Nature's Book Nook

Many of these books can be found on PrairieCat; many are available for as little as 1 cent or 99 cents from booksellers on Amazon (with $3.99 for postage and handling).

For Kids:

For ages 3 to 7:

Make Way for Ducklings
Robert McCloskey

It is impossible to have a duck theme without mentioning this classic! Mrs. Mallard wants to get her 8 ducklings to a home at the pond but has to get them through Boston traffic, but with help from the Boston police and kind motorists, she is successful.

Ducks: Amazing Photos of Fun Facts for Kids about Ducks
Caroline Norsk

For preschool to K:

Everything Spring
Jill Esbaum (National Geographic)

“Stunning photography and detailed imagery...students will recognize themselves...eager, tentative duckling taking to water.”

For Adults:

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
Dan Egan

“Dan Egan has done more than any other journalist in America to chronicle the decline of this great ecosystem, to alert the public to new threats, and to force government to take action on remedies.” Received Grantham Prize for Excellence in Report on the Environment: Special Merit Citation.

Kids and Families
February/March 2018
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

Audubon in the Library

Wildlife Wednesdays, 10:30 — 11:00 a.m. at the Freeport Library, 100 E. Douglas

Appropriate audience is two– to seven-year-olds

An Audubon member hosts this monthly series at the Freeport Public Library. Each month has a different theme related to nature and wildlife. The instructor will read various books related to the theme and incorporate educational and fun learning activities for the child and guardian.


Winter Activities to Do with Your Family!

  • Take a hike.
  • Go bird watching – see which birds have arrived for the spring migration.
  • Keep a birding list.
  • Look for nests that are now more obvious since the leaves are gone – you may see squirrel nests, bird nests and wasp or hornet nests.
  • Look for animal tracks and scat.
  • Talk about how wildlife survives in the winter.
  • Learn about conifer trees.
  • Make a pinecone feeder: spread peanut butter or sunflower butter on the cone and roll in birdseed. Hang for birds or squirrel.

Winter Activities

Beginning Birder

Anas platyrhynchos

Mallard As lakes begin to thaw in March, migratory ducks stop to rest and feed on their journeys to northern breeding grounds. It’s the perfect time of year to spot a duck and one of the easiest ones to spot here in Illinois and maybe the most familiar duck to many of us is the Mallard. The male has a gleaming green head, gray sides, black tail-curl and yellow bill. The females or young ducks are mottled brown with orange or brown bills.

Cool Facts*

  • Ducks that spring right from the water and that tip their bills into the water while feedings are called dabbling or puddle ducks. They like shallow water. The Mallard is a dabbling duck.
  • “Divers” are ducks that prefer larger, deeper bodies of water where they can propel themselves in the water. To take off from the water, they have to patter on the surface, like a plane on the runway, before they become airborne.
  • Mallards are large ducks with hefty bodies, rounded heads and wide, flat bills.
  • Mallards can be very tame ducks, especially in city ponds.
  • Look for Mallards on lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers, as well as city parks and residential backyards.
  • As with most bird species, the male is the more handsome of the duck pair. He will already be in his breeding plumage when he arrives to our area in the spring.

* Information adapted from and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site All About Birds.

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

Do the Feather Test

Why don’t ducks get wet? Ducks have glands at the base of their feathers that release oil to spread over the top layer of feathers.

Take two feathers: Coat one with vegetable oil. Dip each in water. What happens? Can you see how the oil prevents water from soaking the feather?

Feed the ducks – but not with bread. Bread isn’t good for ducks and can make them sick. Instead try grapes cut in half, frozen peas that have been defrosted, birdseed, cracked corn, barley, or oats.


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... >