February is National Bird Feeding Month and today begins The Great Backyard Bird Count. My husband and I were never avid birders before but my daughter showed an early and intense interest in our feathered friends. So, learning about birds has become a family passion.
Here are a few of our favorite books for junior ornithologists:
Bird Calls (Hear and There Books): A short riddle introduces eight common birds. Then, pull the tab to reveal a picture, press a button to hear the bird’s call, and lift the flap for more information. We love that there are so many ways to engage with bird identification in this book and wish they would issue a follow-up volume with eight more birds!
The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of Eastern North America (Peterson Field Guide): This is our favorite first field guide–there is enough information to encourage more in-depth exploration without being overwhelming. The guide features facts about 200 species of bird you might encounter in Eastern North America. Each range map has a key so there is no need to flip back and forth between pages.
The Bird Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books): Pallota’s quirky sense of humor makes his alphabet books a treat. Our favorite page highlights the fact that bats are not birds–they are mammals: “Get out of this book, bats!” Realistic illustrations of a variety of common and lesser-known birds fill the pages and encourage alphabet awareness.
Birds, Nests & Eggs (Take-Along Guides): For children who are ready to learn more about some of their favorite backyard birds, this book is full of trivia and helpful clues for bird-spotting. Also included are tips on attracting birds to your backyard.
Beaks!: This is a fascinating look at how different beaks serve different purposes–a great early lesson in biological adaptation! The cut-paper illustrations are gorgeous and appear to pop off the page.
Feathers for Lunch: For your tots, this picture book introduces many common backyard through the story of a cat who escapes looking to hunt but winds up with only feathers for lunch. Each bird is labeled, along with appropriate vegetation and various bird calls.