Bird Count written by Susan Edwards Richmond and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman is a wonderful book about how to be a citizen scientist and the importance about participating to help nature. This book is suggested for an age range of 4 to 8 years and a grade level of 1 to 2, however, I promise that even adults will love this book.
Ava and her mother are getting ready to join in the Christmas Bird Count as citizen scientists. The Christmas Bird Count is a real event with Audubon and after you read this book, and get inspired to be a citizen scientist yourself,you can get all the information for this event here; https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count. As a new birder myself, I was amazed at how much helpful information is in this book!
Bird Count - The Story
Ava and her mom have been doing this event for a while now. They have joined a team in their community and Big Al is the leader. This year, Ava is so excited because she is going to be the one to tally all their sightings. The book does a wonderful job of showing what Ava is doing, by having a running notebook graphic on the right side of the book to show all the birds they have seen and heard. Big Al reiterates the birding ID techniques they use;
- Count every bird you see or hear
- Make sure at least 2 people see or hear it
- Don't count any bird twice
As the story goes on, each of these techniques come to life, for example Ava sees a V of birds flying over their car and she identifies them as Canada Geese they agree that there are 5 birds in this V formation. Later on in the story Ava sees Canada geese in a field and quickly counts them for a total of 5. Mom points out that this is the same number they counted flying before, and these are probably the same group now that they have landed. So they don't include them in their count again.
Details on Doing a Bird Count
The story is easy to read and understand, but it packs in so much information on what you do on a bird count and how to identify birds. Ava is hoping to see a raven that she had seen in previous years. We think that she has finally found her bird, but she points out that this black bird is saying Caw Caw which makes it a crow. She explains that Ravens make a croaking sound. You'll have to read the book to see if she finds her Raven to include in this years Bird Count.
The back of the book contains even more information about the species that were featured in their bird count. So not only do you have a wonderful, and beautifully illustrated story, but you have reference material that can be used as the reader starts their own adventure in bird watching. I highly recommend this book for anyone that loves birds and perhaps they can become the next citizen scientist to make a difference!
Disclosure: Thank you to Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC Peachtree Publishing Company for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.