We started The Burgess Bird Book this past week with Jenny Wren. Jenny is a common House Wren.
I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever identified a Wren before, even though they are common over most of the Western Hemisphere. As we read the book and learned more about Wrens, we realized where we need to focus our attention in order to try and find some. *Update- we were so excited to find a pair of House Wrens in one of the nesting houses in the midst of our trees- it has been such a delight to hear them in the morning and throughout the day “scolding with all their might” 7/29/2022
When I was working on the Burgess Bird Coloring Pages, I spent a lot of time drawing specific details. Birds seem similar from far away, but when you start to focus closely on their characteristics, you find they are really very different. Our coloring pages try and help careful students to spend time coloring these characteristics on paper in order to be able to remember their patterns and characteristics while in the field. Darker feather patterns are drawn with darker outlines to show the student where to notice these dark browns, blacks, or grays.
On our Burgess days, my Form 1 students, aged 5 and 7 sit coloring their coloring pages while I read the book aloud. We hear the description that Burgess describes for us, and we go to allaboutbirds.org to see it for ourselves. Our favorite book to work from is from The Burgess Bird Book from Living Books Press because it includes full color pictures of each of the birds and includes their scientific names. It’s such a helpful book to work from as we enjoy studying the birds together.
Here is what we found out about Jenny Wren using the sources above:
Jenny Wren: House Wren
Size & Shape: Small and Compact, with a long-curved beak. Short winged.
Color Pattern: Dark barring on wings and tail. Pale eyebrow.
Behavior: Look for House Wrens hopping quickly through tangles.
Something you didn’t know: The House Wren has one of the largest ranges of any songbird in the New World!
All About Birds is also a great resource for older students to use when filling in the writing part of our coloring pages. It includes so much information for each of the birds and gives interesting facts, backyard tips, and ID info. After reading that wrens like brush piles that attract insects, we made sure to pile our garden clippings onto our brush pile in the back this weekend. Another identifying characteristic is Jenny Wren’s long, curved beak- perfect for an insect eater. Burgess describes her as having a sharp, scolding tongue: “And, when you scold you scold with all your might,” interrupted Peter mischievously.”
If you’re interested in seeing our coloring and writing pages for the book, you can find them here:
Until next week, look out for Jenny Wren among the bramble, <3 Kate
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