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Did you know 2018 has been the Year of the Bird (official website)?

2018 was designated as the Year of the Bird as a way to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As their final event event of the year, the organizers are calling on people to share their love of birds. To participate, we're going to explore a variety of exciting new children's books about birds this week.

  The amazing books about birds featured this week, many with related activity suggestions:

  1.  Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends (reviewed below)
  2. Tuesday's post: Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Brian Floca
  3. Wednesday's post: Bird Builds a Nest (picture book) and Warblers & Woodpeckers (for young adults and adults)
  4. Thursday's post - Fly With Me: A Celebration of Birds through Pictures, Poems, and Stories by Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple
  5. Friday's post - learn about migration with the picture book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine

Hope you and your family enjoy them.

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If you are a regular follower of the blog, you'll know we've mentioned the Great Backyard Bird Count many times, but have missed the Christmas Bird Count (December 14, 2018 - January 5, 2019). Let's rectify that oversight.

The new picture book, Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends (Young Naturalist) by Heidi E.Y. Stemple and illustrated by Clover Robin, explains how Frank Chapman started the count on Christmas Day 1900. (Counting Birds was nominated for a 2018 Cybils Award.)

We should say right up front that this is not a counting book, although there are plenty of birds in the illustrations to see and identify if the reader should want.

Instead, it is a combination of biography and explanation of the event. After giving a brief overview of ornithologist Frank Chapman's life and how he came up with Christmas Count idea, author Stemple describes how the it works.

She explains that all birds are counted:

Creepers, thrashers, bufflehead, brant, and bobwhites.
All birds are welcome.

And anyone can count, even those who are housebound:

Not all birdwatchers are in the field. Some count the birds that visit their backyard feeders.

All birders are welcome.

She also reveals the importance of the data that is collected in helping researchers understand and protect all kinds of birds around the world.

Counting Birds is a wonderful way to introduce young readers to bird watching and annual bird counts. Take part in the Year of the Bird and share a copy today.

Activity Suggestions

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is now free and open to anyone. Learn how to join here. But hurry, it starts Friday, December 14, 2018.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up February 15-18, 2019.

In the mean time, brush up on your bird identification skills at the sites in this list.  I always have trouble with the woodpeckers, sapsuckers, and flickers. What about you?

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: Seagrass Press (October 2, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1633226042
ISBN-13: 978-1633226043

Don't forget our growing list of books for young birdwatchers at Science Books for Kids.

Disclosure: This book was provided electronically for the Cybils contest review. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.