Nature's Book Nook For Kids:

For the very young:

Good Night Owl
Pat Hutchins

Owl’s tree is filled with noisy daytime creatures...but Owl has a surprise for them.

Chickadees at Night
Bill O. Smith

Where do chickadees go at night? “A flight of fancy into the natural world;” delightful and with a gentle reverence for nature.

For ages 4 to 7:

A Log’s Life
Wendy Peffer; illustrations by Robin Brickman

An old oak tree crashes in a storm. Who lives in and under the rotting log? Informative and lyrical text; stunning illustrations.

For early elementary:

The Secret Life of Trees
Chiara Chevalier

Level 2 reader. Explores the wonder and mystery of trees.

For 6 to 9 years old:

From Seed to Maple Tree
Laura Purdie Salas and Shelly Lyons

A straightforward, clear description of a single chain of events. Laura Salas has published over 100 books for kids and teens and won the Minnesota Book Award.

For Adults:

The Life and Love of Trees
Lewis Blackwell

Breathtaking photographs and stories from the boreal forest to the rainforests.

Kids and Families
August/September 2015
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

Focus on Trees

This edition, we are focusing on trees and their relationship to our feathered friends. Beginning Birder highlights the Northern Flicker, a bird that uses trees to nest in and also to drum on when they want to “talk” to other birds in the area.

Membership Meeting: Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 | 6 p.m.

Consider joining us for the Membership Meeting on September 1st at 6:00 p.m. where Lee G. Johnson will present information about the Sand Bluff Bird Observatory. You will learn cool facts about banding birds and why habitat (trees!), especially along migration routes, is so important. The meeting will be held at St. John United Church of Christ. See the August-September newsletter for more information. This meeting is a potluck, so you also get a chance to eat some amazing food provided by all participants!

Beginning Birder

Northern Flicker
Colaptes auratus

Northern Flicker Northern Flickers are large brown woodpeckers. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you would expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly, you’ll see a flash of color in the wings — yellow if you are in the East and red if you are in the West — and a bright white flash on the rump.

Cool Facts

  • Northern Flickers generally nest in holes in trees like other woodpeckers. Occasionally, they have been found nesting in old, earthen burrows vacated by Belted Kingfishers or Bank Swallows.
  • Like most woodpeckers, Northern Flickers drum on objects as a form of communication and territory defense. In such cases, the object is to make as loud a noise as possible, and that’s why woodpeckers sometimes drum on metal objects. One Northern Flicker in Wyoming could be heard drumming on an abandoned tractor from a half-mile away.
  • Look for Northern Flickers in woodlands, forest edges, and open fields with scattered trees, as well as city parks and suburbs.

Taken from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website; you can explore sounds and videos of Northern Flickers from the Cornell Lab of Ortnithology’s Macaulay Library archive.

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

Meet a Tree!

Touch a tree; rub your cheek on the bark. Is it rough or smooth?

Is this tree alive?

Can you put your arms around it?

Is it older than you are?

Can you find plants growing on it?

Do you see or hear any birds in the tree?

Any squirrels?

From Sharing Nature with Children, Joseph Cornell

Trees as Habitats

What are some plants and animals that depend on trees?

What do trees provide for these plants and animals?

Can you see signs of life on the trunk, branches, roots, and leaves?

How is a tree affected by the plants and animals that live on it?

From Project Learning Tree, Forest Foundation


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.


Saturday, Apr. 17, 2021
Annual Crane Count... >

Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021
Bird Walk: N. Jane Addams Trail and Orangeville Wetlands... >

Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2021
Bird Walk: Newell Tract, Oakdale Nature Preserve... >

Tuesday, May. 4, 2021
Zoom Program: Forest Park Owls: Hiding in Plain Sight... >