Nature's Book Nook For Kids:

What Bluebirds Do
Pamela Kirby, 9-11

Bird Count
Alison Hill Spencer, preschool

It’s About a Little Bird
Jessica Lange, preschool

For Adults:

The Bluebird Book: The Complete Guide to Attracting Bluebirds
Donald and Lillian Stokes

Beginning Birder Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) Fun Facts

  • Look for the return of these birds to our area in March.
  • Males are vivid, deep blue above and rusty on the throat or breast.
  • They live in meadows surrounded by trees that offer nesting holes.
  • Bluebirds have struggled to survive due to loss of nesting sites. You can help by putting up a proper nesting box.
  • Bluebirds need an open grassy habitat. They need places to perch like trees, bushes or a clothesline.
  • Look for these birds at local preserves like the Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve.
Kids and Families
February/March 2014
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

Great Backyard Bird Count

Sponsored in part by the National Audubon Society, The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of winter bird populations. The GBBC will be held Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2014. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes on one or more days of the event and report their findings online. As one watcher reported, “This count is so fun because anyone can take part – and we all learn and watch birds together...” On the www.birdcount.org website, you can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during and after the count. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great products.

Check out our calendar of activities for the February 11th event held at the Freeport Public Library. We are holding a special program to encourage people to learn more about birds by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. It’s a great program for the whole family!

Mixed Flock
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Children, Nature and You Resources to help you give the children you influence the awe and wonder that only the natural world can inspire

Freeport Park District Information on all the Freeport parks

Freeport Public Library More than books on a shelf...visit the Freeport Public Library

Freeport/Stephenson County Convention and Visitors Bureau Events located in Stephenson County, IL

Getting Kids Involved (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology) Includes bird information, tips, and more for kids and families

The Great Backyard Bird Count for Kids Sponsored by the Audubon Society and other partners

Jane Addams Recreation Trail Ride or Hike the beautiful Jane Addams Trail

Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots A program of the Jane Goodall Institute offering a variety of programs and resources

National Audubon website Use “Get Outside” and “Family Time” prompts

National Wildlife Federation Many family-friendly articles; Ranger Rick family magazine

Paddle the Pecatonica River Water Trail Enjoy Illinois’ “Friendliest Paddle” on the Pecatonica River

Resource Guide Supplement to Last Child in the Woods Designed for parents, teachers, and community leaders to help them encourage children’s enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Severson Dells Nature Center Located near Rockford, IL.

Sierra Club Outdoors The program's goal is to give every child in America an outdoor experience.

Family Activity

Want to attract the bluebird?
Build it and they will come! Building bluebird nest boxes is a great way to help conserve birds at the local level. Boxes are readily available at most home improvement stores or you can check out lots of nest plans at www.birdwatching-bliss.com and build it yourself.

Birdhouse

To make it more successful, remember:

  • Limit pesticide use; bluebirds diet consists of insects which can be affected by pesticides.
  • No perch! Perches encourage predators and the birds don’t need them.
  • Houses should be put up at the end of February or early March.
  • Make sure boxes are 200 yards apart if putting up more than one nesting box.
  • Face the box east or northeast, away from prevailing winds.
  • Place boxes 4–8 feet high, facing a clearing if possible.
  • The North American Bluebird Society has very strict guidelines for monitoring nesting boxes that you should check out.

Some websites have live Eastern Bluebird Webcams so you can watch babies in the nest. Do a search online.

Do you have a preschool-aged child in your life? Teach them this little finger play.

Two little bluebirds
(hold one finger from each hand in front of you)

Sitting on a hill

One named Jack
(wiggle one finger)

One named Jill
(wiggle the other)

Fly away Jack
(put hand behind back)

Fly away Jill
(put other hand behind back)

Come back Jack
(bring one hand back to front with finger up)

Come back Jill
(bring out other hand)

Calendar

News
and Events

Check out our full calendar of activities, events, and educational opportunities. You're sure to find something to interest you. Please join us!

Events include:

  • Monthly educational programs and issues discussions
  • Local bird walks
  • Field trips
  • Preserve work days

For more details, see the current newsletter.

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Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017
Wildlife Wednesday: Dragonflies and Damselflies... >

Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2017
NIAS Monthly Membership Meeting: History of the Upper Mississippi River... >

Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2017
Wildlife Wednesday: Bees... >

Saturday, Sep. 9, 2017
Field Trip: Amboy Marsh... >