"Tweet" This: Start a Bird Journal

Children’s author Mary Quattlebaum inspires kids to keep tabs on the neighborhood flocks

04-20-2010 // Mary Quattlebaum
Robin in tree
Sky, trees and parks are now busy with birds.  My city backyard is atwitter with robins, finches, sparrows and doves and evening is bright with a pair of cardinals.  Migrating geese honk from the heavens.


How to best welcome these springtime friends?  In my family, we're dusting off the hummingbird feeder and preparing our wildlife habitat for new growth.

Children's author Sallie Wolf puts out a metaphorical welcome mat through her slim, beautiful volume, The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound (Charlesbridge, 2010, $11.95).  It's a creative record of the birds that Wolf enjoys watching.  Included are small poems, brief descriptions, lively sketches, watercolor paintings and lists of birds seen on particular dates.

This book models the catch-all style of an artist's or naturalist's notebook:  careful observation and note-taking, creative response, in-the-moment drawings.  It may well inspire a single child to watch and write or spur a shared journal for the entire family.

NWF has great resources to inspire your child to keep a bird journal: 

Have fun!

Mary Quattlebaum is a mother and the author of award-winning children’s books, including Winter Friends (outdoor poems) and Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns and other chapter books about a boy and his adventures in a city community garden.  Check www.maryquattlebaum.com for activities connected with Mary’s books.

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