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It's A Bird! A Kid's Guide to Knowing Those Things with Feathers by Joseph Choiniere and Claire Mowbray Golding Updated 3/31/04 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction why people watch birds; why we wrote this book; what we hope readers will get out of it Sidebars: bird-references in the English language; birds in literature; sports teams with bird names; Micmac story about birds and seasons 1. What is This Thing with Feathers? What is a feather? Topography (eyeline, scapulars, rump, flank, breast, etc.), structures (feet and claws, wings and bone structure, beaks, tails); breathing, and abilities (song, eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, brain power, speed) of birds Sidebars: Splitting and reconnecting feathers; observing feather colors; way you walk vs. way birds walk; birds' "knees"; flightless birds, no tails; how bird breathing is affected when they are hurt; what is a wishbone?; gizzards; woodcock bills; identify birds' bills; test your hearing 2. How Do Birds Live? How birds' communities and habitats are similar to humans' neighborhoods; why do birds prefer certain habitats? communities of birds; territory; what do birds eat?; when do birds eat?; do birds communicate (birds' songs and calls); nests and eggs,; baby birds: precocial vs. altricial; diurnal, nocturnal, crepuscular birds Sidebars: Importance of dead trees; what's happening to habitat? What is a forest?; redwinged blackbird territorial behavior; weigh what you eat!; suet facts; do birds drink? swallows in torpor; structure of robin's nest; brood patches; the first-day "quadrathlon" of the baby wood duck; catbird mimicry; we found a baby bird (what should we do?); a young bird's day compared to a child's day 3. Starting Your Bird Watching Adventure What equipment do you need? Journal, binoculars (aiming and focusing); Going out and finding birds; attracting birds to your home; a quiz to tell what you notice; difference between recognition and identification; four ways to observe: color, shape, size, behavior; using size, silhouette to help with identification (measuring tool illustrations); learning to recognize songs and calls Sidebars: pros and cons of camera use; build a year-round bird arbor, why birds eat suet; how to set up and use binoculars properly; the recognizable vulture; how birds recognize each other 4. What is that Bird? 30 species to learn (one bird per page, arranged overall by color), plus 1 regional variation (look-alikes, similar habits or territories); quick scale guide, range map, special features, family, beak type, habitat, foods they eat, distinctive songs and calls,; features such as "Look again" (getting out to listen, observe, go farther than just identification) [no sidebars in this chapter] 5. The Wider World of Birds Context, abundance vs. diversity; biodiversity: how many kinds of birds? where are their populations concentrated? how many individuals? 10,000 bird species/1,500,000 named species of organism; rarity and commonality due to territory size and habitat/adaptability/food requirements; conservation; migration; rare and endangered birds; extinction; whose birds are they? ("our" birds are also South America's birds) Sidebars: pie chart showing bird species in relation to number of species of beetles, etc.; total birds on earth; formerly abundant species; bird watching at night; other creatures that migrate; most diverse bird area on the planet; 5 extinct birds 6. Birds and You protecting bird habitat; nest boxes; nesting platforms; the bird calendar (how can you learn to tell the seasons, the weeks of the year, the weather by keeping track of birds?), photocopyable calendar; being bird-conscious, helping protect birds, birds and the weather; birds and their relationship to humans Sidebars: Two who made a difference: Harriet Hemenway and Rachel Carson; how to build a nesting platform; the coffee connection (buy shade-grown for birds' sake); birds and cats; bird nest from baked beans 7. Some Wild Things About Birds Set up like a pictorial hall of fame: Behaviors, phenomena, migration, etc.: things about birds that kids will love to know: the oddities and extremes, the bizarre and the incredible Sidebars: elephant birds of Madagascar; how birds move underwater 8. Resources for Birding books, field guides, videos, CDs on bird songs, field playback devices, web sites, associations, how to start a bird watching group, annual birding events Glossary, Index
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Birds -- Juvenile literature.
Bird watching -- Juvenile literature.