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Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends
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Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Everyday kids learn how they can help protect bird species, near and far, with Counting Birds—the real-life story of bird counting and watching.

What can you do to help endangered animals and make a positive change in our environment? Get counting! Counting Birds is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces kids to the idea of bird counts and bird watches. Along the w
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Seagrass Press
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4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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“On Christmas Day, sports hunters would gather, choose teams, and hold a bird competition. All day long, the hunters looked for birds. Large birds, small birds, all birds were game. At the end of the day, the birds were counted. The winning team was the side that had shot and killed the most birds.”

Hunters in the snow with beautiful birds in the trees

This is an attractive children’s history of how we started counting birds instead of shooting them. Frank Chapman, a bird lover, worked at the Am
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Counting Birds starts off as the story of a man named Frank Chapman, who decided to do something to combat what was a Christmas tradition in some places 100+ years ago: shooting birds for fun.

His idea of an annual "bird count" has since developed into a massive citizen science project organized by the Audubon Society. This book celebrates the joy of discovery and conservation of our feathered friends, in a way that reminds me of The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist, which features anothe
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
Wonderful artwork and photographs illustrate this story of how a cruel tradition can turn into a kind one. Once upon a time, Christmas Day contest hunts pitted shooters against each other to see who could kill the most birds. A conservationist, distressed by many birds' plummeting numbers, organized a rival contest to count birds instead--and kindness won.

Today, birdwatchers from all walks of life take to the outdoors and count and catalog birds--helping scientists understand bird populations an
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher ---

Every day, kids learn how they can help protect bird species, near and far, with Counting Birds—the real-life story of bird counting and watching.
What can you do to help endangered animals and make a positive change in our environment? Get counting! Counting Birds is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces kids to the idea of bird counts and bird watches. Along th
I received an arc from Netgalley for an honest review. LOVE this book and even more excited to read that it was written by Jane Yolens daughter. Token wrote Owl Moon and it was one of my favorites as a child. Great story about birds and how one person can make a difference. Can’t wait to get my own copy.
Maria Marshall
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is immediately obvious that this book was a labor of love for the author and the illustrator. Heidi Stemple's experiences, and love of birds and birding, shine through the entire book. Through cut paper illustrations, Clover Robin creates amazingly detailed and textural images of Frank's study, unique bird habitats, and intricate images of the birds themselves.
Fred Chapman worked with, studied, and adored birds. So naturally, the Christmas tradition of competing to see who could shoot the gre
This is the delightful story of how , what is now known as the Audubon Christmas Bird Count got started. But, surprisingly enough, even thought the Audubon Society now oversees it, it wasn't started by Audubon, but rather by Frank Chapman.

This picture book tells how people used to shoot birds for fun at Christmas time, not to eat, but to see how many they could shoot.

Shooting the birds

Frank got people interested in counting, rather than shooting, and so, there are many ways to count, including
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Did you know that there are organized dates set aside for counting birds? A hundred years ago, a man named Frank Chapman loved birds and worked to create exhibits about birds. He also wrote books and articles about birds. He started a magazine called “Bird-Lore” read by bird lovers. Frank Chapman didn’t like the fact that sports hunters would gather on Christmas Day and hold a bird competition looking for birds to hunt. Any bird was game and all the birds shot at the end of the day were counted. ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Counting Birds is a story about something I had no idea about. It starts by telling us the story of Frank Chapman and his disgust at the annual Christmas tradition of going outside and shooting as many birds as you could for fun. This was back in the late 1800s and early 1900s when people were beginning to think about conservation. He came up with an idea to stop the killing of the birds, but preserving "the hunt". He published it in his magazine, Bird-Lore, which is now the Audubon Magazine. Hi ...more
Kirsti Call
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous illustrations and wonderful information about the annual bird count! LOVE
Cheriee Weichel
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018
Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends tells the story of how the Christmas Bird Count came to be.

