School ends in just a couple of weeks, and I am so looking forward to summer. We'll have plenty of time for beach days, hikes in the woods, growing tomatoes, participating in the library's "Around the World" program, and bike riding. I asked my son if he'd like to learn about anything special this summer, and he said, "Yes. Birds."
With an eye toward new (to us) books, I'm compiling some links here for our summer of birds (although it's likely to change to fish or crabs or pill bugs at any given time). I thought these might be helpful to others with kids interested in the same subject. We will read a few and save some for other seasons, too.
You'll find lots of good information at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" site.
From About.com's Birding/Wild Birds section, here is a list of "Top Five Bird Books for Children":
Birds (National Audubon Society's First Field Guides)
Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds
Hawk Highway in the Sky: Watching Raptor Migration
Watching Our Feathered Friends
Birdwatching.com suggests Take a Backyard Bird Walk and Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds, Eastern and Western editions.
Many homeschooling families recommend the Burgess nature books, so I'll add The Burgess Bird Book for Children to the list.
Two child-friendly bird guides from our shelves are Bird Calls, an interactive book that younger kids in particular will enjoy, and Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song.
In my Internet searches, I also spotted Laura's Birding Blog, by Laura Erickson, the author of 101 Ways to Help Birds and Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids. If you read along in Erickson's blog, you'll see that a child named 101 Ways to Help Birds as his favorite book. It's written for adults, but evidently just fine for younger advanced readers.
At the Cornell Ornithology Lab's online store, I found what looks like a must-have: The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible (also written for adults).
Loree Burns, a scientist and an award-winning children's book author, left a comment here that her family enjoys The Boy Who Drew Birds, a picture-book biography of John James Audubon. Also, back in March, the blog Big A, little a and readers also rounded up many books on birds, with suggestions for fiction, nonfiction, and even poetry. Don't miss the list there.
I'm submitting this post to the late spring Field Day, a nature blog-carnival at By Sun and Candlelight on June 11th. The carnival's focus is on enjoying the natural world with kids. Submit somethin'!
Photo: Upside down starling in winter, by Junior