Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife, RV Home School, RVing with Grand Kids
Teach your kids about birds
Ornithology can go hands-to-hands with camping. And to learn more about birds, you need to learn to be patient as well as to be quiet when exploring the woods, grasslands or other places where birds can be found. You also need some equipment to be successful in finding birds. So where can you start if you have never done it before?
My first suggestion would be to find a good book that will introduce your to the world of ornithology. The purpose of this post is to present you a great book that would be perfect for children and adults.
Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America
Written by Bill Thomson III
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
About the Book
Covering 300 of the most common birds in all of the United States and Canada, The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America is loaded with color photographs, drawings showing typical behaviors, range maps, an easy-to-use checklist, fun facts, and authoritative information about each bird, its vocalizations, and its habitat.
While other field guides might overwhelm kids who are new to birding, The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America was created with help from kids. Bill Thompson’s own son and daughter and their elementary school classes helped select the content. Kid tested, kid approved!
BILL THOMPSON III is the editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest and the author of the Peterson Field Guide Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of Eastern North America, along with many other books. He lives in Ohio with his wife, the author and illustrator Julie Zickefoose, and their two children.
I’m a bird lover and share my knowledge (as limited as it is) with my kids whenever I have the opportunity. I have birds book in French and one in English for the area around here as well.
So when I saw that Peterson Field Guides had an edition specifically designed for children, I thought it would be great to review it and let the kids use it themselves this spring/summer/fall.
The book is easy to carry in a backpack and isn’t heavy at all (compared to another book I have at home – yikes!). There is a nice section at the beginning that will help your child to learn more about birding – or should I say ornithology – as well as various habitats and how to use the guide on an expedition. Geared with binoculars and this book, I am sure that your kids will have a blast to discover birds in their habitats as well as learn about them.
Each bird presented in this book has its own page complete with picture, drawings, map where it could be found and some specific information about the bird like how they sounds, what they look like, where to find it and so on. There is even a WOW! bubble which highlight an extra fact about the bird your are studying.
Just before lunch time, my oldest was dressed up to go get the mail and right away he called me with the camera to take a picture of the bird in our front yard Japanese lilac.
We also heard him sing quite a few times… A beautiful bird has brought sunshine in our rainy cold day.
So not wasting any time, I thought it would be great to check out the Young Birder’s Guide to Birds in North America to see what kind of bird it was. After comparing my pictures with the book, we learned that it was an House Finch also known as Carpodacus Mexicanus. Though a native of the West, the house finch has colonized the East with the help of humans. They are adaptable to almost any habitat except the deep woods and the open grasslands. You will find them more commonly around human-affected areas (like my front yard!). In 1940, a small number of House Finches were sold illegally as caged birds and were released near New York City. Apparently all the House Finches east of the Great Plains are descended from these birds.
In the past few years, we have seen numerous birds while camping either in Canada or in Eastern US. Some of them I already knew but I also encountered a new bird where we are parked year-round in the Ottawa Valley. With its bright orange color I knew that I had never seen it before. Imagine my surprise and delight to realize that I have encountered Baltimore Oriole. I’ve seen it once last year and hope that we will be able to see him more often this summer. I know where to find him – close to the second lake, the one where the family of loon nest in the spring season.
I found the book is well designed for young birders who are learning about observing one of the most marvelous creature in the world. Birds always fascinated us throughout history and they are a delight to watch when you can observe them in nature. If you have a child (or numerous children) interesting in learning more about birds and developing a passion for ornithology, The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America is a great book for him/her to use. Besides, not only the kids can discover ornithology…. Mom and Dad can join the fun too!
The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review purposes from Thomas Allen. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.
Note: This blog post has been adapted from the one originally posted on Canadianladybug Reviews!
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