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Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids

Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids

Laura Erickson
Illustrations by Kathryn Marsaa
Copyright Date: 1997
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids
    Book Description:

    On the wings of Laura Erickson’s award-winning book For the Birds comes Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids. Easy and fun to use, Sharing the Wonder is a delightful book that helps caring adults introduce kids to the fascinating world of birds. Chock-full of creative activities, this hands-on guide goes way beyond teaching bird identification. In her light-hearted style, Erickson paves the way for children to discover—with a little help from you—the beauty and significance of birds, how their bodies work, why they behave as they do, and why it’s critical to protect and care for them. Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids will show you how to kindle children’s interest in birds, giving them the joy and pride of discovering these natural treasures for themselves.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9519-5
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xi)

    Why should children learn about birds?

    Of all wildlife, birds are the most accessible and abundant and the easiest to learn to identify, so birds provide a natural starting point for environmental education. Their beauty, song, migration routes, and long-standing importance to humans provide a magical bridge into lessons in art, music, geography, science, language arts, reading, history, and even math.

    Even more important, these vivid and vivacious expressions of the natural world appeal to hearts and minds like little else. Studying them enriches children’s lives in countless ways, helping their souls to soar above this increasingly urbanized world.


  4. 1 The MAGIC of BIRDS
    (pp. 1-8)

    The beauty, flight, innocence, and intense life force of birds stir the human soul like nothing else. Fairy tales and myths of childhood often revolve around birds: the goose that laid the golden eggs, Chicken Little, the ugly duckling who turned into a swan, the little birds that ate the crumbs that Hansel and Gretel dropped to mark their way home. Donald and Daisy Duck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Woody Woodpecker, Roadrunner, Daffy, Tweetie, Heckyl and Jeckyl—imaginations run wild when birds are the inspiration. And birds feed our spiritual souls as well, flying heavenward like our hopes and aspirations....

  5. 2 A few TOOLS of the TRADE
    (pp. 11-29)

    Simplify! Simplify!Thoreau’s admonition would seem aptly applicable to bird study because birds are the ultimate light travelers. Thoreau watched them with no tools at all except his eyes, mind, heart, and a pencil and notebook, yet he wrote lovely things about them, noting that the junco is “leaden skies above, snow below,” and “the bluebird carries die sky on his back.”

    Nature study in the nineteenth and early twentieth century required little more equipment thanThoreau’s. Arm and Hammer put little bird cards, which bird fanciers collected and treasured, into boxes of baking soda at the turn of the twentieth century,...

  6. 3 Attracting BIRDS to HOME and SCHOOL
    (pp. 31-49)

    All of us enjoy observing birds at close range from the comfort of indoors. There are many ways of enticing wild birds to feed and even nest nearby so children can study and enjoy them up close and personal. Bird feeders attract a wide variety of seed-eating and insectivorous birds, along with an occasional carnivore—a hawk, owl, or shrike attracted by the activity and hoping to catch a bird or mouse. The number of birds that will visit a feeding station depends entirely on the quality of the habitat and the types of food offered.

    Pet birds, although neither...

  7. 4 Bird IDENTIFICATION starters
    (pp. 51-63)

    People like to know the names of things—that’s the way we are. Children are no exception. When they see a bright red, crested bird, they aren’t satisfied to call it a “Bright-red Crested Bird.” They want to know its real name—the name adults call it. Learning the names of birds also makes people of all ages more aware of the enormous variety of species, individualizing them. A person who recognizes thirty different warblers will be more knowledgeable and concerned about those that are threatened or endangered than a person who thinks of warblers as a generic term for...

  8. 5 Planning BIRD OUTINGS with KIDS
    (pp. 65-85)

    Birding with children can be a boom or bust activity depending on location, time of year, weather, and just plain luck. Some of the most well-laid-out plans for quality birding adventures in prime locations can be rained or snowed out. One short walk around a city block can be filled with chirping sparrows, starlings perched atop every chimney, and pigeons waddling about on the sidewalks, or it may seem as if every single bird hightailed it out of the county for the day. So providing quality outdoor experiences for children requires flexible plans and a sense of humor.

    Remember, too,...

  9. 6 Learning about BIRD BEHAVIOR
    (pp. 87-107)

    The beauty of birds captures our eyes, and the intensity and magic of their lives—gravity-defying flight, ethereal songs, exquisitely woven nests, tender, raucous, or downright silly nuptial displays—holds us under their spell. Birds perform feats mere humans can only dream of: A Peregrine Falcon hurls through the sky, tracking and intercepting a duck or shorebird that itself is erratically wheeling about, and strikes the victim so precisely with its talons that its own fragile wings and body aren’t injured in the collision—all while flying 112 miles per hour. A three-month-old Ruby-throated Hummingbird, without any adult assistance or...

  10. 7 Learning how BIRD BODIES work
    (pp. 109-139)

    Which came first—the chicken or the egg? Birds evolved from dinosaurs or similar reptiles, so the first bird obviously came from an egg, while the first egg must have been laid by something more primitive than a bird. In this chapter, we’ll look at adult birds first and then at the eggs they produce. Whether covered by feathers or a shell, bird bodies and how they work fascinate children and adults.

    Birds are designed for flight. Many bones are hollow, often filled with air sacs which not only decrease weight but also increase the amount of air a bird...

  11. 8 Helping CHILDREN save BIRDS
    (pp. 141-159)

    Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. Emily Dickenson understood how deeply our trust in the future is intertwined with the elemental beauty of birds. Is there any greater symbol of hope, of life itself, than that ultimate food for the soul—a bird’s egg? Nature’s most elegant package opens to reveal nature’s most exquisite gift, feathered like an angel, capable of plunging deep into the ocean, fluttering delicately about the land, and soaring ever skyward, bridging water, earth, and air like no other creature on the planet.

    Terry Tempest Williams wrote inRefuge,“How can...

  12. Appendix I The WRITE stuff
    (pp. 160-169)
  13. Appendix II Simple GIFTS
    (pp. 170-183)
  14. Appendix III Additional BOOKS
    (pp. 184-190)
  15. Index
    (pp. 191-195)