"GET READY! You are about to discover a world of fun!
For Parents and Older Children
This book is an introduction to the hobby of bird watching. Some think this hobby becomes more of a lifestyle than just a hobby as one evolves into a “birder,” or more formally, a naturalist or beginning ornithologist.
Bird watching helps people in many ways. For children, birding becomes a learning experience that is so much fun they do not realize they are learning. Nature lessons become real life lessons for the child, everything from learning how to just have fun, to being responsible for themselves and other living things. Learning to share, care about others, helping others and when necessary how to stand up for what is right and how to pick their battles carefully. It also gives them an appreciation for God’s world and how there is a cycle in nature that was set in motion from the beginning and continues every day when the sun rises. It offers a sense of routine and security. Birding builds awareness that every living thing is special, the child, the family, even the little birds.
For adults, the health of birds gives a clue as to the general condition of the environment. If you do not see birds, something is very wrong. It also gives us hours of low cost entertainment and adventure for the whole family. Many families center their vacations around birding.
For some, birding brings them closer to nature, to a sense of Serenity and closeness to God. Especially when given a few minutes of quiet and stillness to listen to the song of the Mockingbird or Chickadee. One can truly find the foundation or center of their universe through Nature.
This book is an introduction to birding that gives the child a view of the bird’s world, the “birder’s” world, and begins to teach children the language of bird watching. Younger children will need the parents help in reading and understanding the meaning of the birder language. Older children will need help and encouragement with setting up feeders, bird houses, and other activities you can enjoy together.
After your child finishes this introduction to birding, he or she may be ready to grow more in the world of birding. Two books recommended include Bird Watcher by David Burnie. This book is packed full of fun activities that will help the child grow in his understanding of birds and have fun with parents at the same time. It also helps inexperienced parents learn birding along with their child. The book has detailed instructions for each activity.
The other book is Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists - Backyard Birds by Jonathan Latimer and Karen Nolting. This book helps the child when out on a birding adventure. It has details of bird markings and features to look for when identifying birds. It also has information on the habitat, voice and food for each bird and other interesting facts. It trains the child in how to use a field guide. No doubt if he continues in birding, as he matures he will move into the adult version of field guides. These guides cover every bird everywhere and really are the encyclopedias of birding.
For the internet user, there is no better site for birders, young and old, than www.birds.cornell.edu. This is the site for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is a treasure trove of knowledge if you are just getting started or have years of experience as a birder. They have backyard bird counts and feeder watch programs that birders all over can participate and add your data to the scientific research of birds. You can have a real part in research, or you can use the sight to simply learn about birds, their songs, view photos and other activities."
The Blue Jay
J.J. is one of Lovie Dove’s loudest friends. When J.J. becomes alarmed, he screams, “Jay, Jay”, to let others know there may be danger. He learned this from his parents. They are quick to sound the alarm even when Mrs. Wilson goes out to fill the feeders. It helps J.J. and other birds to fly to safety when needed. He is one of the largest birds around the meadow. J.J.’s parents are about eleven inches in length.
Their color is much different than the Eastern Bluebird. They are a brighter blue on their neck and back with some black around their neck. They are white down their chest and part of the face. They have a crest on their head like the Northern Cardinal. Blue Jays are permanent residents of the Southeast, so Lovie sees them every day. The couple has up to eighteen babies each year. Most birds have many babies but only a few will live to adulthood due to predators or accidents. The older siblings stay around the parents long enough to help raise the new brood of siblings. Blue Jays love to eat acorns, peanuts, sunflower and other seeds. They also eat insects and very small animals. The Blue Jay is considered to be a very smart bird.
Bird Watching - Sound Like Fun!
Bird Watching - sounds like fun!, September 17, 2009
By M. Stanhope
This book titled "Friends in the Meadow-Birds", by author Peggy Williams is all about bird watching. It's quite unique in the fact that it starts out with a couple who keep bird feeders filled and enjoys watching all the birds stop by to feed. As you go through the book, it describes each bird and little facts relating to the species. There are also pictures for each bird described. How cute!
This would definitely be a book to work with if you were interested in getting started on bird watching. If you wanted to start a hobby with a child this book has a blank list at the end so they can fill in birds that they've seen. It also offers a certificate of completion if you wanted to use this book as a project. It even offers a detailed glossary at the end of the book.
Most importantly, it offers ways for adults and children to have fun, find a hobby to share and become familiar with the environment, nature, and the serenity it offers. I found this book quite enjoyable.
Guide for Future Generations of Bird Watchers
Guide for Future Generations of Bird Watchers, September 16, 2009
By G. Reba
"Friends in the Meadow: Birds" offers children the chance to experience birding from a unique point of view...that of the "educated" watcher. Author Peggy H. Williams brings to life the wondrous world that exists just outside our front doors. In story book fashion, you are introduced to such loveable "characters" as Lovie Dovie, Robby Robin, Reddy Cresty Cardinal, Fee Bee Chickadee, as well as others, while learning about their way of life. From habits to habitats, and friends versus foes, young readers are certain to walk away with a better understanding of the feathered world around them if not a newly uncovered desire for birding!
At the stories heart is a message of acceptance. By accepting each other the way we are, not in spite of our differences but with them, the world can be a more peaceful place. Who wouldn't want to impart both the knowledge of Nature as well as these heartfelt sentiments to the next generation? For the budding birdwatcher in your neighborhood, a definite must read!
September 15, 2009
Peggy Williams has written a delightfully fun and educational introduction to bird watching. The reader gets to meet Lovie Dove, a mourning dove that lives on Mr. and Mrs. Wilson's farm. Lovie Dove introduces us to all of her... bird friends, both those that visit the farm year round and those that stop on their migrations. The reader learns about doves, finches, bluebirds, cardinals, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many, many more. Wonderful color photographs are included of each bird along with a detailed description. I love that Mrs. Williams includes a very detailed glossary, a place for notes, a Life List (a place to enter all the birds that have been found, when, where, etc.), and a Certificate of Completion. The book is wonderfully written with younger children in mind, perhaps pre-school through elementary school. I think this book would make an excellent addition to elementary school science curriculums, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troop activities, 4-H and Cloverbud group activities, or for that special child who loves nature. I hope Friends in the Meadow: Birds is just the beginning of a wonderful nature series.
What a great book for any child! "Friends in the Meadow - Birds" has beautiful photos of birds. The author, Peggy Williams, explains the details of the various birds through a unique and adorable storyline. It explains the relationships between different types of birds and within a bird family itself. It also explains migration. But this is all done is such an interesting and low-key way that both children and adults will learn a great deal as they enjoy the book. The author accomplished this with little stories, yet the book can be used as a reference with easy look-ups on different birds. This book is bound to start any child to a life-long hobby of birding. It even includes a birding life list and page for birding notes. Originally, I thought this was for the older child, but I think even real young children will enjoy this book with the cuteness of the bird babies and the storyline for each individual bird. Start them young and they can enjoy this book for years and years.