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Monday, April 7, 2014

What's That Bird?

We have a hanging bird feeder on our back porch, and it has been delightful to watch the different birds come and go now that spring is here. We always see traffic at that feeder, but this time of year is especially busy. We know certain birds on sight, but we’ve seen quite a few newcomers that we weren’t able to identify initially. 

My youngest son particularly likes to bird watch, and What’s That Bird? by Joseph Choiniere and Claire Mowbray Golding has been a great resource for introducing him to the world of birds. This book is a wonderful guide for beginners, and it is especially appealing to kids with its gorgeous photos and drawings, as well as its clear explanations. 

What’s That Bird? has a grid of little photos in the inside covers for quick identification, with page references to learn more about each type of bird. The book begins by teaching readers about bird anatomy: feathers, beak type, foot type, etc. Other chapters include diet, habitat, nests, babies, and more. Thirty common birds are featured in detail in a section of field guide-style pages. Plus, there are activity ideas, information on bird habits, and lessons on conservation.

I am using this book as a supplement to my son’s science lessons, and there is really enough material in it to turn it into a unit study on its own. What’s That Bird? is magazine-sized, so it fits nicely in our nature bag for on-the-go bird study.

What we’ve learned:

We have a Northern Mockingbird nesting in our holly tree.
The bird that sits on our van and gazes in the mirror all the time is an Eastern Bluebird. 
Some of the birds we’ve seen at our feeder are Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, and House Wren.