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Birdology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Birds Young Naturalists

by Russo, Monica

School Library Journal Gr 4-6-One way to address today's "nature deficit" is to focus on the birds outside almost every window. Observation activities set off in color text boxes are designed to develop observation skills and cultivate an understanding of bird behavior. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of birds, such as field marks, beaks and feet, wings, eyes and nests, and more. Feathers make birds unique, and the first chapter describes the different kinds. Color photos of wing and tail feathers highlight their different shapes, and photographs of birds in flight show how the feathers function. One "Eyes Only" box explains that since picking up a wild bird feather is not only illegal but also not healthy, looking without touching is best. "Try This" boxes highlight such activities as bird feeding, walking like a heron, and building a small brush pile where birds can roost. One "Listen For" alerts novice bird observers to figure out different bird songs, calls and alarm signals, and the honking and quacking of birds in flight. An excellent glossary of "Bird Words" provides definitions, and the four-page index differentiates pictures from text with italics. Beautifully illustrated with full color photographs and sketches, this is sure to create new bird watchers.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list This wide-format guide to everything avian is a great starting point for burgeoning bird-watchers. Each chapter offers a dizzying wealth of information about birds and their songs, field markings, beaks, wings, diet, behavior, habitats, and more. Russo also includes helpful activities encouraging basic observation skills that range from the exceedingly easy (listen to bird calls; look at different types of feathers) to the more complicated (build a bird feeder; plant a hummingbird garden; help prevent window collisions). A closing chapter on bird banding, wildlife rehabilitation, and conservancy, moreover, encourages kids to consider the environment and civilization's effects both positive and negative on bird populations and reminds them of the many current laws protecting birds. Though the chapter organization is a bit confusing and the sheer volume of facts about myriad types of birds would have benefited from even more illustrations, there is enough information and photos of birds in these pages not to mention the emphasis on recording observations, a cornerstone of many scientific disciplines that those drawbacks are fairly minimal. Nature lovers will likely have a field day.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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