Birds Vol 1 #4 – Bird Day In The Schools

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

American Robin by Dan

American Robin by Dan

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)




IRD DAY! Have you heard of it? Whether you have or not, we wish to assure you that it is worthy the thoughtful consideration of all teachers, and of all others interested in protecting and preserving our sweet birds.

Bird day has already proved a great success in two cities of the United States, both in the enthusiasm shown by the children in their friendly study of birds and in the result of such study.

In 1894, Oil City, Pa., observed the day, and in 1896 it was celebrated in the schools of Fort Madison, Iowa.

Of the results in his schools, Supt. Babcock, of Oil City, says, “There has been a complete change in the relations existing between the small boy and the birds.”

Although we in Fort Madison have been engaged in bird study less than a year, and have observed but one BIRD DAY, results similar to those secured by Supt. Babcock are becoming manifest. Only a few days ago a boy said to his teacher, “I used to take pleasure in killing all kinds of birds. Now I don’t wish to harm even an English Sparrow.”

The object of BIRD DAY and the study that leads to it, is to diffuse a true knowledge of the aesthetic and practical value of birds and to arouse an interest in bird protection.

And it is high time that something be done. From all over the country come reports of a decrease in native birds. In many places some of our sweetest songsters and most useful insect destroyers have become very scarce or have disappeared entirely. The causes are many, but the greatest is an inexcusable thoughtlessness on the part of young and old of both sexes. Johnny teases for a gun. His fond parents get it for him. Result—Johnny shows his marksmanship by shooting several birds in his vicinity. Or, perhaps, the ladies need new hats. Nothing except birds for trimming will do, though ten thousand sweet songs be hushed forever.

The study of bird life is one of especial interest to children and if properly pursued will develop in them sympathetic characters that should make them kinder towards their playmates now and towards their fellow-men in the coming years.

Impress upon a child that

“He liveth best who loveth best
All things, both great and small,”

and you have built into his life something that shall shine forth in good deeds through countless ages.

And how go about this work? The limit of space allotted this article forbids a full answer. Briefly,—study the birds themselves. Get a boy aroused to a friendly, protective interest in one bird and you have probably made that boy a friend of all birds. If you are a teacher, take your little flock out early some bright, Spring morning and let them listen to the singing of their feathered brothers of the air. Call attention to their beauty and grace of form, plumage and movement. Watch them care for their little ones. Notice their nests—their happy little homes—those “halfway houses on the road to heaven,” and as you and your flock wander, watch and listen and call to mind that,

“’Tis always morning somewhere, and above
The awakening continents, from shore to shore,
Somewhere the birds are singing evermore.”

Let us, fellow teachers and fellow citizens of America, take up this work of bird study and bird protection. Let the schools teach it, the press print it, and the pulpit preach it, till from thousands of happy throats shall be proclaimed the glad tidings of good will of man towards the birds.

C. H. Morrill,
Supt. of Schools.
Fort Madison, Iowa.

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee

We are in receipt almost daily of letter inquiries for good literature on birds, and suitable exercises for Bird Day Programs.

It will be our purpose from time to time to suggest good works by the best authors.

We give below a list of publications that are especially fine, and shall be pleased to supply them at the list price, as indicated, or as premiums for subscribers to “BIRDS.”

“Birds Through an Opera Glass,” 75 cents, or two subscriptions.
“Bird Ways,” 60 cents, or two subscriptions.
“In Nesting Time,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“A Bird Lover of the West,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Upon the Tree Tops,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Wake Robin,” $1.00, or three subscriptions.
“Birds in the Bush,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“A-Birding on a Bronco,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Land Birds and Game Birds of New England,” $3.50, or eight subscriptions.
“Birds and Poets,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Bird Craft.”
“The Story of Birds,” 75 cents, or two subscriptions.
“Hand Book of Birds of Eastern North America,” $3.00, or seven subscriptions.

In numbers 70, 63, 4, 28 and 54 of the Riverside Series, published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co, may be found selections appropriate for Bird Day Programs, and in the “Intelligence,” of April 1, published by E. O. Vaile, Oak Park, Illinois, may be found some interesting exercises for Bird Day Programs. Copies of the paper may be obtained at eight cents.

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee 2009

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee 2009

Lee’s Addition:

Try getting subscriptions, magazines or books for those prices today. We all need to learn more about the birds and helping young children and youth to appreciate and care for the birds is very beneficial. As we know, we can learn from the birds, care about them and help preserve them. The photos of the kids were taken on a birdwatching trip in conjunction with a Bird Unit they were studying. I have a trip to the Zoo and 2 classroom lessons coming up in May and June about birds with young people. Don’t be afraid to share your hobby with our next generations.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)

According to Wikipedia, “Bird Day is the name of several holidays celebrating birds. The first such holiday was established by Charles Babcock, the Oil City superintendent of schools, in 1894.” From Holiday Insights,Bird Day is the oldest of the days set aside to recognize birds. According to the U.S. Library of Congress, Bird Day was first observed  on May 4, 1894. It was started by Charles Almanzo Babcock, superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania. By 1910, Bird Day was widely celebrated, often in conjunction with Arbor Day. Bird Day and Arbor Day events are focused upon conservation training and awareness.”

National Bird Day is an annual holiday with half a million adherents who celebrate through birdwatching, studying birds, bird drinking games including ‘bird date’ and other bird-related activities. Bird adoption is a particularly important National Bird Day activity.[5] According to the newspaper Atlanta Journal Constitution, many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds and by educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including their “screaming, biting, constant cleanups, the need for daily interaction and a varied diet”. National Bird Day takes place every year on the fifth day of the first month. (January 5th)

International Migratory Bird Day is a holiday dedicated to the celebration of migratory birds, and to conservation awareness. Originated by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, it is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of May in the United States and Canada. In most Latin American countries it is celebrated on the second Saturday in October; in Colombia it is celebrated in October, and Costa Rica celebrates in April.

There is also a proud tradition of Bird Day in the United Kingdom. For example, Scots celebrate their version of National Bird Day on January 22.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover


Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial for February 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited


(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The California Woodpecker

Previous Article – The American Cross Bill and The Legend 

Wordless Birds


Bird Day – Wikipedia

National Bird Day – Born Free

Bird Day, National Bird Day and Migratory Bird Day – Holiday Insights

Bird Day Activities for Kids

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

One thought on “Birds Vol 1 #4 – Bird Day In The Schools

  1. Pingback: Bird Watching with Kids

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