Book Studies

Nests & Eggs ~ Intro & Free eBook

Nests and Eggs of Birds of the United States by Gentry is a free eBook that provides a unique look at birds in their natural setting. Part of our free bird studies.

Nests and Eggs of Birds of the United States by Thomas G. Gentry is a free eBook written in the 1800s that provides a unique look at the nests and eggs of birds in their natural setting.

Although he spent hours studying the species of birds he painted, renowned ornithologist, James J. Audubon, was criticized for not using live specimens of birds in their national environment. In 1882, Thomas G. Gentry relied upon Audubon’s work (among others’) to create a book that pictures birds’ nests and eggs in their natural environment — including the bird itself in most cases.

The aim of the author has been to present a short, plain and detailed account of the habits of each species described, from the time of its arrival, if a migrant, until its retirement to the South in the fall. In the case of resident birds, he has been particular to give their winter history in addition to that of the breeding season, in the same orderly and continuous manner as is apparent in his descriptions of their more migratory brethren. The presentation of the events in regular sequence, if great care be not taken, is sure to lead to monotony. This he has tried to avoid, but how well he has succeeded, he defers to the judgment of his readers.

Thomas G. Gentry, Nests and Eggs

Inside this large, 550-page work are fifty beautiful color plates that in “life-like colors” depict birds representative of those found in the United States.

The book is written to older students and adults. As a result, the associated text is not the easiest to read, but it does contain helpful information.

Our new book study uses Nests and Eggs as the basis for studying 50 birds. We have created a set of free notebooking pages for each bird using the beautiful color illustrations found in the book. As we work through the book, we will also link to other books and resources suitable for the younger reader.

We will be covering a new bird each week. Since there are 50 birds to be covered, this project will take us through about this time next year!

Free eBook
Suggestions
  • Print out one plate of a bird common to your area to study each week.
  • Read the description in the book of the bird’s habits, or use the other recommended resources to learn more about the bird.
  • Create a notebooking page for the bird (or use the free notebooking sets as we make them available).
  • Include written narrations in the notebook. (Or try one of these 30 narration ideas for variety.)
  • Sketch the bird. This encourages attention to detail, which will aid in identifying the bird later on.
  • Sketch the nest of the bird, along with the eggs. Note where the nest is usually found.
  • Older students can include the taxonomy listed in the book.
Additional Resources

All About Birds
Great site from Cornell that includes helps for bird identification, range map, habitat, song, and frequently videos.

Hunting Birds With Eyes and Camera
Part of our free nature study series, loads of resources here!

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Nests & Eggs Cover Notebooking Page
Cover for the project.

Bird Diagram
Reference for notebook.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style.

Enjoy the entire series: