Thematic Reading List: Birds
Introduce middle grade students to the diverse array of bird species and their habits.
|Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight
By: Rob Bierregaard
Illustrated by: Kate Garchinsky
This story tracks the migration of an osprey named Belle, who is born in Martha’s Vineyard, learns to fly, and goes on an eight thousand mile journey to Brazil.
|Counting Birds: the Idea that Helped Save Our Feathered Friends
By: Heidi E. Stemple
Illustrated by: Clover Robin
What can you do to help endangered animals and make a positive change in our environment? Get counting! Learn about Frank Chapman, who used his bird knowledge and magazine Bird-Lore to found the first annual bird count.
|Woodpeckers: drilling holes and bagging bugs
By: Sneed B. Collard
If you see a bird standing on the side of a tree banging its beak against the trunk, chances are you’re watching a woodpecker. Woodpeckers not only dazzle us with their good looks and personality but they also exhibit some of the most fascinating behaviors in the animal world. Discover what scientists have learned about woodpeckers, why woodpeckers drill into trees, and the best way to serve ants at your next sleep-over. Be forewarned: the more you read, the faster woodpeckers will peck their way into your imagination!
By: Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by: Kristin Kest
Discusses different types of birds- perching and water birds, flightless birds, strange birds, and extreme birds. Provides information about their feathers, wings, bones, and blood, and includes a scientific classification chart.
|Snowy Owl Invasion! Tracking an Unusual Migration
By: Sandra Markle
A historically large irruption of snowy owls during the winter of 2013-2014 brought them across the eastern US, and farther south than usual. Scientists used this opportunity to attach GPS tracking devices to some snowy owls to increase understanding of their winter behavior and migration.
By: Joanne Mattern
Describes bird bodies, habitats, diets, and life cycles and discusses threats to their survival, such as pollution and habitat loss.