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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.

One of our favorite bird-related activities, the Great Backyard Bird Count, is coming up this weekend,  February 16-19, 2018.

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a prime example of a child-friendly citizen science project. All you and your family need to do is count the birds you see over 15 minutes and then report your finding. Although it is called "backyard," you may count birds anywhere they are found, including parks, preserves, or fields. There is plenty of information and instructions about getting started at the website.

Are you a bird photographer? There is also a photo contest.

Related Activities:

Looking for children's books about birds?

1. Check out Taking Flight: a List of Children’s Books About Bird Migration at Science Books for Kids

Taking-Flight-childrens-books-about-bird-migration-300x270

2. The list of children's books for young birdwatchers at Science Books for Kids

childrens-books-for-young-birdwatchers

You may also want to try:

Are you planning to participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count? What kinds of birds do you see in your backyard? We'd love to hear.

16

Just in time for Great Backyard Bird Count  February 17-20, 2017, we have a terrific bird-themed giveaway opportunity offered by Downtown Bookworks. Let's see all the great stuff they have to offer, and then discuss what you have to do to enter below.

Number 1 on the list is Bird-acious (Science with Stuff) by award-winning children's science writer Melissa Stewart.

This book is a fun and educational introduction to birds for young readers. It contains big color photographs and interesting facts. It covers everything from feathers and flying to beaks and eating. There’s even a two-page spread that features photographs of cool bird tongues and describes what the various structures are used for.

But Bird-acious offers even more. In the cover image above, do you see the brown mass in the yellow oval to the right, just under the title? That is an actual owl pellet for kids to dissect, as well as detailed instructions how to do it in the back of the book. A bird book with its own hands-on activity included, what more could you ask for?

See more about Bird-acious in last week's STEM Friday review.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Nov edition (December 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703900
ISBN-13: 978-1935703907

Number 2 is A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field Guide by Emily Laber-Warren.

This Into the Field Guide is perfect to carry along on a hike in the woods. Color photographs and clear, simple descriptions will help youngsters learn to identify common animals, plants, and even some rocks. Also includes basic scientific concepts and facts, such as how stick insects hide from predators using camouflage.

Although not solely about birds, both these guides have a section on common birds found in the habitat they feature. A Walk in the Woods has descriptions of American robins, Northern mockingbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, etc., all the birds you might see for The Great Backyard Bird Count.

Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703269
ISBN-13: 978-1935703266

Number 3 is A Walk on the Beach: Into the Field Guide by Laurie Goldman.

A Walk on the Beach helps young readers learn about common animals, plants, rocks, shells, and even debris found on the beach.

The bird section includes information about water birds ranging from great blue herons and seagulls, to eagles and ducks. If you live near a body of water, this book will also help your children identify birds for the GBBC.

Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Original edition (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703277
ISBN-13: 978-1935703273

Number 4 is Look and Learn Birds (PBS Kids) by Sarah Parvis and PBS KIDS (Editor)

Perfect to accompany a citizen science project like The Great Backyard Bird Watch, this kit comes with a 64-page Look and Learn Birds book, simple-to-use binoculars, a laminated identification sheet with pictures of common birds, and an activity poster. What a fabulous way to encourage the next generation of bird watchers!

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Box Pck Pa edition (August 30, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1941367291
ISBN-13: 978-1941367292

Giveaway

Would you like a chance to receive the prize pack of all four of these items? Simply login the Rafflecopter below -- making sure you leave a valid e-mail address -- by 12:00 a.m. EST February 7, 2017. Rafflecopter will randomly pick the winner and I will notify Downtown Bookworks (they have kindly agreed to ship the prize.) Their only request is that the giveaway is only open to US residents.

The Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please let me know in the comments or contact me at the e-mail address listed on the about page if you have any problems with Rafflecopter.

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Related Activities:

Check out the bird-related activities in this free downloadable .pdf:

Activities from PBS KIDS Look and Learn Birds

 

And don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count.

 

Disclosure: These books and kit were provided by the publisher/author for review purposes. 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.