Birds have been a subject of children's stories since farther back than memory can stretch. The feathered animals offer up the inspiration of flight and travel, the mystery of migration, the love and care of parents toward young, the daring of leaving home for one's own adventures and so many other lessons. We've selected 10 books, some fiction and some for the field, that connect children to birds and to all the aspects of nature, wilderness, and of course daily life lessons that bird-watching can build.
1. National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America
Many of the most common birds from coast to coast are listed in this guide, helping children to learn more about the birds they spot right in their own back yards. Accessible and informative, the book will engage children in the fun of bird-watching. Available on Amazon.
2. A Nest Full of Eggs
This book created for very young children walks the reader through what happens when a chick hatches from an egg and is raised by its parents. A beautifully illustrated book, available on Amazon.
3. Vulture View
Gorgeously illustrated with paper-cut images, this book introduces children to turkey vultures and, in turn, the surprising roles birds play in ecosystems. Available on Amazon.
4. Owl Babies
In this children's story, three owl babies wake up to find their mother gone, and wonder what she is up to. With gorgeous illustrations and a happy ending with the mother's return, this is a lovely book that helps children relate to chicks. Available on Amazon.
5. Two Blue Jays
This illustrated book is full of information about blue jays specifically, and about birds raising a family in general. The story is told from a classroom setting and so reminds children to look right outside their own windows to watch birds and nature. Available from Amazon.
6. Last Egret: The Adventures of Charlie Pierce
This illustrated novel aimed for 6-10-year-olds looks at what happens when a once-thriving population of birds in the Florida everglades in the late 19th century is targeted for plume collection. Conservation lessons as well as an appreciation for birds can be found in this tale. Available from Amazon.
7. The Wheel on the School
When a school girl wonders why storks no longer return to her village, it sets the other school kids to wondering, and then to action to bring the storks back. A beautiful tale of wonder and restoration. Available on Amazon.
8. Welcome, Brown Bird
Two children are unknowingly linked together by the migration of a single thrush, with one boy living in the bird's home in New England and the other living in its home in Central America. The tale illustrates both the amazing annual migration of song birds as well as the notion of interconnectedness. Available on Amazon.
9. Beginning Birdwatcher's Book
A fun way to get started in bird watching, this book has a fact-filled page for each of 48 common North American bird species, plus a space for a sticker of the bird to be placed after it is spotted in the wild. Available on Amazon.
10. About Birds: A Guide for Children
Children learn about the life of birds in this beautifully illustrated natural history book. Everything is touched on from nests to songs to flight. It is perfect for the budding ornithologist. Available on Amazon.
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