SubTopic: Birds

  365 Penguins

by Jean-Luc Fromental

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

The life of a family becomes gradually "penguinized" when every day, beginning on the first of January, a mysterious package arrives with a new penguin. As the penguins increase in number, the family attempts to find humorous new solutions to deal with the increasing population of birds that need to be fed, organized and housed. Over the months, the comedy continues as penguins play piano, watch TV, swim in the backyard pool and take over the house. 365 days and penguins later, on New Year’s Eve, the doorbell rings and Uncle Victor, an ecologist who has been sending the penguin packages, explains he needs to protect the birds whose Antarctic habitat is gradually melting due to global warming. Although to the relief of the family, he leaves the house with a truck full of penguins, another mysterious, yet different, parcel soon arrives. This hilarious story with zany illustrations to explore is a fun adventure in math and counting that also conveys an environmental message to young readers.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  About Birds: A Guide for Children

by Cathryn Sill

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds

This exquisitely illustrated picture book with simple text introduces young naturalists to birds and several of their basic characteristics and behavior – feathers, bills, nests and flight. A basic statement about birds is followed on the facing page by a full-page painting of a species in its habitat for which more detailed information is provided in an Afterword. The lifelike watercolors include several of the more common species such as robins and cardinals as well as less familiar ones including common murres, ruby-throated hummingbirds, great horned owls, indigo buntings and evening grosbeaks.

See also:
Mia Posada's Robins: Songbirds of Spring
Rick Chrustowski's Blue Sky Bluebird
Nancy Carol Willis' The Robins in Your Backyard

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Adopted by an Owl

by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

This is a moving true story of Jackson, a great horned owl that was taken from its nest by a young boy to be raised as a pet. Soon after he had captured the owlet, the child found that he was incapable of caring for a wild animal. A dedicated wildlife expert took over the care of the bird to rehabilitate and eventually release it back into the wild. This beautifully illustrated picture book that shows the meaning of compassion towards wildlife provides an intimate look into a relationship of a human with a wild animal and into the life and behavior of a great horned owl.

See also:
Robert Bateman's Birds of Prey

      Grades: Preschool to 4th

  Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems

by Judy Sierra

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

Seen through the eyes of the baby chicks, the lively verses of this comically illustrated book are based on the real lives and habits of emperor penguins. The amusing illustrations and poems of the chicks as they burst from their shells, hang on to dad's feet as he walks, search for the sounds of their moms and then learn to swim and to survive against predators will delight readers of all ages.

Poems include: A Hatchling's Song, Mother Penguin's Vacation, My Father's Feet, Regurgitate, I Am Looking For My Mother, Penguins' First Swim, Predator Riddles, Diary of a Very Short Winter Day, Belly Sliding, Be My Penguin, and, Antarctic Anthem.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Bald Eagle

by Gordon Morrison

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds

"Gordon Morrison is a nature artist who has illustrated more than twenty books including Peterson Field Guides. His expertise is evident in this book about the development and growth of the bald eagle from egg to adult. . . . On each page, notated sketches give more information about the biology, life cycle and behavior of these birds. This is a book that all grade levels will enjoy." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Beaks!

by Sneed B. Collard III

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds

Learn about the amazing variety of beaks of different birds throughout the world and the many ways the adaptations of beaks help birds to survive. The different shapes of beaks enable birds to eat, hunt and gather food and to specialize in foraging for specific kinds of food – flowers, seeds, berries, fruit, flesh, insects, fish or other prey. Bills can also amplify bird calls or be used to build nests or burrows, or to fight off enemies; the bright colorations of some birds’ beaks might even help attract mates. Not only is the text informative, but Brickman’s cut-paper watercolor illustrations also create realistic 3-dimensional artwork displaying the amazing variety and beauty of birds.

