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:

Hatchling:

Little Naturalists: John James Audubon Painted Birds
by Kate Coombs

Introduce your child to the history of John James Audubon, who was known for being an ornithologist and artist who painted hundreds of bird species. The book has a sweet poem accompanied by simple illustrations of things that Audubon painted that are associated with birds, such as nest and eggs, as well as the parts of birds, such as beaks, legs, eyes, and wings.

Fledgling:

Justine McKeen and the Bird Nerd
by Sigmund Brouwer

Justine McKeen is the Queen of Green. In this book, which is part of a series about being green, Justine helps a school bully, Jimmy Blatzo, who rescues a bird after it flew into a window. The book educates adolescents about threats to birds while also covering the perils of being a teen activist, from having to speak to town council officials to help birds and accepting the nickname of "Bird Nerd!"

Juvenile:

Most Popular Birds in North America: Bird Watching Guide for Kids
by Nona Kid

This beginning bird guide is excellent for young explorers who want to learn about the birds around them. The book describes that the kids will learn how to attract birds to their backyard, identify the birds, and how birds build nests. The book also includes bird questions, bird jokes, and "something cool" about each bird.

For Adults:

The Book of the Bird: Birds in Art
by Angus Hyland

This book is a collection and celebration of birds used in art over many centuries. It contains a collection of paintings, illustrations, and photographs used by artists in many ways with information about each image and bird. It features a wide variety of species, showcasing the wonderful diversity of birds all over the world and how birds are often a favorite of artists for their color and beauty.

Kids and Families
April - May 2021
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

April and May events throughout Freeport!

The Freeport Art Museum is celebrating birds this April and May. For kids, Mr. Barry is hosting a Draw a Bird Day on April 8. Please visit their website to find more information.

The Freeport Public Library is also hosting many events, such as bird-themed story-times on April 21 and April 24. In addition, throughout the month of May will be a Bird Scavenger Hunt at the Library.

World Migratory Bird Day Celebration 2021 – "Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!"
Saturday, May 8, 2021 at Taylor Park, 10:30 a.m.

Pick up cardboard wings and paper beaks from the Freeport Art Museum to paint or color prior to May 8. If unable to get materials in advance, come to Taylor Park at 10:30 a.m. to decorate wings and beaks. Your beaks will attach to your covid masks.

At 11:00 am, we will have socially-distanced activities!

Beginning Birder

Indigo Bunting
(Passerina cyanea)

Loggerhead Shrike The Indigo Bunting is a favorite of many bird watchers for its bright flashy blue color. The bird is often nicknamed the "blue canary" for its whistle-like song and streamlined shape similar to a yellow canary. Although the males appear blue and their name indicates this, their color actually lacks blue pigment. The "blue" that we see is a result of microscopic structures in the feathers that refract and bend light. To our eyes, it appears blue, but in fact, the feathers are black. Female Indigo Buntings are brown, with some slight blue appearance on wings.

Indigo Buntings are small birds that tend to live in brushy areas, often where fields meet the forest area. They are primarily insect eaters, but are also omnivorous, eating seeds and berries. You can attract them to your feeders using nyjer seed or thistle as well as mealworms.

They are long-distance migrants, flying 1,200 miles each way between breeding grounds in North America when we see them in spring to their wintering areas in southern Florida and Central to South America.

* Thanks to allaboutbirds.org.

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

April/May

Fly like a Bird and Learn about Migration

Ask yourself: Why do birds fly over our town? Where do you think they are going and why? Birds may fly around for several reasons: to find a new home, to find food, to find water, or to seek shelter and safety. Then learn about migration, which is a longer distance flight. Spring is a time for many birds to migrate. Why do birds migrate? They might be looking for better food availability, breeding areas to find a mate, or better climate.

Learn about migration by playing migration games with your family. Have several family members or friends pretend to be a flock of migrating birds - perhaps in a "V" formation that geese do. Take turns being the leader of the V while the others make two angled lines. Follow the leader without bumping into each other and keeping the V formation - it's tricky unless you communicate! Birds call to signal each other – you can make this fun by having the lead bird call back things like, "You getting too tired, Jack?" or "How are you doing, Jill?" or by making bird calls!

Bald Eagle

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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Saturday, Sep. 25, 2021
Stewardship: Prairie Seed Collecting @ Elkhorn Creek Biodiverisity Preserve... >

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021
Program: Photo Tour of Isle Royale National Park... >

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021
Event: New Moon Campfire at Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve... >

Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, to Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021
Annual Bird Seed Sale Alert!... >

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