Taking Flight

BabiesNestFor a baby bird, the leap from the nest is a scary first flight. In a new study, biomechanists researched the timing of that first flight and the survival rates of baby birds. Some momma birds may want to clear the nest early, keeping predators away. The survival rate for these early flyers can be as low as 30 percent.

Late bloomers have a much higher chance for survival, but a noisy nest can also attract lookingdownpredators that take out the entire family. So, bird parents have a very tricky choice when it comes to pushing their young to set off on their own.

As human parents think about the upcoming back-to-school season and sending kids out into the world for their first days of school. Here are a few books about learning the ropes as a young bird. And, if you want to read more about the Missoula, Montana bird study, here is a link!

Henry the Impatient Heron 

Henry Impatient Heron_COVER 2Henry the Heron couldn’t stand still! He was always moving, and it drove everyone crazy! His brother and sister yelled at him for stepping on their heads, and Mom and Dad could barely get food into his little baby mouth. But herons have to stand still to catch their food, so how would Henry ever be able to eat on his own? In Henry the Impatient Heron, Donna Love takes readers along with Henry as he learns a valuable lesson from the King of Camouflage! Hilarious and lighthearted illustrations by Christina Wald complement the important lesson in the text. It is a meaningful lesson for both herons and kids alike, which teaches the importance of just being still!

Otis the Owl

otisowl_187In beautifully detailed photographs, Mary Holland captures the first few months of a baby barred owl’s life. The huge eyes and fluffy feathers will steal the hearts of readers as they learn how barred owl parents ready their young owlets for the big world outside the nest. Follow along as Otis learns to eat, fights with his sister, and prepares for flight.

Whistling Wings

wings_187Can a swan survive without winter migration? Marcel, a young tundra swan, is tired from the first half of a winter migration. One thousand miles is a long way to fly—too long for Marcel, so he hides in the rushes to stay behind while his parents and the flock continue south. But with the lake nearly frozen over, he soon realizes that he is not cut out for life on ice. Other animals offer advice about how to survive the winter, but their ways of living aren’t right for the swan. Hungry and scared, he falls asleep – only to be awakened by a big surprise! The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes “Tundra Swan Fun Facts” and a “Tundra Swan Life Cycle Sequencing Activity.”

The Best Nest

Nest_187Long ago, when the world was young, the magpies’ nests were the envy of all other birds. To help the other birds, Maggie Magpie patiently explained how to build a nest. But some birds were impatient and flew off without listening to all the directions, which is why, to this day, birds’ nests come in all different shapes and sizes. This clever retelling of an old English folktale teaches the importance of careful listening.

Baby Owl’s Rescue

Baby Owl's RescueWhat if you found a baby owl in your backyard? Would you know what to do? Where would you go to find help? Join young Maddie and Max as they learn a valuable lesson from a little lost owl in Baby Owl’s Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis. The brother and sister pair just wanted to play baseball one day. They never expected to come face-to-face with a wild animal! Lush illustrations by Laura Jacques accompany this story and demonstrate the proper treatment of wildlife. This story reminds all of us that we live in a world surrounded by wild animals, and those wild animals deserve our caution and our respect!

Learn more about these titles and download the free educational extras at arbordalepublishing.com!

 

 

 

Summer Science

STEM activities and summer fun from guest blogger, and author Lois Spangler

FortFourth_187

 

Does learning end when school closes in June? Reading The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines will engage children and help them understand that learning is fun and can happen anytime and anywhere – even in their own backyard!

The summer provides children with a large quantity of unstructured time to explore their interests and try new things. After reading The Fort on Fourth Street, try some of the following suggestions. Children will learn to read and follow directions, learn about the six simple machines, and these projects offer the added benefit of creating a finished product!

  1. Build a fort!  Where will you build it? How will you build it? Which simple machines will you use to build your fort?
  1. Craft stores have many kits for constructing things. Design and build a bird feeder. Which simple machines FortFourth_Pic3are needed to build your bird feeder? Watch and record the names of the birds that visit the feeder.
  1. Research and build a birdhouse or a bat box. Which simple machines will you need to build a birdhouse or a bat box? Where will you place your box? Why?
  1. Design and build model airplanes. Which simple machines will you need to build and fly your model airplane? Fly your plane and record how far it flies on each flight.
  1. Design and construct a raised bed for vegetables. Have a vegetable growing contest with your family. Who can grow the longest zucchini? Which simple machines will you need to construct a raised bed and plant your vegetables?

Science is fun! Keep asking questions and creating new ideas!

Lois Spangler is an accomplished author and educator who has received many distinguished awards for her Lois Spanglerclassroom work during her 32-year career. In addition to her personal achievements, she has worked with students to help them earn both state and national awards from numerous organizations including NASA, Toshiba and the NSTA. Although The Fort on Fourth Street is Lois’s debut picture book, she has written, edited and managed more than 30 books including 6 ancillary science books for Scott Foresman Science. As an author and education expert, she has served on various committees and boards, including as a judge for the NSTA’s ExploraVision National Science Competition and the NSF’s Selection Committee for the “PAEMST.” Visit her websitewww.edconnectionsllc.com for more information.