Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative

A cooperative partnership to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation emphasizing volunteer stewardship.

Bibliography

The following list consists of selected resources on the general topic of Bird Education. Materials are organized in order by teaching material type and grade level. All materials are available for loan at the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) Resources Library for Wisconsin residents. Materials are also available for purchase from a variety of book stores, Acorn Naturalist, or Amazon.com. Please call or visit the WCEE for additional information on borrowing resources.

TEACHING ACTIVITY GUIDES

Project Beak
An easy to use web site to help educators teach about birds. There are several lesson plans available from their teacher resource section, a section on rare birds, a wonderful section on adaptations, and so much more!

Wings n’ Things: a Series of Programs for Amateur Ornithologists by Nicole Ardoin. (1997).
Contains activities on bird adaptations, nesting, migration and lifestyles. Vocabulary lists and further information for educators is also included.
Grade levels: K-6, Length: 107 pages, 5 activities
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AC WL B 16)

Ranger Rick’s Nature Scope: Birds, Birds, Birds by Judy Braus, National Wildlife Federation/Washington, DC. (1989).
This topic focuses on classification of birds, adaptation to habitat, and birds’ affects on human lives.
Grade levels: K-9, Length: 63 pages
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AC WL B 6)

International Crane Foundation Activity Packs by International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, WI.
Various activities, informational brochures and sheets, quizzes, annotated bibliographies, stories and legends, coloring pages, teacher instructions, field trip ideas and more! Organized by grades.
Grade levels: K-12, Length: 203 pages
Available online for free download
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AC WL B 23)

Journey North by Hamline University, Journey North Program/Minneapolis, MN. (1995).
Beginning in February 1995, this internet-based learning program started to involve students in a global study of wildlife migration. Up-to-date news about migrating species is shared by students with scientists. Also observes the phenology of these migratory species. This notebook contains background information and examples of projects.
Grade levels: K-12, Length: 145 pages
Online resources can be acquired through their website.
Borrowing Complete Educator Guide: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AC WL B 30)

Bird watching for All Ages by Jorie Hunken. (1992).
A bird watching guide that explains how to find and observe birds in their natural habitats. Includes line drawings, photographs and suggested activities.
Grade levels: K-adult, Length: 168 pages
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AC WL B 11)

Take a Backyard Bird Walk by Jane Kirkland, Stillwater Publishing/Lionville, PA. (2005).
An adventure guide to spotting, observing, understanding and identifying birds – complete with photographs, stories, helpful hints and background knowledge on birds.
Grade levels: 4-9, Length: 32 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($9.85)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 45)

Crane Count in the Classroom by International Crane Foundation. (2005).
This curriculum focuses on the Annual Midwest Crane Count as a citizen science program. Included are lessons developed around the program, materials related to participating in the crane count, and reference materials.
Grade levels: 5-9 , Length: 120 pages
Borrowing: Available through the WCEE (call number: AC WL B 22)

Flying WILD: an Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds by Council for Environmental Education. (2004).
The purpose of this guide is to provide activities that teach middle school students about birds, their migration, and what people can do to help birds and their habitats. There is a special section explaining how to organize a bird festival at your school or in your community.
Grade levels: 5-9, Length: 43 activities
Only available through Flying Wild Workshops
Borrowing: WCEE (call number: AC WL B 18)

One Bird Two Habitats by Susan Gilchrist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (1994).
An interdisciplinary environmental education unit for middle-level classrooms, which addresses the need for Neotropical migratory bird conservation. The curriculum contains 22 activities,a videotape, maps, posters, and a wealth of background information. The major theme of the unit, interconnectedness, emphasizes the connections among people, birds, and forests in the Americas. The curriculum is available only through participation in workshops. It is personalized for Wisconsin students, including state-specific background information on forests, the selection of one “ambassador” bird, and a focus on our sister state in Latin America – Nicaragua.
Grade levels: 5-9, Length: 316 pages
Only available through Bird Education Workshops in Wisconsin through WIBC.
Borrowing: WCEE (call number: AC WL B 10)

VIDEOS

Into the Outdoors: For the Birds by Discover Media Works and the WI DNR. (2006).
In this episode, learn about birds, bird watching, bird dogging, what goose-banding is, and meet people who work with hawks and osprey. Also learn about how to camouflage yourself in order to make bird watching easier.
Grade levels: K-9, Length: 28 minutes
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AV DVD WL B 2)

Planet Earth: As You’ve Never Seen It Before by BBC Worldwide. (2007).
In this amazing documentary from BBC, filmmakers travel all over the world to capture some of the most beautiful and inspiring footage of the Earth’s last wilderness and the creatures that inhabit them. In their travels they’ve captured footage of some of the rarest animals known to man.(5-DVD set)
Grade levels: 4-Adult , Length: 11 ep, 55 min ea.
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($47.49)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AV DVD EG 20)

Winged Migration by Sony Pictures. (2001).
This is an absolutely amazing video following numerous species of birds as they migrate to and from their summer homes. Migrations range over all seven continents and the cinematography makes the viewer feel as if they’re flying alongside the birds. The stunning visuals and moving music make this a sensory masterpiece.
Grade levels: 4-Adult, Length: 90 minutes
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($10.49)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: AV DVD WL B 4)

BOOKS FOR YOUTH

Bird Calls: Play the Sounds, Pull the Tabs by Frank Gallo, Innovative KIDS/Norwalk, CT. (2001).
Gives clues to help children guess different species of birds. Also includes bird calls and pull-tab instructions to engage the senses. After children guess the bird, they can lift a flap to find facts about each species.
Grade levels: P-4, Length: 9 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($12.91)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 37)