The colorful birds illustrated throughout the book include: woodpeckers, song sparrows, macaws, hummingbirds, eagles, toucans, woodpeckers, flamingos, skimmers, spoonbills, herons, pelicans, crossbills, hornbills, bowerbirds, bee-eaters, western gulls, puffins, Hawaiian honeycreepers, bitterns, peregrine falcons, roadrunners, marbled godwits, cardinals, warblers and wood ducks.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  The Bird Alphabet Book

by Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds

From Atlantic puffins to zebra finches, from the familiar to the exotic, birds for every letter of the alphabet are presented with amusing, factual text and exquisite illustrations.

Recommended in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Condor's Egg

by Jonathan London

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This dramatic picture book with panoramic and close-up watercolor views of California condors portrays the flight, nesting and hatching of these birds, an endangered species. The flight of a condor above the mountains and valleys leads to a cliffside cave where its mate guards a single egg. Through the long night of a thunderous storm, while rocks fall from above, the two birds care for the egg. With the sunlit beginning of the day, the birth of a new condor takes place. Following the story, "More About Condors" provides a historical and factual perspective about the condor, the rarest and largest North American bird, the causes of its endangered status and a listing of organizations that provide information about condors and their recovery program.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Eagles: Hunters of the Sky (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

An endearing story about a Sioux boy's close relationship to an injured eagle as well as engrossing activities which include "The Migration Game", "Build an Eagle Wing" and "An Eagle Family Album" will captivate children to explore the world of eagles, their physical characteristics, their flight, habitats and their role in the food chain. This book with informative black-and-white illustrations is published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History.

      Grades: 4th to 6th

  The Emperor's Egg

by Martin Jenkins

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

Jenkins’ engrossing picture book provides a humorous description of male Emperor penguins, focusing on the nurturing role of the father in protecting the egg and hatchling during the winter months in Antarctica. The author’s personalized, conversational comments portraying the unique traits of the “world’s most devoted dad” -- the ordeals of the four-foot male penguin stranded on the ice in the freezing cold without any food during the two months of incubation while mom is off feeding in the ocean -- will amuse readers of all ages. Naturalistic, acrylic illustrations depict the Emperor penguins in their icy habitat and offer a fun-filled insight into the unique animal behavior of these amazing birds.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers

by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The conservation story of the comeback of peregrine falcons is recounted centering on Scarlett and her mate, Beauregard, whose nest on a Baltimore skyscraper contained the first wild peregrine eggs laid in the eastern United States in thirty years after the near extinction of these birds due to DDT. Simple, direct prose also describes the tremendous flight maneuvers of these birds of prey, their hunting skills as well as the work of the ornithologists at The Hawk Barn in saving the peregrine falcon.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Feathers for Lunch

by Lois Ehlert

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds

The prowlings of a housecat through a garden forms the basis of this simple, animated story that illustrates twelve common backyard birds which the cat tries to catch for lunch. Bold colorful illustrations with labeled garden flowers and birds as well as a glossary introduce youngsters to common birds.

Recommended in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Flute's Journey

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Open this book and follow Flute the wood thrush from the day he emerges from his turquoise egg until he becomes a mature adult bird. Travel south with Flute across North America, to High Island in Texas, then across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula and his winter home in Costa Rica. Then follow him back to Maryland in the spring. Guided by Ms. Cherry's skillful text and lush, detailed paintings, youngsters will experience first hand a wood thrush's life -- what foods they eat, how they defend their territory, how they raise their young, their miraculous migration, and the hazards they face, such as hawks, cats, toxic chemicals and habitat loss." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.


See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey
Carol Lerner's On the Wing: American Birds in Migration
Mary Lyn Ray's Welcome, Brown Bird

To learn more, visit:
The Smithsonian National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center
Journey North's Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change

