The Vertical Environment
by Idaho Public TV.
A rare and intimate look at America's fierce hunting birds, the raptors. World renowned raptor expert Morley Nelson and Host Lynn Redgrave explore Idaho's Snake River Birds of Prey Area, home to the densest concentration of raptors in North America. Nelson defines the "vertical environment" as the unique habitat of the eagles, hawks, and falcons that soar from their river canyon nests to the high plateaus behind the canyon rims.
Order the video online from Idaho Public Television.
Hawk Highway in the Sky: Watching Raptor Migration
Arnold, Caroline, and Robert Kruidenier (Photographer)
Gulliver Green (April 1997)
As hawks, eagles, and falcons pass over Nevada's Goshute Mountains, scientists and the volunteers of HawkWatch International observe, catch, and measure the birds, charting statistics and plotting migration patterns. The steps in this process, along with information on habits and habitats of the raptors, are lucidly detailed by veteran nature writer Arnold. HawkWatch volunteer Robert Kruidenier's sharply shot full-color photographs (many of them close-ups) work well with Arnold's clear, well-organized text, capturing the fierce beauty of the birds as well as the scientists' painstaking work. A useful breakdown of day-flying raptors and migration sites is appended.
Flute's Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush
Cherry, Lynne. Gulliver Green
1st ed edition (February 15, 1997).
Cherry has a gift for sharing her knowledge through engaging fictional stories. Here, through the tale of a young wood thrush, readers learn the dangers migratory birds face. Cherry's illustrations, always a feast for the eyes, provide colorful, richly detailed forest scenes as a handsome backdrop for the story of Flute's autumn migration from his birthplace in a Maryland forest to a Central American rain forest. There he rests and feeds before beginning his journey back north in the spring. Along the way, Flute faces natural predators, but the destruction of habitat is presented as the most serious threat. A concluding author's note makes the point more directly and offers some concrete suggestions for youngsters who want to help. A nice addition to Cherry's impressive body of environmental literature for children.
How Do Birds Find Their Way?
Gans, Roma, and Paul Mirocha (Illustrator)
(Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2). Harper Trophy (February 29, 1996).
Pictures and text work together beautifully to introduce facts about bird migration in this new addition to the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Richly colored double-spread artwork shows birds and children in a common habitat before focusing on birds themselves, in nests and on the wing. The crisply delivered accompanying text, larded with specific examples, delves into some of the tantalizing mysteries that surround birds' twice-yearly pilgrimage. Several maps are used to give children a sense of distances traveled, and because so many different varieties of birds are shown, always clearly labeled, children can use the book as a sort of informal spotter's guide.
How Birds Migrate
Kerlinger, Paul, and Pat Archer (Illustrator).
Stackpole Books; 1st ed edition (August 1995)
(From Library Journal)
This is an excellent, popular, yet authoritative explanation of bird migration by the former director of Cape May Bird Observatory. The widely published Kerlinger (The Book of Owls, Univ. of Texas Pr., 1993) is an authority on owl and hawk migration and is widely published. Here he confronts the mystery and complexity of the unbelievable travels of birds: how and why, for example, a hummingbird that weighs one-sixth of an ounce flies from breeding grounds in New Hampshire to winter in Costa Rica. A major virtue is the insertion of hundreds of "case studies" to illustrate the author's analysis and points set off from the rest of the text. Worldwide in scope, the book's chapters concern how migration is studied, why it takes place, barriers, rest stops, flocking behavior, speed and distance, navigation, conservation, mechanics of flight, flight height and strategy, and day and night migrations. A provocative inquiry; highly recommended.
- Henry T. Armistead, Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A Field Guide to Western Birds: A Completely New Guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico
Peterson, Roger Tory. Virginia Marie Peterson.
Houghton Mifflin Company
"The Birder’s Bible" for more than 60 years, Roger Tory Peterson’s classic Field Guide to Western Birds includes all species found in North America west of the 100th meridian and north of Mexico. Featuring the unique Peterson Identification System, Western Birds contains 165 full-color paintings that show more than 1,000 birds from 700 species. Summer and winter ranges, breeding grounds and other special range data are shown on easy-to-read range maps.
The Far-Flung Adventures Of Homer The Hummer
Reynolds,Cynthia Furlong, and Catherine McClung (Illustrator).
Ann Arbor Media Group (July 31, 2005).
Homer, the ruby-throated hummingbird, lives in a Costa Rican cloud forest during the winter, but in March he begins his migratory flight to the eastern United States. Along the way, he nearly misses being eaten by a predatory frog, goes into "a deep sleep called torpor" when the temperature drops too low, and becomes trapped in a barn. Eventually Homer reaches his destination, a backyard where he meets his "sweetheart," who has also migrated north. Handsome illustrations, apparently watercolor paintings, depict the hummingbird and his world with precision, grace, and a fine sense of color. Though the narrative is more educational than exciting, and wise adults mediate the two interactions between Homer and children, the book does provide an informative introduction to hummingbirds accompanied by many beautiful illustrations of the birds in different habitats, engaged in a variety of activities.
-Carolyn Phelan © American Library Association. All rights reserved.
On the Wing: American Birds in Migration
HarperCollins (June 1, 2001).
