”

20. A Fisherman Robbed

“The Osprey and the Bald-headed Eagle”

21. A Fishing Party

“The Great Blue Heron and the Kingfisher”

22. Some Feathered Diggers

“The Bank Swallow, the Kingfisher, and the Sparrow Hawk”

23. Some Big Mouths

“The Nighthawk, the Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will’s-widow”

24. The Warblers Arrive

“The Redstart and the Yellow Warbler”

25. Three Cousins Quite Unlike

“The Black and White Warbler, the Maryland Yellow-Throat and the Yellow-Breasted Chat”

26. Peter Gets a Lame Neck

“The Parula, Myrtle and Magnolia Warblers”

27. A New Friend and an Old One

“The Cardinal and the Catbird”

28. Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat

“The Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the Scarlet Tanager”

29. The Constant Singers

“The Red-Eyed, Warbling, and Yellow-throated Vireos”

30. Jenny Wren’s Cousins

“The Brown Thrasher and the Mockingbird”
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31. Voices of the Dusk

“The Wood, Hermit and Wilson’s Thrushes”
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32. Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something

“The Towhee and the Indigo Bunting”
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33. A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester

“The Purple Linnet and the Goldfinch”
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34. Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo

“The Mourning Dove and the Yellow-billed Cuckoo”
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35. A Butcher and a Hummer

“The Shrike and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird”
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36. A Stranger and a Dandy

“The English Starling and the Cedar Waxwing”
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37. Farewells and Welcomes

“The Chickadee”
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38. Honker and Dippy Arrive

“The Canada Goose and the Loon”
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39. Peter Discovers Two Old Friends

“The White-breasted Nuthatch and the Brown Creeper”
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40. Some Merry Seed-eaters

“The Tree Sparrow and the Junco”
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41. More Friends Come with the Snow

“The Snow Bunting and the Horned Lark”
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42. Peter Learns Something About Spooky

“The Screech Owl”

43. Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill

“The Ruffed Grouse and the Crossbills””
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44. More Folks in Bed

“The Pine Grosbeak and the Redpoll”
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45. Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters

“The Goshawk and the Great Horned Owl”
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