With the start of eagle watching season along the Mississippi River, my Five Star Friday recommendation includes a variety of books about our beloved national emblem. From picture books to bird watching field guides, we have something for everyone who wants to learn more about these incredible creatures.
OK, I admit it, I’ve become one of the over 25,000 worldwide who are hooked on the family drama that’s unfolding through the marvel of live streaming. The Southwest Florida Eagle Camera (SWFEC) has been airing the round-the-clock lives of the eagle couple Harriet and M15 (male, 2015) and the adorable wobbly headed eaglet, E9, born December 31.
Harriet laid two eggs in November, and the world tuned in watch the couple split the household responsibility of keeping the eggs warm and tending the care and upkeep of the nest. Unfortunately, it is assumed that the other egg is not viable, although as of this writing, the two parents are still sitting on it. The next mystery is what will Harriet and M15 do with the egg.
But we’ve all grown protective of the tiny white fluff eaglet E9 who is getting stronger everyday. I’ve felt lucky to catch feedings (often around 4:30 PM CST). But I cannot justify sitting in front of a screen even more than I do anyway.
If you are planning an eagle-watching outing we have many books about birds and eagles in general. For parents of younger children, I recommend the The Eagles are Back by Jean Craighead George and Eagles by Julie K. Lundgren.
The Eagles are Back by Jean Craighead George; and paintings by Wendell Mino presents a tribute to the efforts of dedicated volunteers who helped save the American bald eagle from extinction, including the story of a young boy who helped hatch an eaglet.
Eagles by Julie K. Lundgren presents an introduction to the various types of eagles, describing their physical characteristics, predatory behavior, life cycle, communication abilities, and the current man-made threats that endanger them. Juvenile
For students in upper elementary and middle school, I recommend: The Book of Eagles by Helen Roney Sattler, Bald Eagles by Emily J. Dolbear, Soaring With the Wind by Gail Gibbons, and The Bald Eagle by Cheryl L. DeFries.
The Book of Eagles by Helen Roney Sattler discusses the physical characteristics, behavior, and life cycle of eagles and describes many individual species, including the African fish eagle, bald eagle, booted eagle, and harpy eagle.
Bald Eagles by Emily J. Dolbear provides information about bald eagles, including anatomy, behavior, and their threatened status.
Soaring With the Wind, by Gail Gibbons describes the characteristics, behavior, and life cycle of the bald eagle.
The Bald Eagle by Cheryl L. DeFries examines the habitat and physical characteristics of the bald eagle and its threatened status. Includes Internet links to Web sites related to bald eagles.
For adults and high school students, I recommend:
National Audubon Society Birder’s Handbook by Stephen W. Kress is a thorough birder’s handbook.
Birds of North America Eastern Region by Fred J. Alsop III provides illustrations helpful for identification of hundreds of birds native to the Eastern region of North America.
There’s too little space to list all of the available resources we have on eagles and other birds. Naturally, if a title you seek is not available at our branch, we are happy to request it from another library. For example, What the Robin Knows : how birds reveal the secrets of the natural world by Jon Young shares strategies for expanding one’s awareness of bird communication and maintaining a non-threatening presence in natural environments, explaining the sounds and behaviors that reflect various bird warnings, feelings, and messages.
Happy eagle watching and reading! Susan C.