Thursday, September 01, 2022

Timely Take-aways for Life-Long Learning: Birds and Birders

Several new and upcoming books explore the world of birds and birders. From naturalists and scientists to backyard birders, these books explore the wide range of ways people connect with birds.

Best Little Book of Birds: The Oregon Coast

Sarah Swanson, 2022, Timber Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group

Themes: Nature, Birds

Organized into 25 short chapters, readers learn about bird families found on the Oregon Coast. The first book in a new series of pocket-sized birding guides, this book provides quality photographs, useful icons, and short text blocks with key bird information.

Take-aways: Introduce students to birding through this appealing new field guide series. 

Audubon at Sea

Edited by Christoph Irmscher & Richard J. King, 2022, University of Chicago Press

Themes: Nature, Birds

Weaving together Audubon’s writings and artwork, the editors explore this famous artist and naturalist’s connect with the sea and waterbirds.

Take-aways: Explore this book for examples of the challenges educators and students face in addressing the legacy of naturalists such as Audubon who killed for his art.

Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay

Merilyn Simonds, 2022, ECW Press, an imprint of Baker & Taylor Publisher Services

Themes: Biography, Naturalist, Birds

While living in an isolated cabin in Ontario, Canada, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence worked as a nurse then devoted her life to studying birds. The author connects the life story of this pioneer of ornithology with her own passion for songbirds.

Take-aways: Use Lawrence and Simonds as examples of how naturalists yesterday and today contribute to our understanding of birds through their observations and citizen science.

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration

Rebecca Heisman, 2023, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins

Themes: Nature, Birds

From bird banding to DNA markers, explore the little-known story of the scientists who pieced together the puzzle of bird migration. Crossing generations and disciplines, this fascinating discovery was made possible through the synergy of collaboration to address a complex problem.

Take-aways: Use this story as an example of the power of collaboration to tackle scientific challenges. Also, use it to share how scientific discoveries build on one another.

Whether helping educators keep up-to-date in their subject-areas, promoting student reading in the content-areas, or simply encouraging nonfiction leisure reading, teacher librarians need to be aware of the best new titles across the curriculum and how to activate life-long learning. - Annette Lamb

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