As parents raising children on Seabrook Island or grandparents whose grandchildren visit here often, you hopefully use our environment to spark an interest in nature. And, because we have access to the ocean, marsh, fresh water ponds, and woods our island is the perfect place to introduce your young ones to bird watching.
To enhance this experience, there are many wonderful books about birds and birding for children of all ages that you might like to have on hand at your Seabrook Island home or send as gifts. To get you started SIB has a few recommendations.
Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs by Andrea Pennington – This interactive book features recordings of twelve bird songs of some of the best known backyard birds across North America. The board pages are easy to turn and the song buttons are easy to activate. There is a beautiful drawing and basic details for each bird. Even though this is a board book, it would be interesting for children of all ages.
Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman – This is a book similar to the above, but one that uses mnemonics instead of recordings of bird songs. A great book for preschoolers through age 8 or 9 and some adults like me who use mnemonics to remember bird sounds. The birds featured are found in many backyards and even though some of the birds are specific to either the east or west coast, there are birds found in other regions that are comparable. The illustrations of the birds and something from their environment are accurate and delightful.
Birds, Nests & Eggs by Mel Boring – This is a fun, informative take-along guide that will help children from around the ages of 5 to 10 to locate and identify 15 birds. There are also activities that will enhance learning about birds and their habitats. This is a great steppingstone to the more advanced bird guides.
National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America by Jonathan Alderfer – This is a more advanced bird guide than the previous book and, paired with a pair of binoculars, would be a wonderful gift for children age 8 and up. This book not only features detailed drawings by a top avian artist, Jonathan Alderfer, but also descriptions, fun facts, activities, and range maps. The guide includes comprehensive details of 50 of North America’s most popular birds as well as mini profiles of another 100 birds. This is a book that a child could take everywhere he or she goes.
The Big Book of Birds by Yuval Zommer – This large sized book features lots of beautiful and quirky illustrations and cool facts. The author and illustrator features flamboyant and whacky birds of the sky instead of the more common backyard birds. The large beautiful illustrations should hold the attention of children of all ages. This book also encourages young bird watchers to protect birds and to make their yards bird friendly. Also, check out one of his other books; The Big Book of Bugs! This book is equally, if not even more, impressive.
This is just a sampling of all the amazing books about nature available for children. You can also visit the Charleston County Public Library on Johns Island to load up on lots of books about birds and nature in preparation for their visit. And, after introducing your children and grandchildren to the wonderful world of birds you all can then join the Seabrook Island Birders on one of our birding activities to put their new skills into practice. Check out all our fun activities at seabrookislandbirders.org.
Article Submitted by Joleen Ardaiolo