The Great Backyard Bird Count 2019 starts next weekend. It is a family-friendly citizen science event, and a longtime favorite of ours. Birders -- novice and experienced alike -- identify and count birds, then report their findings using eBird (instructions are on the website). This gives ornithologists a "snapshot" of where birds are around the world.
To get inspired, you might want to pick up one of bird lover and author Sneed B. Collard III's wonderful books about birds (Follow links to my reviews)
- Warblers & Woodpeckers: A Father-Son Big Year of Birding
- Woodpeckers: Drilling Holes and Bagging Bugs
- Fire Birds
Plus, visit his, Father-Son Birding blog.
To keep interest high, after the event keep a look out for Sneed B. Collard III's new book Birds of Every Color with his son, Braden Collard. It is coming out in March, just in time for spring migration birding.
Right up front, this isn't a concept book about colors. Instead, it delves deeply into the whys and hows of the fascinating array of bird feather hues.
For example, one page explains how birds get certain pigments from the food they eat and another explains about melanins, brown and black pigments that birds and other animals manufacture internally. Ever hear of psittacofulvins? You'll find out about those, too.
Public domain photograph of a male cardinal from Publicdomainpictures
Look closely and you will see bird colors may be different from place to place, season to season, and even between individual birds. Did you know that the extensiveness of the black bib of house sparrows. and the black and white patches on the heads of chickadees reflect their status in the flock?
The backmatter contains a two-page spread with twelve photographs of different bird species and challenges the reader to figure out how many different colors each has. Also included is a glossary of "Colorful Words," plus "About the Author." On the next page we learn "About the Photographs," which were taken by either Sneed or his son, Braden. Cool!
Birds of Every Color will enthrall budding ornithologists and nature lovers in general. Look for a copy next month or pre-order it now.
- Share it Science has a free printable bird count sheet perfect for the Great Backyard Bird Count.
- The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a free 3 hour course in using eBird
Age Range: 5 - 10 years
Publisher: Bucking Horse Books (March 1, 2019)
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher. 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.
Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books. Note: this is a new link as of 1/2019.