Egg is Quiet, An by Dianna Aston, Chronicle Books/San Francisco, CA. (2006).
Illustrated introduction to all kinds of eggs and their sizes, shapes, colors, and where they stay until they hatch. Eggs are drawn to their actual size. The illustrations are accurate and well done.
Grade levels: P-4, Length: 36 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($11.55)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL 101)

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, Philomel Books/New York. (1987).
A father takes his daughter out to search for owls on a cold, moonlit winter night. Beautiful illustrations and simple text designed to evoke feelings of awareness, sensitivity and appreciation for nature. Excellent story to be read out loud.
Grade levels: P-6, Length: 32 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($11.04)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 6)

How Do Birds Find Their Way? by Roma Gans, Harper Collins Publishers/New York, NY. (1996).
This book helps explain the migration of birds: how far they go, how high they fly, and how scientists believe they use the sun, stars, and magnetic fields to find their way.
Grade levels: K-4, Length: 32 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($5.99)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 15)

Whistling Wings by Laura Goering, Sylvan Dell Publishing/Mt. Pleasant, SC. (2008).
Marcel, a young tundra swan, stays behind as his mother, father, and the rest of the flock fly south for the winter. He asks for advice on how to survive the winter from other animals but the ideas don’t work for him. The book includes a “For Creative Minds” section, complete with fun facts on tundra swans, migration, and an animal adaptation matching activity.
Grade levels: K-4, Length: 30 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($16.95), Sylvan Dell Publishing ($16.95, $8.95)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 46)

Flute’s Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush by Lynne Cherry, Harcourt Brace & Company. (1997).
This is the story of a young wood thrush’s first migration from Maryland to Costa Rica. On this journey, he encounters many of the perils that threaten song birds.
Grade levels: K-6, Length: 29 pages WCEE call number: BY WL B 20
Available for purchase from: Acorn Naturalist.com, ($16.95), Amazon.com ($9.87)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 20)

Hummingbird’s Life, A by John Himmelman, Children’s Press/New York. (2000).
Striking illustrations and lively storyline follow a ruby-throated hummingbird as it hunts for food, faces its enemies, and interacts with humans.
Grade levels: K-6, Length: 29 pages
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 31)

Jacob and Owl by Ada and Frank Graham, Coward, McConn & Geohegan/New York, NY. (1981)
A lonely young boy nurses an owl back to health then must make the difficult decision about the bird’s future.
Grade levels: K-6, Length: 63 pages
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 11)

Loon at Northwood Lake by Elizabeth Ring, Soundprints/Norwalk CT. (1997).
This is a story of a loon and his mate who protect their chicks from curious people, egg-hunting eagles and hawks, and ferocious pike throughout a summer at Northwood Lake. The birds are portrayed realistically and the book contains accurate natural history.
Grade levels: K-6, Length: 31 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($4.95)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 42)

On the Wing by Douglas Florian, Harcourt Brace & Company/Orlando, FL. (1996).
This book delivers elaborate, descriptive poems on birds of the wild. Included with each poem is a bird painting as a visual depiction.
Grade levels: K-6, Length: 46 pages
Available for purchase from Amazon.com ($7)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 28)

Sparrow Girl by Sara Pennypacker, Disney/New York, NY. (2009).
Based on a true story, a girl’s triumph during China’s Sparrow War. This is a great book to share cultural issues and bird education with young learners.
Grade levels: K-6, Length 38 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($13.25)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 47)

Take-Along Guide: Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring, Northword Press/Minnetonka MN. (1996).
The introduction gives basic etiquette for bird watching. The core of the book gives physical descriptions for each bird: what it eats, nesting habits and information on the eggs. Beautiful illustrations and craft ideas make this book fun.
Grade levels: K-9, Length: 41 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($7.95)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 23)

Wings along the Waterway by Mary Barrett Brown, Orchard Books/New York, NY. (1992).
Discusses the habitat, life cycle, appearance and habits of 21 water birds and examines the risks exposed to them by technological civilization.
Grade levels: K-9, Length: 77 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon, Powell’s Books ($9.95)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 14)

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, Alfred A. Knopfl/New York, NY. (2002).
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boys’ attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Grade Levels: 5-12, Length: 292 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($6.99)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BY WL B 2)

REFERENCE/BACKGROUND BOOKS

Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids by Laura Erickson, Pfeifer-Hamilton/Duluth, MN. (1997).
For use at home or school, this resource reveals the magic of birds through suggestions on attracting birds, identifying them, planning bird outings and learning about different bird adaptations and behavior. An excellent section titled, “Helping Children Save Birds” is included as well as craft projects and a list of additional reading materials.
Grade levels: 4-Adult, Length: 195 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($16.95), Barnes and Noble ($16.95)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BA WL B 8)

Wild About Birds: The DNR Bird Feeding Guide by Carol L. Henderson, Minnesota DNR. (1995).
This book contains information about bird feeding, the types of bird food to use and how to build bird feeders. Contains beautiful photographs and clear illustrations/figures/diagrams for how to build your own bird house. Included are a glossary, supplemental information on birds, and the scientific names of plants and wildlife used in the text.
Grade levels: 9-Adult, Length: 267 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon, Minnesota’s Bookstore ($19.95)
Borrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number: BA WL B 12)

Wild About Wisconsin Birds: A Youth’s Guide to Birds of Wisconsin by Adele Porter, Adventure Publications, Inc. Cambridge, MN (2009).
This book has fun, engaging pages full of information about common Wisconsin birds. It has an easy to use format arranged by habitat and size. The photos are large to help with identification.
Grade Levels: 4-12, Length: 200 pages
Available for purchase from: Amazon.com ($14.00)
Barrowing: Check your local library or the WCEE (call number BY WL B 52)