Lerner follows up her fine books Backyard Birds of Summer (1996) and Backyard Birds of Winter (1994) with another well-researched book, this one on the migration of birds living in the Americas, particularly in North America. Topics include why birds migrate, how they find their way, how geography influences their routes, how scientists study migration, and how rain forest destruction in Latin America affects bird populations in the eastern woodlands of North America. Lerner illustrates the clearly written discussions with precise, delicate paintings of birds as well as maps of migratory routes. A good mix of art and text that will both intrigue and satisfy a wide age range.
- Carolyn Phelan © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Manning, Mick, and Brita Granstrom.
Larousse Kingfisher Chambers; 1st ed edition (September 1997).
(From Kirkus Reviews)
The team behind The World Is Full of Babies! (1996) allows readers to fly along with the child narrator on the back of a migrating goose. Once at the nesting ground, the geese lay their eggs; over the summer the goslings grow from little squirts to loud honkers. At the end of the season the geese and the girl head south, avoiding telephone wires and hunters' bullets. Ultimately the girl lands back in her soft, warm bed (with a comforter and pillow that look suspiciously downy). The watercolors are friendly and flighty, and facts on the last spread (ostensibly from the book the girl was reading before she fell asleep and dreamed the adventure) take care of questions that might arise from the tale.
- © 1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Other Animal Migration
Animals That Migrate
Franklin Watts (March 2002).
(From School Library Journal)
These broad overviews are suitable for browsing from cover to cover, or used chapter by chapter. Bredeson covers topics ranging from "Mysteries of Migration" to chapters on fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians, mammals, and insects. Perry explores the various types of animals that hibernate, as well as where, including the differences between burrows, dens, caves and crevices, and in the mud. Words appearing in boldface throughout the text alert readers to glossary entries, while beautiful photographs and captions highlight the various animals being discussed. Notes on sources explain how and where the authors gathered their information. While many books exist about the various animals mentioned, these succinct titles will not hibernate on the shelves for long.
-Cathie E. Bashaw, Somers Library, NY © 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A Caribou Journey
Miller, Debbie S., and Jon Van Zyle (Illustrator).
Little, Brown (April 1, 2000).
Miller is a natural storyteller and expertly interweaves facts into her narrative. Van Zyle's dramatic paintings that flow across each double-page spread are created with acrylics painted on untempered masonite panels, and vividly portray seasonal changes in the land and life cycle of the caribou. Both the words and pictures breathe life into the images of a cold and windy Arctic winter, the scraping sound of the animals pawing for food beneath the snow, the crackling of the ice, bulls fighting for mates, and numerous other behaviors. Because the text is superimposed over the illustrations some pages are a bit difficult to read, but well worth the effort for every word is carefully chosen to re-create the sights and sounds of the caribou's environment. An exceptional source of information and an outstanding picture book.
-Roz Goodman, Bering Strait School District Media Center, Unalakleet, AK. © 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ride the Wind: Airborne Journeys of Animals and Plants
Simon, Seymour and Elsa Warnick (Illustrator).
Browndeer Press; 1st ed edition (February 1, 1997).
ISBN: 0152928871 Ages 9-12
In a spacious picture book for older readers, Simon offers an unusual look at the migratory and mating habits of several birds, including the Arctic tern, the albatross, and the snow goose. He also takes a look at locusts and the North American monarch butterfly, and briefly discusses the air-traveling seeds of three common plants. Warnick's flowing watercolors, which range from lovely wildlife scenes to a map depicting the four major flyways in North America, complement the text nicely. The concluding section on migration, which has no illustrations, may be too difficult for children to manage without adult assistance, but it will be a helpful teaching aid.
- Lauren Peterson
They Swim the Seas: The Mystery of Animal Migration
Simon, Seymour and Elsa Warnick (Illustrator).
Steck-Vaughn (September 1998).
ISBN: 0817257659 Ages 9-12
In spare, elegant language, Simon describes the migrations of marine plants and animals from the elevator-like movements of microscopic plankton to the 4,000-mile journeys of gray whales. He has selected particularly intriguing creatures whose mysterious habits are certain to fascinate readers: eels who leave their freshwater homes in Europe and the U.S. and disappear in the Sargasso Sea to spawn, spiny lobsters who march single file from Bimini to deeper Gulf Stream waters, and tuna and salmon who return to the same spawning grounds where they were born after roaming thousands of miles around the oceans. In a concluding section, Simon provides additional information about the habits and physical characteristics of these animals. Warnick's fine watercolor illustrations are a perfect complement to Simon's fluid writing. She has captured the purposeful movement described in the text and rendered it in lively paintings that flow across the pages.
- Chris Sherman
They Walk the Earth: The Extraordinary Travels of Animals on Land
Simon, Seymour and Elsa Warnick (Illustrator).
Browndeer Press; 1st ed edition (March 1, 2000).
As in They Swim the Seas (1998) and Ride the Wind (1997), this picture book for older readers joins Simon's dense, poetic text with quiet, detailed paintings by Elsa Warnick to explore mysteries of animal movement. This time, the focus is on land animals. Simon opens with a broad definition of migration that touches on species' physical adaptations that have made travel possible. Subsequent sections about caribou, lemming, polar bear, elephant, bison, and human movement blend seamlessly, without headings or sidebars. With Warnick's lovely, understated watercolors of animal groups on the move, the design encourages students to read the narrative as a story, from start to finish, rather than just dip in for facts. The language may be too sophisticated for some younger readers (words such as spawn are not defined), but readers who stick with it will be richly rewarded by the clear-sighted, beautiful descriptions of Earth's "ever-changing clouds of animals."
- Gillian Engberg