Bronx Zoo: Connecting People to Wild Nature

Bowie and Zoey's Fantastic Fun-Filled Field Journal

In our first-ever interactive children's book, your hosts Bowie and Zoey will take you behind the scenes and back in time to meet the Galapagos tortoise babies of the World of Reptiles and their ancestors from Isabella Island. Watch videos of the babies, read fun facts about their daily lives, take a turtle quiz, and learn how to create your own field journal.

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Creating Your First Field Journal

Keeping a field journal is a good way to discover new things about your favorite animals. Our first field trip was at the Bronx Zoo, but you can keep a journal even if you are just observing the creatures in your backyard or in a park. In your journal, you'll record what you see. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make guesses about the meaning of what you observe. When you get home, do a little research in a book or online to investigate further.


1. Pick a location and a subject.
Pick a spot where you'll be able to spend lots of time. Try to visit at different times of the day. This will help give you a full picture of your animal's various behaviors, moods, and likes and dislikes. If it's the winter, an indoor zoo exhibit may be the perfect place to hunker down!

2. Jot down the basics.
To begin each entry, write down your location (such as World of Reptiles), the name of the animal you have chosen to watch, the date, and the time. If you are outdoors, jot down the temperature and weather conditions, too.

3. Make observation notes.
Describe what the animal looks like. If you are watching a group of animals, do you see differences in their sizes or markings? Write down what they are doing, like feeding, climbing, or sniffing each other. Try to be specific. If they are interacting with each other, describe how. Does it seem friendly, or are they making trouble?

4. Add your comments and questions.
Use what you know about the animal to help explain what you are seeing. Also write down what you don't know—later, you can ask an expert about the questions that came up, or look them up at the library or online.

5. Make sketches or take photos.
Be sure to take a camera or some colored pencils along, so you can document what you se. Feel free to draw in the margins!


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Plan a Winter Zoo Visit


Come in from the cold and experience one of the Bronx Zoo's hidden treasures. Just inside the Reptile House, after you pass by the Nursery window, you'll meet our growing Galapagos tortoise babies, the crew featured in Bowie and Zoey's Fabulous, Fun-Filled Field Journal.

You can also warm up with wildlife inside the steamy rainforests of JungleWorld, where gibbons swing through the trees and fire-bellied toads creep along the forest floor. Over on Astor Court, Madagascar! transports you to one of the wildest corners of the planet, where you can come face-to-face with giant Nile crocodiles and tiny tenrecs.

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Tortoises, Tigers, and the Wildlife Conservation Society

In the 1800s, sailors on whaling ships captured great numbers of Galapagos tortoises for food. They were almost extinct when WCS conservationists set up a breeding program on the Galapagos Islands to help the tortoises recover. The little ones in Bowie & Zoey's book are the grandbabies of the ones the field scientists saved.

Today, the Wildlife Conservation Society continues to help species in trouble, like tigers in Asia and forest elephants in Africa. Help us continue to save wildlife.

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