To learn about how kids helped save Belt Woods, visit Lynne Cherry's website.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Hawk Hill

by Suzie Gilbert

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

A raptor rehabilitation center forms the setting of this moving story about a boy who cares for an injured hawk that he must eventually set free and the compassionate relationship he develops with the elderly woman who teaches him about raptors. Accurate, beautiful illustrations provide either a human or bird's perspective of scenes portraying various species of raptors and the two rehabilitators.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream

by Robert Burleigh

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Birds

"Who can imagine my dear country’s dark woods, its great forests, its vast Atlantic bays, its thousands of streams, lakes, and magnificent rivers? I wish that I could draw it all! " Quotes from the journal of John J. Audubon, naturalist and artist, complement an imaginary letter to his father explaining his decision to abandon a life in commerce and instead pursue his dream to study and draw nature. The narrative and images portray Audubon’s enthusiasm, respect and admiration for the natural world, especially birds. Minor’s stunning, lyrical watercolors, depicting Audubon observing and painting birds in the wilderness, evoke the beauty of the 19th century American landscape. Several of Audubon’s paintings of birds -- swallow, cardinal, cormorant, hawk, duck, dove and warbler --exemplify the vivid, detailed execution of the artist's work. Into the Woods is a moving, poetic tribute to one of America’s great naturalists.

See also:
Jennifer Armstrong's Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier to learn about the life and adventures of Audubon
Jacqueline Davies' The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon to learn about the young Audubon's observations of birds and his use of the technique of banding to study migration
Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, an amusing picture book about Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall who, during the 1890’s in reaction to the latest women's fashion of adorning hats with whole dead birds, started the Massachusetts Audubon Society to protect birds.

To learn more, visit:
National Audubon Society and Audubon’s Birds of America

      Grades: 2nd & up

  A Mother's Journey

by Sandra Markle

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

During the two months of winter that the father penguin incubates the egg, the mother Emperor Penguin leaves the breeding ground to cross the icy landscape to the open sea in search of food. Readers can follow her journey as she travels in a group with other female penguins through the blustery winds and storms of the bitter Antarctic winter across the icy landscape to the ocean in order to feed herself and store food for her newly hatched chick. The book provides a fascinating insight into female Emperor Penguin behavior with luminous watercolor imagery depicting the life of these amazing creatures in the icy landscape of the Antarctic winter.

For more information, visit National Geographic for Kids at: www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/creature_feature/0101/penguins.html

See also: Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions
Brenda Guiberson's, The Emperor Lays an Egg
Martin Jenkins', The Emperor's Egg
Michelle McKenzie's, Penguin Chick, and
Judy Sierra's Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  My Season with Penguins

by Sophie Webb

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Birds

This is an Antarctic journal, a two-month diary of the artist/biologist Sophie Webb as she tracks the Adelie penguins in their breeding colony during the summer months in Antarctica. The delicate watercolor, gouache and graphite illustrations of the journal and the first-hand descriptions interspersed with scientific information provide an intimate and unforgettable glimpse into the habitat, behavior and antics of the Adelies as well as the experiences of the field scientists studying the ecosystem of these amazing animals.

To learn more visit:
The American Museum of Natural History’s Antarctica: The Farthest Place Close to Home
Cool Antarctica’s Antarctica Schools Resources


See also:
Kathy Conlan's, Under the Ice,
Meredith Hooper's Antarctic Journal , and
Jennifer Owings Dewey's Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World

        Grades: 5th & up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Birds

by Scott Weidensaul

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Vivid detailed photographs with explanations about characteristic behavior, markings and range of habitats of various bird species provide young naturalists and adults an excellent, basic guide to the world of birds found in the United States and Canada.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  On the Brink of Extinction: The California Condor

by Caroline Arnold

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"This information-packed text tells the dramatic story of the struggle to save one endangered species. Because of habitat loss, shooting, and poisoning by DDT, California Condor populations dwindled, despite everything scientists could learn or do to help birds in the wild. Captive breeding seemed to be the last hope. Color photographs reveal the fascinating but difficult steps required to raise an adult bird from one small, vulnerable egg. The ultimate message is hopeful, with pictures of soaring condors making clear the ultimate goal: reestablishing the birds in the wild." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Owl Moon

