Skip to content

Grab a pencil, some paper, and a little bit of inspiration and get to drawing because this is the time to celebrate Draw a Picture of a Bird Day!

History of Draw A Picture of a Bird Day

Draw a Picture of a Bird Day actually has a history that dates back more than seven decades and the day has a beautiful origin story. In 1943, during World War II, a seven-year-old girl named Dorie Cooper visited her uncle, who was a wounded soldier in a hospital in England. While she was there, she asked him to draw a bird as she thought it might help to cheer him up and lighten his mood.

Although Dorie laughed at the picture of the bird her uncle had drawn and declared him not such a great artist, it did accomplish the task of cheering him up. And because he shared the story with his fellow wounded soldiers, many of them also began holding contests for drawing pictures of birds. They would have them hung about the hospital ward so that all the walls were covered within a few months. It not only cheered up Dorie’s uncle, but many other soldiers as well!

Tragically, Dorie was killed in an automobile accident just three years later. And because the story of Dorie’s inspiration had been told, there were many drawings and pictures of birds at her funeral, brought by soldiers, nurses, doctors and others.

Draw a Picture of a Bird Day was first celebrated on Dorie’s birthday, April 8th, in 1947, the year following her death. Since then, the day has been celebrated each year to not only commemorate the impact that Dorie made on the lives of wounded soldiers, but also to encourage others to live out her example of encouragement to those around her.

By 2011, the annual celebration of Draw a Picture of a Bird Day had made its way to social media and had even gained its own website and hashtag.

How to Celebrate Draw a Picture of a Bird Day

Pencil, pen, felt tip or chalk, Draw a Picture of a Bird Day is great fun for everyone. It’s very straightforward: simply draw a picture of a bird in tribute to our feathered friends, but if you fancy some diversity there’s actually a wide range of options. Try some of these ideas for celebrating the day:

Draw a Picture of a Bird

Will you draw a chicken or a chaffinch? Perhaps a peacock, penguin or puffin? For those who would prefer to draw a goose, will it be of the Canadian, Red-breasted, Woods-walking or Spur-winged variety? And you’d be amazed by how many types of hawk there are prowling the skies!

Anyone looking for reference images of birds can find a pretty extensive list of birds by common name on Wikipedia.

Share the Day with Friends and Family

For those who would rather just have a bit of fun and get arty, why not share this occasion of Draw a Picture of a Bird Day with friends, family and coworkers? Perhaps it would be fun to have a competition to see who can draw the best or funniest bird. Make a point to cover the fridge in sketches. Find a chalkboard and create a beautiful aerial scene of spiraling swifts and swallows. Or simply pop a little cartoon birdy on your hand and introduce it to strangers on the bus.

Try Using Some Bird Drawing Books

Folks who are interested in learning more about how to draw birds in honor of Draw a Picture of a Bird Day might want to check out some books from the local bookstore or library. Of course, YouTube tutorials are also a nice option for step by step video instructions.

For books, try some titles such as these:

  • Drawing Birds by John Busby (2004)
  • Drawing Birds with Colored Pencils by Kaaren Poole (2008)
  • The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds by John Muir Laws (2012)
  • Drawing Cute Birds in Colored Pencil by Ai Akikusa (2016)

Also on ...

View all holidays

National Zoo Lovers Day

Gather some friends and family and appreciate the incredible animals of the world by visiting, donating to, or volunteering at your local Zoological Garden.

View all holidays

We think you may also like...

-

Big Garden Birdwatch

With a pair of binoculars and a keen eye, you can spot beautiful feathered creatures, adding joy to your day.

National Draw a Dinosaur Day

A whole species of animals that once roamed the earth, but have been extinct for many thousands of years, represents the mystery of the world that existed prior to humankind.

RSPB Feed the Birds Day

Inviting feathered friends with small outdoor dining spaces, fostering wildlife connections, and adding nature's charm to your surroundings.

Calendar