Anatomy of a Bird

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by Kinderfarmhomeschool.comImage by WordSwag

Anatomy of a Bird: an activity for children of all ages. In this activity, children will learn all about birds. Feel free to stay on the surface or consider taking a week or more to go as deep as you desire in your learning.

  • Supplies:
  • Throughout the week memorize Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
  • Go on a walk or sit quietly in your favorite backyard or garden space and take pictures or draw a bird(s). Consider using Sibley Field Guide to BirdsLaws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, and Nature Anatomy as resources as desired.
  • Label each part of the bird. Discuss the function of each part.  (Example: the bird uses it’s eyes for seeing.) Record a younger child’s explanations/dictations as needed.
  • Place the page or pages in a protector when finished and include them in the garden notebook/journal.
  • For an older child: have them write about the function of each part. You can find more details about how birds are built on the Cornell Lab Bird Academy site. (Please note that Cornell University takes an evolutionary point of view.)
  • Have your older child draw the life cycle of a bird. You can find another resource here.

  • For additional learning: include pictures you have taken or pictures from magazines of familiar backyard birds and secure these pictures with glue or tape in your garden notebook/journal. Use your Sibley Guide for help in identifying these birds. Include any important information:  their habitats, their foods, and their behaviors.
  • Read the book:
  • Discuss feathers: What are they used for? What are they made of?
  • Feel free to add poems, memories, or quotes about birds to your garden journal as well.
  • Place the page(s) in a protector when finished and include them in the garden notebook/journal.
  • Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.
I Heard a Bird Sing
by Oliver Herford
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
“We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
From Welcome Christmas! A Garland of Poems (Viking Press, 1955).
This poem is now in the public domain.
Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter
by Robert Frost
The west was getting out of gold,
The breath of air had died of cold,
When shoeing home across the white,
I thought I saw a bird alight.In summer when I passed the place
I had to stop and lift my face;
A bird with an angelic gift
Was singing in it sweet and swift.No bird was singing in it now.
A single leaf was on a bough,
And that was all there was to see
In going twice around the tree.From my advantage on a hill
I judged that such a crystal chill
Was only adding frost to snow
As gilt to gold that wouldn’t show.A brush had left a crooked stroke
Of what was either cloud or smoke
From north to south across the blue;
A piercing little star was through.
Within My Garden, Rides a Bird

by Emily Dickinson

Within my Garden, rides a Bird
Upon a single Wheel —
Whose spokes a dizzy Music make
As ’twere a travelling Mill —

He never stops, but slackens
Above the Ripest Rose —
Partakes without alighting
And praises as he goes,

Till every spice is tasted —
And then his Fairy Gig
Reels in remoter atmospheres —
And I rejoin my Dog,

And He and I, perplex us,
If positive, ’twere we —
Or bore the Garden in the Brain
This Curiosity —

But He, the best Logician,
Refers my clumsy eye —
To just vibrating Blossoms!
An Exquisite Reply!

The Hummingbird

by Harry Kemp

The sunlight speaks.  And it’s voice is a bird:

It glitters half-guessed half seen half-heard

Above the flower bed. Over the lawn …

A flashing dip and it is gone.

And all it lends to the eye is this —

A sunbeam giving the air a kiss.