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Birdwatching for Kids

April 16, 2024

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Birds are a natural wonder. Children of all ages can enjoy birdwatching for free, at home, without having to go anywhere at all! Not only is birdwatching a fun hobby for kids to take up, but it also boasts tons of side-benefits! Children can begin to delve into science by way of observing birds, learning how to identify and classify them based on their different songs, behaviors, and physical appearances. Birdwatching is also a fantastic way to get your children outside and active, and can provide a meaningful pastime that could lead to making new friends, joining a club or a group, and inspiring play! I've once again scoured the stacks for you all, and this time, get ready to soar to new heights with the very best bird books!

Birds by Kevin Henkes

This charming picture book is a great introduction for younger children into the world of birds. Told from a child's perspective, the book shares a wide range of different observations about birds, often ending a sentence with "I think". I found illustrator Laura Dronzek's bird paintings to be absolutely captivating. Colorful birds dot the pages, and as the book goes on, our narrator finds herself getting a little more abstract, imagining what it would be like if birds were the clouds in the sky, and what it might be like to be a bird! Kevin Henkes has done it again, and this book will delight curious readers of all ages. 

The Children's Book of Birdwatching by Dan Rouse

If you are looking for a more simplified guide to birds and birdwatching, this book has exactly what you're looking for! Each bird is presented with a photograph alongside a neat bit of text, and there are lots of fun graphics and bullet points. Rouse also provides lots of different activities involving birds! There is a recipe for DIY bird food, various different types of bird houses, and some ideas of which plants are best for attracting birds into your yard (including a DIY seed bomb recipe!). I really enjoyed reading through this book, and it sparked some ideas for me to try out at my new home! I'm feeling inspired to set up at least one little bird house out there (and maybe a birdbath, too)!

The Extraordinary World of Birds by David Lindo

Perhaps intended for children who are a bit older (school aged), this lovely nonfiction read serves as a compendium for all things birds! Starting off with a simple paragraph "What is a bird?", Lindo immediately captures the young reader's attention, claiming that birds are "living dinosaurs"! The book is divided into five sections that explore the different aspects and classifications of different birds. On every single page, there are numerous birds depicted, with their names beneath. In the final section, "Birds and Me", Lindo details how birds help the planet and how we, as humans, can help protect endangered species and contribute to conservation efforts. There are some wonderful DIY project ideas including building a bird house, making a bird feeder, and creating a birdbath. The final spread in the book is a colorful guide to birding. Birding is different from birdwatching, in that it includes the documenting of one's bird discoveries. The back pages of the book include a list of the national birds for every country in the world, a glossary of bird-related terms, and an extensive index!

Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate

This hilarious comic-style picture book combines so many different genres into one. The author combines her passion for birdwatching with her quirky style of drawing and dialogue. Learn all about hundreds of types of birds, laughing all the while! There are also little tips and tricks spread throughout that provide useful insights into how to best observe, identify, document, and attract birds. I'm absolutely convinced that Look Up! has the potential to turn anyone into a bird-nerd. Not only is it extremely informative, it is certain to make you laugh. I learned so much reading this children's book! I would, however, recommend this book for older children. It is quite wordy and contains some more advanced vocabulary that a child might only understand once they are in third or fourth grade. If you're looking for a super entertaining book about birds, look no further!

Happy Birding!

Whether or not you decide to get out there with your child and look at some birds, picture books can help children to learn about the world around them and can even inspire play. There are books for every type of child, no matter what their interests are. Most children enjoy a good fictional story, but nonfiction books also have so much to offer! Come check out our Children's collection at NPL for all of these books, and so much more. 

Caroline Cronin


Caroline is a Bilingual Literacy Assistant for Bringing Books to Life! She is passionate about accessibility and language justice and loves to share stories and art with friends of all ages. In her free time she enjoys singing, cooking, teaching and practicing yoga, and roller skating.

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