• My affiliate links won't hurt you, but they might help feed my kids. See my full disclosure policy in the main menu.

Birding by the Book (WTRW)



One of our favorite nature study pastimes around here is bird watching.  I remember when we first moved to the farm more than a decade ago, the first gift my beautiful husband gave me was a pair of binoculars.  Our house has 6-foot  windows at the back that face our woods.  Birds are Everywhere out there all year.

Remember, I was born and raised in the city.  And the city does not have this variety of birds.  In fact, I’ve seen birds here at the farm that I never had really heard of  before.

You know the Lit Mama.  I bought some books.

The boys and I started learning about birds together, so it was only natural that we extended that learning to our homeschool.

If you want to include birding as part of your science or nature study, there are lots of ways to go about it.

Birding is a Great Addition to Nature Study

We like to watch the birds during winter.  When it’s too frigid or icy to spend any quality time outdoors, we get in front of the windows with a pair of binoculars, our bird books, and our nature study journals.    Our favorite part of winter birding is the Great Backyard Bird Count.  We participate every year.  If you haven’t taken part yet, check out this post from last February.  It tells all about how to sign up and all the amazing resources that are offered by the GBBC, plus a free printable and directions to make a couple of simple bird feeders.  Oh, and the next GBBC is February 17-20 2017.  But don’t take my word for it, head to their website and check it out.

Project FeederWatch is another way your littles can contribute to the world of science.  The interactive page for common feeder birds is divine.  I am not making that up.  We use it often when we are dumber than our books.  (You know what I mean—we looked at the bird 70 times as we flipped through the book over and over but somehow missed it every. single. time.)     And yeah, we almost always take part in this count, too.

National Geographic Backyard Birding Site has another great bird identifier.  It also has up-to-date bird news, which always interests my boys.   Plus, right now there’s a live cam on baby eagles.  So how could you not learn from that?

Of course, you can’t make a list of birding websites and leave out the Audubon.  This site.  You guys.  Seriously.  Info about birds, about bird scientists (ornithologists), about plants that attract birds… Info about almost anything you want to know where birds are concerned.  It’s probably the best site for learning about bird conservation.

But you don’t come here for a list of websites.  You come here for books.

You know I have them.

Birding Books

Our favorites are pretty basic—they are the same ones I bought 9 years ago to go with my binoculars.

Birding by the Book - Birds of Indiana



Birds of Indiana by Stan Tekiela  Stan’s cool, though.  He has one for your state, too. Yeah yeah.  This one is our favorite because it is region-specific.  You don’t have to thumb through thousands of birds that are only found on another continent or in another climate to find your bird.  If you see him, he’s probably in the book.   And easy to find.  And that rocks.

Birding by the Book - Eastern Birds



Eastern Birds by Roger Tory Peterson This one is a little less specific to our area, but it is arranged completely differently from Birds of Indiana, so we still use it a lot.  Honestly, we usually find the bird in both books to glean as much information as we can.  Yeah, we’re those people.


Birding by the Book - Reader's Digest Book of North American BirdsReader’s Digest Book of North American Birds The whole continent is covered in this one, and believe it or not, we use it quite a bit.  It’s not just great for getting more facts about birds we’ve already found in other books, it’s great  for just learning about birds we don’t see around here.  So it’s cool.




Picture books

Y’all.  I ain’t lyin’ when I say I like the birds.  You can look back over my Story Times for the past year and see that for yourself.  Well, here, let me help you out.  Here are the links to all my Story Times about bird books:

spoonbill swamp



Story Time: Spoonbill Swamp


Story Time: Make Way for Ducklings



Story Time: Make Way for Ducklings


Owl Moon




Story Time: Owl Moon




Story Time: ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving What?  It’s all about turkeys.  They’re birds.


If you want some just to read (because I haven’t gotten to them yet but can only assume I will one day):


The Owl Who Became the Moon by Jonathon London  Um.  This is one of my all time favorite lullabye books.  Why haven’t I Story Timed it yet?  It feels like I must have, but apparently not.




Little Green by Keith Baker Hummingbirds.  Yeah yeah




Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel


Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel You already know how much I love Lobel.  Owl is no exception.  I heart this book about Owl’s life and home.  Your littles will, too.


two-blue-jaysTwo Blue Jays by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey This one is a nonfiction in the guise of a fiction story.  Lots of good info on blue jays here.






Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Birds by  Jim Arnosky  It’s Arnosky.  I don’t think I need to say more.  dropping mic



What to Read Wednesday


The most popular post from last week was:


And now for the link up!

What to Read Wednesday mylearningtable.com

Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.

If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.

Anne at Learning TableLeah at Sandy Toes Creations

Crystal at Castle View AcademyGinny at Not So Formulaic

logo squareLAL_SquareLogo

14408891_10209070135283094_130750262_n (1)-001What to Read 250

This list has our book themes, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!

What to Read Party Details

If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


Follow me!

KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
Follow me!

Latest posts by KT Brison (see all)


About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I came across a really great picture book for birding last year but I gave it to a friend and now I can’t remember for the life of me what it was called. I’m going to have to go hunt that thing down because it was so good! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #168My Profile

  2. Blessed by you!
    Michele Morin recently posted…September Musings – 2016My Profile

  3. That Peterson’s bird guide is my go to book for birding. I also have their app, and it’s really great, even has the bird calls!
    Alison @Learning Mama recently posted…Why I’m Reading Juvenile FictionMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

* Checkbox GDPR is required


I agree

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.