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

" 'When you go owling you don't need words or warm or anything but hope.' Thus begins this magical story of a young girl and her father who go owling late one cold winter night. Their journey takes them through tall dark trees and over the moon shadows that the trees cast on the crisp, white snow. The girl's father calls out a number of times, but there is no sign of owls … no answer. Just when the girl has nearly given up, the call of a great horned owl resounds through the silence. Delicate wintry illustrations evoke the moods and sensations of walking through the woods at night in the snow." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

A Caldecott Medal winner (1988). Recommended in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

      Grades: Preschool to 1st

  Owls: On Silent Wings (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Legends of owls retold from Native American legends as well as activities such as games, origami and coloring pages introduce children to the habitat, behavior, nesting and hunting of these birds. The "Owl Fortune Teller" game explores the repercussions of habitat loss on the Northern spotted owl. As part of The Wonder Series, this book, illustrated in black and white, is published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Penguin Chick

by Michelle McKenzie

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

Young children will delight in the vibrant images of a newborn penguin chick as it learns to feed, preen, swim and search for food. Published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this board book describes a blackfooted penguin species found along the coast of Southern Africa whose population is currently declining.

      Grades: Preschool

  A Place for Birds

by Melissa Stewart

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

A Place for birds is more than just an introduction to birds – it examines a variety of environmental issues that have affected bird populations and describes ways people have joined together to help birds. Twelve different species of North American birds are pictured in vivid, colorful, double-page paintings, depicted in natural habitats, rural landscapes and cityscapes. Maps have also been included to show the range of each species. The author Stewart notes, " sometimes people do things that make it hard for birds to live and grow. " Common murres were harmed by oil spills and the bald eagle by pesticides; populations of the spotted owl have declined due to logging of the old-growth forests; and, native habitats of the crested honeycreepers of Hawaii were destroyed by pigs and goats that escaped from farms. Every year many songbirds, including Northern cardinals, are harmed by cats. People of different ages and backgrounds have joined together to protect birds: by providing nesting boxes for the Eastern bluebird, by protecting grasslands of an air reserve base for nesting grasshopper sparrows, by fencing off the beach nesting sites of piping plovers, by dimming the lights of buildings in Chicago during the hermit thrush migration and by restoring native habitat for the Kirtland’s Warbler. Children in a Florida elementary school spent five years to raise money to purchase twenty acres of scrubland habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay. Since animals rely on birds as a food source and plants depend on birds to spread their seeds, people can help nature by planting gardens that protect birds.

See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Butterflies

To learn about creating a wildlife habitat, visit: The National Wildlife Federation

To learn more about birds, see also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World
Mel Boring's Birds, Nests & Eggs
Roger Tory Peterson's Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Red Knot

by Nancy Carol Willis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Follow the amazing annual migration of a red knot shorebird as it makes a 20,000 mile round-trip voyage from Tierra del Fuego, at the tip of South America, past the Brazilian Amazon to the Arctic tundra where it nests and raises its young. During the hemisphere-long journey, this bird stops at several shores to replenish its energy by feeding on mussels, worms and clams alongside other shorebirds. The timing of its arrival in Delaware Bay coincides with the annual spawning of horseshoe crabs whose eggs are a valuable source of food to these migratory birds. Besides information about the banding of birds, other sandpipers and shorebird species, a glossary, chronological presentation and range map, this illustrated picture book also includes information about the importance of Delaware Bay to the survival of this species as well as the conservation efforts to protect the plummeting numbers of the red knot. As a result of the effects of food shortages, loss of habitat, predation and bad weather, the red knot population has fallen from 100,000 in 1994 to 13,500 in 2005.

