"The Birds" Study Guide Name:
1. Who is the main character? Describe this person.
2. Describe the setting.
3. What is the first unusual thing Nat notices about the birds flocking around Mr. Trigg's tractor?
4. What two ominous events occur when Nat first opens his bedroom window to investigate the tapping sound?
5. What is a black winter?
6. Why do you think the phrase "black winter" is mentioned numerous times?
7. How do the tides relate to the bird attacks?
8. When Nat tells Mrs. Trigg about the birds, how does she respond?
9. What advice does the radio announcer give to homeowners?
10. Identify four times in the story when Nat shows that he is protective.
11. In this story du Maurier sometimes seems critical of people and of the way they respond to disaster. Find
examples in the short story of characters a) responding ignorantly, b) endangering themselves or others,
c) acting heroically, and d. acting ambivalent to the entire situation. Do you think this is how people really
12. List five details that suggest that an evil force might be directing the birds to turn against people. What do
you imagine this force could be?
13. Why do the women remain nameless throughout the story?
14. Think about other threats posed by nature. Why do you think du Maurier chose birds to be the attackers in
15. Do you think birds could turn on us like this? Why or why not?