What Bluebirds Do

What Bluebirds Do

This book chronicles a season in the life of a pair of nesting Bluebirds who took up residence in author Pamela Kirby’s yard. As the author notes in her introduction, she sat in her blind and watched the birds, took pictures and notes of their behavior, and was so fascinated she wanted to share their story. Kirby’s clear, direct text and brilliantly sharp, close-up photographs do an excellent job of introducing readers to her subject. An opening photo, of the male and female sitting next to each other on a branch is engaging; the following photos are equally stunning. Pictures are shown of the male and the female, with an explanation of the differences in their coloring. Later photographs show them courting, and selecting a nesting site. Five beautiful blue eggs in the nest turn into five baby birds with mouths agape, then into five feathered birds crowded in the nest, while the parents work hard to feed them. The baby birds grow, make their first flights, and turn into adult Bluebirds under the cameras watchful eye, and the reader cannot help but be enthralled watching the development.

Along with the story of the nesting pair, a great deal of additional information is provided. Two other species of blue birds, the Indigo Bunting and the Blue Jay, are pictured, along with an explanation of how they differ from the Bluebird. Other pages are devoted to describing the three species of Bluebirds that live in North America, giving details about Bluebirds throughout the year, and describing how Bluebirds were once in danger of disappearing but have made a comeback thanks to the efforts of amateur conservationists who have set up nesting boxes and provided needed habitats. Finally, the author provides a glossary of unfamiliar terms, and a list of additional resources and web sites where readers can learn more.

Kirby has done an excellent job of telling the Bluebirds’ story, doing for the Bluebird what Nic Bishop has done for other animals, as in his books, Spiders and Frogs. Children are sure to enjoy the pages of photographs, to be fascinated by the natural beauty and behaviors of the birds, and to feel the call for conservation as they read about this species’ struggle to survive. Use this book to inspire young naturalists and young photographers both.

Recommended by Linda Lucke , Learning Center Director.

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