Nature's Book Nook For Kids:

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (For younger children, ages 4-8)
Classic story of the life cycle of a plant told through the adventures of a tiny seed.

Plant Stems and Roots by David Scwartz, illus. by Dwight Kuhr (For elementary)
From the “Look Once, Look Again Science Series:" Clear text, colorful photos. Younger children will enjoy the color and simple explanation but can also use this as a reference point later.

For Adults:

The Green Halo: A Bird's-Eye View of Ecological Ethics by Erazim Kohak
Analyzes the problematic relations between humans and the rest of the natural world. Looks at the views of Muir, Leopold, Gore and others. Suggests alternative ways to view nature, value it, and respond to ecological crises.

Kids and Families
April/May 2015
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In
Special Children’s Nature Walk, Saturday, May 30, 2015, 9–10:30 a.m.

The spring migration is here! Every year, our chapter schedules bird walks to observe, enjoy and learn about the birds that migrate into our area each spring. Although most of the walks are designed for adults, consider this special Nature Walk that includes activities that kids will enjoy...exploration in nature at its best!

Meet in the parking area of the Newell Tract of the Oakland Nature Preserve (as described in the newsletter in the May 12 birdwalk) at 9:00 a.m. Kids will look for birds and other "neat stuff" until 10:30 a.m.

Leaders are Carol Redmore (kid expert extraordinaire) and Keith Blackmore (bird expert extraordinaire). If you would like to ask them more about the walk, you can call them. To reach Carol, call 815-721-3375 and to reach Keith, call 815-938-3204.

Beginning Birder

Eastern Meadowlark
Sturnella magna

Eastern Meadowlark If you do a web search for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (an excellent resource for learning all about birds) and look up the Eastern Meadowlark, you will read that “...sweet, lazy whistles of Eastern Meadowlarks waft over summer grasslands and farms in eastern North America. The birds themselves sing from fenceposts and telephone lines or stalk through the grasses probing the ground for insects with their long sharp bills. On the ground, their brown-and-black dappled upperparts camouflage the birds among dirt clods and dry grasses. But up on perches, they reveal bright-yellow underparts and a striking black chevron across the chest.”

Here are some fun facts about the Eastern Meadowlark:

  • An Eastern Meadowlark male can sing several different variations of its song. In New York, the songs from one male were analyzed using spectrograms (this would be a good word to look up); the bird sang more than 100 different patterns of song. Do you know 100 songs?
  • Eastern Meadowlarks eat mostly insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and grubs. During winter they also eat weed seeds, spilled corn and wild fruits, but they don’t eat sprouting grain.
  • They get their food by walking on the ground and probing with their bill. First they push their closed bill into the ground and then open their mandibles (what’s that?) to disturb the dirt and expose some grubs and worms – a common trick for members of the blackbird family.
  • The female builds the nest all by herself, taking 4 to 8 days. She weaves a nest out of dead grasses, plant stems, and strips of bark.
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

Bird Field Scketches

Give each child a blank notebook and some colored pencils. Observe your backyard birds over a period of a few days.

Then have each child choose a favorite bird; that child will watch his bird carefully, both with and without binoculars, paying attention to the bird's behavior as well as every detail of its appearance. Have the child draw her bird; then check a bird book (but not until the child has done her own drawing!) and see if anything was missed.

AFTER the child has carefully observed the bird, watched its behavior, and has drawn it, then try some photography. But, hold the picture-taking until the observing and free-hand drawing have been done.

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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Tuesday, May. 23, 2017
Bird Walk: Espenscheid Forest Preserve... >

Thursday, May. 25, 2017
New Moon Campfire at Silver Creek... >

Saturday, May. 27, 2017
Field Trip: An Evening of Birding at Lost Mound... >

Thursday, May. 25, 2017
Conservation Conversations... >