Warbler Wave will be released by Beach Lane, Simon & Schuster on February 13, 2018. See some spreads on S&S website. This book is the fulfillment of a dream, part of my life goal to share wonder. The text and photos are by me (April), with a bit of help from Jeff (a couple of photos, years of camera carrying, pointing out warblers, loving support, reviewing text, scientific fact checking, driving thousands of miles, 28 years of marriage, daily partnership in learning about nature). We are both birders and the migratory journey of these amazing avian athletes is the highlight of our year. Below are some identification notes and discussion of the birds in the book. Continue reading “New Book Backstory: Warbler Wave”
Hamilton Students use the idea of migration as a spark for imaginative writing.
This is a Magnolia Warbler I photographed at Magee Marsh in Spring.
During warbler migration, I get “warbler fever,” a condition which makes it very hard to sit at a desk. Continue reading “August…Warblers”
Vulture View, my long-awaited book with Steve Jenkins, has just been released by Holt. Yippee! Look for a review of it in the October 15th issue of Booklist.
For those of you that want to learn more about vultures, here are some good links.
Turkey Vulture Society
The Peregrine Fund
Bird Info site
Kern River Valley Turkey Vulture Festival (CA)
National Geo News Article 2001 About Flourishing T.V. Population
East Coast Vulture Festival, Wenonah, NJ
I have had plenty of interactions with turkey vultures. When I was in high school I worked at Pete Conroy’s raptor rehabilitation center at Furman University in Greenville, SC. We took care of a young, rather clueless turkey vulture. I learned then just how shy and retiring these birds are in comparison with hawks and owls. I also learned how to gather roadkill. Yes, whenever I saw a dead opossum, I would pull my little blue King Cab to the side of the road and go pick up the carcass. This involved grabbing its long pinkish tail and swinging the thing into the back of the cab. This was dinner for the turkey vulture. When you are taking care of animals, you do whatever is necessary. Actually, it’s not a messy job, at all, thanks to that sturdy opossum tail.
Jeff and I have also seen turkey vultures migrating through Panama. I will try to post some photos of those turkey vulture kettles another day. We saw them swirling by the hundreds and thousands.
Now when I see turkey vultures I think of the words of the book. I think of the lovely illustrations by Steve Jenkins. Wait until you see the vulture faces! Why, they are positively attractive! It is amazing what art and some cut paper can do.
Vulture View, a Theodor Geisel Honor Book, American Library Association. I am so excited about this book! It explores the life of vultures, surely some of the most underappreciated cleaners in the world. It also teaches kids about warm air rising and cooling air sinking. Continue reading “Vulture View”
Have the children use what they observe by looking and listening to make a map of their surroundings . . . the school, the schoolyard, the neighborhood, maybe the entire city!
Before or after a study of mapping, or a study of human explorers/adventurers, you might want to have kids talk about great journeys. Read Home At Last to introduce journeys. Using information from books or the web, look at maps to see where animals migrate.
The Arctic tern in the book, a bird which travels from Antarctica to the Arctic, is also a great introduction to these regions and their differences. The bird spends summer in both places.
Sea Turtles are animals that make tremendous journeys
And then those are those smaller journeys, through time and small spaces. Listen to this story and find the journeys and pathways followed by bumblebees.
Caribou, lobsters, warblers, arctic terns, and many other animals have two homes and migrate in between. Join migration creatures on their journey and rejoice when they reach their destination with the soothing refrain “home at last.” This bedtime book, which has many layers of meaning, is also a great classroom book for the study of fluency, voice, and refrain.