Nature's Book Nook For Kids:

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart, illus. by Constance R. Bergum (For pre-school, early elementary)
“Under the snow lies a hidden world – Voles spend their days tunneling under the snow – a chipmunk snoozes and between naps snacks on the nuts and seeds stored in its burrow –”
Delightful watercolor illustrations and vivid text take children and adults alike to all the life under the snow – and then join all the animals as they get ready for spring.

Welcome to the World of Eagles by Diane Swanson (For ages 4-7)
Find these amazing facts: see-through eyelids protect eagles' eyes; eagles can kill prey four times heavier than themselves; one bald eagle weighed as much as a minivan.

Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks: Take-Along Guide by Mel Boring, illus. by Linda Garrow (For elementary)
Introduction to the world of rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks with identity information, fun facts, and educational activities.

For Adults:

Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together, Julie Dunlap and Stephen R. Kellert, eds.
An anthology of personal essays ranging from bird-watching to an encounter with an apple-butter-loving grizzly bear, including Sandra Steinberger’s “big talk” with her children...not about “the birds and bees” but about global warming.

Kids and Families
February/March 2015
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In
Eagle-Watching Field Trip, Sat., Feb. 21, 2015, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bald eagles are large birds of prey native to North America. Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the United States’ national emblem and mascot. The bald eagle isn’t actually bald; it gets its name because its white head against a dark brown body makes it seem bald from a distance.

Join us to observe populations of wintering bald eagles and other early migrating waterfowl as we travel to Lock and Dam 13 on the Mississippi River. Dress in warm layers and meet at the Staples lot in Freeport at 9 a.m. Bring your binoculars and camera. Participants will find a place for lunch around noon. Expected return time is 2 p.m.

Call Laura at 815-541-8958 if you would like to attend. Sign-up is not mandatory, but helpful in planning the carpool or cancellation due to weather.

This field trip is best suited for older children. Call Laura to discuss the schedule and how it fits with your children’s needs.

Beginning Birder

Northern Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
washingtoniensis

Bald Eagle Bald eagles are “fish eagles.” They are in this classification because their main source of food is fish. They will also eat smaller birds, other bird’s eggs and small animals like rabbits, reptiles, amphibians and crabs. Since bald eagles only eat meat, this makes them carnivores.

Bald eagles make large nests from sticks, grass, feathers, moss and cornstalks in which to lay their eggs. The largest bald eagle nest on record was found in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was 9.5 feet across and 20 feet deep. It weighed over 4,000 pounds! Bald eagles can live up to 28 years in the wild. There are currently over 10,000 bald eagles in North America.

Did you know...?

  • The Great Seal of the United States features a bald eagle.
  • The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States.
  • Female bald eagles are larger than male bald eagles.
  • The bald eagle was added to the list of endangered species in the United States in 1967, and its numbers have recovered well since. Can you do some research to find out why they have been recovering?
  • Bald eagles have a massive wingspread of about 7 feet.
  • In the nest, the female bald eagle will lay one to three eggs.
Get Linked In

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

Winter Tree Buds

Explore with your kids the buds of various trees. In February or early March, while buds are still tightly closed, cut off a 12-inch twig from various trees. Use garden shears for a sharp, clean cut and cut at an angle. Never take more than you need.

Fill a jar with water and put in the twigs. Place in a sunny windowsill and change the water every few days.

Check daily and note how the buds begin to swell. Finally, the flower buds will burst open. The leaf buds take a little more time.

Eagle Craft Idea

Try this craft idea with your kids and encourage them to be creative.

Kids can trace their hands and one foot on a brown paper bag. Cut out the tracings and glue or tape them together as shown in the picture below.

Glue some white paper to the head area, find something fun for the black eyes and make a triangle beak out of orange paper and glue on.

Draw some feet out of orange paper and glue those on.

These would be fun to make after the Eagle field trip on Feb. 21st! You could even hang them in a window.

President’s Day American Bald Eagle Craft, courtesy of funfamilycrafts.com

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... >