See also:
Victoria Crenson's Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds: The Story of a Food Web

To learn more about red knots, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds

To learn more about the efforts to save red knots, horseshoe crabs and other shorebirds, visit:
BirdLife International
American Bird Conservacy
Endangered Species Coalition
ShorebirdWorld
The Shorebird Project
ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Friends of the Red Knot

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World

by Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Efforts to save six different species of birds threatened with extinction were undertaken by people throughout the world -- scientists, entertainers, farmers, indigenous peoples and children -- in cloud forests, islands, wetlands, cities and jungles. Salmansohn and Kress of the Audubon Society take readers around the globe to witness the work of these heroes: to China, where winter wetland feeding grounds for black-necked cranes are restored by the joint endeavors of impoverished villagers and farmers working with a nature refuge; to Israel, where children provide nesting boxes for lesser kestrels; to New Zealand, where scientists save one of the rarest songbirds, the black robin, from the brink of extinction; to Mexico, where entertainers educate and inspire local peoples to save the quetzal that is of cultural significance; to Malaysia where feathers for Sarawak native costumes using the rhinoceros hornbill are replaced by turkey feathers; and, to California, where common murres, of which a colony was killed by an oil spill, are aided by decoys to establish a new breeding colony on the cliffs of Devil’s Slide Rock. The photographic accounts examine the various causes of the decline of the birds – habitat destruction, deforestation, oil spills, chemicals poaching and hunting. The strategies described to save a species can at times involve creative approaches such as puppet shows, may require enduring patience over years of work to obtain successful results, and may also pose dangers such as risky maneuvers on and around steep cliffs. The dedication and hard work of these caring individuals throughout the world can serve as an inspiration to readers to help protect threatened bird species around the globe.

See also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Project Puffin: How We Brought Puffins Back to Egg Rock
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Giving Back to the Earth: A Teacher's Guide to Project Puffin and Other Seabird Studies Around the World
Linda Kenyon's Rainforest Bird Rescue
Pamela Hickman's Birds of Prey Rescue
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Bruce McMillan's A Beach for the Birds about Least Terns in Maine

To learn more about birds, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds and Bird Sleuth
The National Audubon Society
The Audubon Seabird Restoration Program
BirdLife International

To learn more about the following birds, visit these websites:
Black Robins -- New Zealand's Department of Conservation
Cranes -- International Crane Foundation
Common Murres -- Common Murre Restoration Project
Hornbills -- San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes
Lesser Kestrels -- Arkive
Quetzals -- El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Encyclopedia of Life, and Arkive

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Spotted Owlets

by Victoria Miles

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Birds

This picture booklet will captivate young readers as they discover a family of northern spotted owls in its unique habitat of the ancient old-growth forest. Stunning colored illustrations of the young owlets perched in the giant Douglas firs depict these nocturnal birds as they feed from their parents and venture out of their tree trunk to learn to fly.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Tales Alive! Bird Tales From Near & Far

by Susan Milord

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Birds are the inspiration for the six folktales from around the world, retold by Milford. Each tale is accompanied by story-related activities for children to imaginatively explore bird behavior and characteristics such as beaks, bones and feathers as well as different cultures, arts, crafts, cooking, math and history. Children can construct shadow puppets or a nesting box, explore how birds navigate the skies, compose haiku poems and create origami paper cranes. The six tales include: "Why Owl Hides during the Day" (Iroquois, about the great horned owl), "Mark My Words" (Thailand, about a lorikeet), "The Palace of Beaks" (Yemen, about a hoopoe), "The Farmer and the Tsar of the Crows" (Ukraine), "The Messenger Bird" (Ethiopia) and "The Gratitude of the Crane" (Japan).

To learn more about birds, visit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Urban Roosts

by Barbara Bash

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Birds

"This book teaches children about our resilient city birds who go about their lives often unnoticed by the humans rushing around nearby. Urban Roosts explores the world of sparrows and finches, barn owls and snowy owls, swallows and swifts, nighthawks and killdeers, pigeons and wrens, crows, starlings, and even peregrine falcons, showing close-up (binocular-like) views as well as panoramic vistas. . . . Urban Roosts explains how human activity has destroyed many natural habitats, but it also makes the point that the birds 'that have been able to adapt are thriving in the midst of the city.' " Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (March/April 1993) published by CCEL.

See also:
Robert Bateman's Backyard Birds,
Carol Lerner's Backyard Birds of Winter and Backyard Birds of Summer

        Grades: 4th to 7th