Nature's Book Nook For Kids:

Winter Wonderland
(National Geographic Kids)
Jill Esbaum, ages 4-8

One Winter’s Day
M. Christine Butler
(ages 3 and up)

Backyard Birding for Kids
Fran Lee

For Adults:

The Power of Trees
Gretchen C.Daily and
Charles J. Katz Jr.

Beginning Birder State Bird of Illinois: Cardinal

Northern Cardinal Fun Facts

  • They frequently visit backyard feeders
  • They were given the name cardinal as the bright red color of the male species is very similar to the color of robes used by Cardinals in the Catholic faith
  • Cardinals are also known as redbirds and Virginia Nightengales
  • They eat 51 kinds of beetles, four types of grasshoppers, cicadas and aphids
  • In the wild, they can live up to 15 years as confirmed by banding studies
Kids and Families
December 2013/January 2014
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In
Mixed Flock

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 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.

One way that families might get ready for this event is to spend Nov.-Jan. researching birds and learning to identify the ones that typically come to your feeders. You can even make a pair of binoculars for the 3-5 year-old birder out of empty toilet paper rolls. Sign up now at and get those young birders started on a lifetime of interest and fun.

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 Outdoor Experience Events located in Freeport and Stephenson County

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

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

NASA Climate Kids to tell the story of our changing planet through the eyes of NASA missions studying Earth and provides games, activities, and articles that make climate science accessible and engaging for children

National Audubon for Kids provides resources for classroom curriculum, DIY activities, and bird activities for children at home

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

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.

World Migratory Bird Day Learn about the importance of migratory birds and how to celebrate birds any day of the year!

Family Activity

Pinecone Feeder

Make a pinecone feeder; just spread peanut butter and cornmeal on a pinecone and roll it in a pan of birdseed. Tie a sturdy string or twice, cut into a two-foot length, to the top part of pinecone and tie the other end of the string to a nail or hook where the birds can easily reach the pinecone and where you can see them.

Pinecone Feeder

When it snows, make a snowman (a small one will do nicely) and, in addition to the usual carrot for a nose and raisins for eyes, give him a sunflower or raisin belly button and decorate him with birdseed, shelled peanuts, berries, fruit, Cheerios.


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.


Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
Program: Hidden Prairie: Photographing Life in One Square Meter... >

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023
Christmas Bird Count... >

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023
Beginning Birder Club- Bird Movement - REGISTRATION CLOSED - Contact for waitlist... >

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024
Program: Birds and Beauty in Arizona... >