Bird books for kids

January 28, 2013

I mentioned last week that I am about to blast you with some bird posts...hopefully, you are ready for them this week!

We started out with an empty binder that I let her create a cover for. She chose to draw a robin and robin's nest with eggs. Also, it is singing--I think that is my favorite detail!

My initial phase 1 book gathering method was just to go to our library, find the bird section, and just grab whatever looked good. (This is my usual method for just about everything.) I also pulled all the bird books from our home library (I've collected a fair amount of bird books over the years as they are very plentiful and easy to come by in our local thrifts stores.) 

Phase 2, involved doing a search for "bird" on the library catalog and then requesting 10 that looked especially good from other branches and having them delivered to mine for pickup. (I love this service that our library provides!) 

Phase 3, was to order a few from amazon. 

I'm not going to lie, we had a lot of bird books. Too many, actually because it was just too much to deal with. I needed to pare it down to a few useful ones and send the rest back to the library. Here are my top 3 picks for informational books. 
1. Birds of Georgia Field Guide
This is one I ordered. We got the butterfly version last spring and it was the best book we bought for our purposes--observing butterflies in our backyard. It's organized by colors--so if you see a blue bird, you go to the blue section, red--go to red section, etc. So easy to find what you are looking for this way rather than flipping through the whole book. It's pocked-sized and easy for little hands to manipulate. I highly recommend this series and also getting a state-specific field guide. It eliminates birds you would never see and makes it easier to focus and learn the ones you come across.

2. Birds, Nests and Eggs 
This is one we already had and is probably the best one for age-appropriate information about birds (rather than just identification info.) We read about the birds featured in this book and learn about their size, food, nests, and eggs. I love this entire series, by the way. We first found it at our library and later bought a copy to keep for ourselves.

3. Birds (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)
This is one from the library and is a wonderful nature guide series. We have also enjoyed the wildflower one. It's not region specific, so I don't find the bird identification section as useful as the Georgia guide, but the first part of the book has some good general birding tips in it that were very helpful to us as beginners.

I have to admit, when I first looked at birds and tried to figure out what they were, I just thought--ummm....bird. I couldn't distinguish what made them different or unique until I read about wing bars, bibs, flash marks, eye lines, and rump colors. Then I started making progress. Juliet has caught on, too and we are finding it much easier to look for specific markings to help us with our identification. (Thanks to the audubon field guide.)

I also should mention again the laminated bird guide that I wrote about on Friday. We love having that right by our backyard window for quick access in case we see a bird at our bird feeder.

I have a few other good books to share with you later as well as some fictional bird tales (which by the way, I'd love for you to leave a comment with your favorite bird story so we can check it out!)

You can read about other bird books and activities we love here. I also have a "for the birds" pinterest board here

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