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 8 to 11:

My First Book about Backyard Nature: Ecology for Kids
Patricia J. Wynne and Donald Silva

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Silver Medal. Explores all kinds of backyard creatures in all seasons, both day and night. Realistic pictures for kids to color.

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature
Nicole Davis and Mark Hearld

Over a dozen poems that urge kids to dash outside. Multimedia illustrations. Rich, textual images.

A Seed Is Sleepy
Dianne Aster (author) and Sylvia Long (illus.)

“A beautiful and informative look at the intricate, complex and often surprising world of seeds – full of wit and charm.”

An Egg Is Quiet
Dianne Aster (author) and Sylvia Long (illus.)

“Stunningly beautiful and wonderfully informative book – wonderful introduction to the vast, amazing world of eggs – full of wit and charm.”

And Then It’s Spring
Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead

A boy and his dog dig a garden – and wait – and wait. “A tender story of anticipation.”

For Adults:

The Red-Winged Blackbird: A Study in the Ecology of a Cat Tail Marsh
Arthur A. Allen

Nature Meditations
Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Whole range of human emotion experienced through elements of the natural world.”

Kids and Families
April/May 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. There are also activities that can be done at home to continue the learning!


This will be the last Wildlife Wednesday. Juliet thanks you for your support over the past three years! It was our pleasure to read and educate preschool children about nature.

Earth Month Events

Library Cleanup Project

Monday, April 2nd, 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport

Library Cleanup Project

Be a litter-busting hero! Help Anna and others pick up around Debate Square and keep our city clean!

Open to all ages!

Earth Film Series

All films are free and open to the public. Films will be show at the Freeport Public Library, meeting Room A, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport

Earth Film Series

DEEP – Thursday, April 12th, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

A children’s film: A little octopus and friends must journey across the ocean when their home is destroyed. Rated PG; 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

Disney Nature Bears – Thursday, April 26th, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

A children’s film: A mother bear raises her cubs in the Alaskan Wilderness. Documentary. Rated G; 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

Earth Day Celebration at Krape Park, 1799 Park Blvd., Freeport IL

April 21st, 2018. Free and open to the public – Rain or Shine. 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Earth Day Celebration at Krape Park

  • Art Project with the Freeport Art Museum.
  • Energy Efficiency and Clean Transportation exhibit, including Ebike, with Audubon member Josef Appell.
  • Vermicomposting with U of I Master Gardeners Glenn and Laurie Gungel.
  • At the Cottage near the Boat Ramp between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. – Join the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners to learn about pollinators.
  • At the Community Building – 2:00 p.m. only; Hoo Haven program, featuring live birds of prey. Space is limited to 80 individuals. There will be NO reserved seating. Doors will be open at 1:45 p.m. and seating will be on a first come, first served basis.
  • Walk in the Park – 3:00 p.m. only. Walking Meditation with Pat Leitzen Fye from Your Core Being.

Superhero Cleanup with Be the Change

Saturday, April 28th
Kickoff at 11 a.m. at Read Park, 1200 Park Lane Drive, Freeport

Superhero Cleanup

We are again helping to promote the 4th Annual Superhero Cleanup led by Be the Change. It is encouraged for volunteers to wear their favorite superhero attires, but it isn’t required! The kickoff starts at Read park in Freeport and then small groups will disperse to grime-filled locations.

You are also welcome to gather your own group and contact BTC in advance to plan your own cleanup location. For other ways to help or for more information, contact

Silver Creek Bird Festival

Saturday, May 12th, at the Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve

One hundred one species of birds have been documented at Silver Creek. Tours will begin at 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00 a.m. Free “Illinois Birds” pocket guides will be distributed while supplies last. There are no fees.

Superhero Cleanup

The preserve is located about 2 miles south of Leaf River (S. Main St. in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.), with parking just off of leaf River Rd. If weather is questionable, call Mary at 815-938-3204. We hope to see you there!

Beginning Birder

Red-winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceu

Red-winged Blackbird One of the most abundant birds across North America, and one of the most boldly colored, the Red-winged Blackbird is a familiar sight atop cattails, along soggy roadsides, and on telephone wires.

Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide, depending on how confident they feel. The females are streaky brown, almost like a large, dark sparrow. Their early and tumbling songs are a happy indication of the return of spring!

Cool Facts*

  • The male birds fiercely defend their territories during the breeding season, spending more than a quarter of daylight hours in defense. He chases other males out of the territory and attacks nest predators, sometimes going after much larger animals, including horses and people!
  • These birds roost in flocks in all months of the year. In summer, small numbers roost in the wetlands where the birds breed. Winter flocks can be made up of almost several million birds! Each morning the roosts spread out, traveling as far as 50 miles to feed, then re-forming at night.

* Information adapted from 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

Spring Observations

Take your kids for a walk around your yard or a nearby park. What signs of spring do they see? Jot down their observations in a small notebook.

Choose a tree that is just leafing out; ask them to describe the leaf shape this point, its color and size. Have each one sketch a leaf. Then let the kids take pictures. (But have them sketch or draw first). Choose a flower. Choose a few other plants or growing things that the kids point out, but only a few.

For each one jot down the observations the kids make, have each one sketch one thing he or she chooses, and then let them take a few pictures – but only a few. Post their observations and choose a few pictures.

Two or three weeks later, repeat the process with the same tree, plant, flower, etc. Have them note the changes.

Repeat again in another two or three weeks.

You can use your imagination and theirs to put together, perhaps on poster board, their observations, pictures they’ve drawn, some of the pictures. Have them choose which of these they want to put on the board; by choosing, they will be more aware and reflective.

You will a have a visual and written book of the blossoming of spring.


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... >