Frank Chapman loved birds. He worked at the American Museum of Natural History in the bird section. In 1899 he started a bimonthly magazine called Bird Lore that later became the Audubon magazine.

Around this time Americans were starting to become aware of the destruction of wilderness areas and a conservationist movement was building: people who wanted to preserve these spac
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-2018
Oh my gosh, give me a second while I swoon over the illustrations. They are amazing! And the illustrator’s name – Clover Robin – is pretty fantastic, too. But wait. There’s more! The book itself is equally fabulous. Written by Heidi E.Y. Stemple, the daughter of an avid bird lover and the esteemed children’s author Jane Yolen, it is no surprise that this book is great.

This non-fiction picture book introduces us to a great lover of birds, ornithologist and writer Frank Chapman. Birds were his pa
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! This book does several interesting and important things in a way that will be immediately accessible and engaging for kids. First she introduces the little known ornithologist Frank Chapman and his development of the Christmas Day Bird Count. She also talks about that count, how it works, why it is so important and how kids can be involved.

Conversational in tone but with a wonderfully conveyed enthusiasm for birds and bird conservation, this book is perfect to use with kids in a class
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Counting Birds is a new non-fiction title by Heidi Stemple. Due out 2nd Oct, 2018, it's 32 pages and available in hardcover. Aimed at younger readers (ages 6-8ish), it would make a really nice read along for younger children as well.

Beautifully illustrated by Clover Robin, the artwork is mixed media painted collage and does a lovely job of enhancing the text. The book is based around the life and early bird counts started by Frank Chapman which
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I was a teen, I started a summer program that invited me to count all the different kinds of butterflies that live in my garden Year after year, many were disappearing and it was such a joy to spot some rare one. This book reminds me of this scientific tradition. Counting Birds is a fascinating book about the Audubon Christmas Count, an annual scientific project that invites people from all over the world to count as many birds as possible on Christmas Day. All begin with Frank Chapman, an ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very decent introduction for the young to the idea of organised bird counts – taking us right to the doorstep of associations that do such things (well, mostly in the USA, but you can't have everything). The inspiration for them and for us would be a certain self-taught specialist, Frank Chapman, who railed against late-Victorian hunting parties and feather-based fashions. With very good design throughout, the text loses a lost of its initial simplicity and brevity in the later, detail ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a family of birders, we are well familiar with the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. However, I did not know of the story behind the event, and how it got started. Enter this beautifully illustrated book, Counting Birds. Through the fun and lyrical text, we get to learn about the birth of the idea and all the ways it benefits birds and people and science. Knowing all this makes our membership with the organization even more meaningful! I bought a copy of this for me, and one each for frien ...more
Patricia Nozell
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and important new picture book #NF biography about the founder, Frank Chapman, and the founding of the annual Christmas bird count - a lovely way for families and individuals, including kids, to help avian conservation efforts. Beautiful cut-paper illustrations and wonderful back matter, including ways kids can participate in the count or otherwise help conservation efforts.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nicely put together picture book history of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count including conservation, literary connections, lots of bird species, and appealing collage illustrations. I appreciated the photos and extensive back matter, and I believe this is a book that will inspire some young citizen scientists.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I definitely like and agree with the message of this book - we should protect birds and nature. But I think there were better ways to share it.

The art is lovely, but the story did not seem as entertaining and the message might get lost if it doesn't catch the kids' attention.
Katrina Dreamer
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved learning about Frank Chapman and how he started the Christmas count. The illustrations are gorgeous.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. I loved hearing the story of Frank Chapman and his absolute dedication and love of birds.
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Katie Dicesare
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My students fascinated with the story Frank Chapman and his commitment to birds in our world!
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of how Frank Chapman started the Christmas Bird Count.
Mary Norell Hedenstrom
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story of a citizen science project.
Carol Ekster
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous book. Fabulous picture book biography. Great back matter.
Mary Anne
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steam
History of the Christmas Bird count - beautiful illustrations.
Interesting story of Frank Chapman and the steps he took to preserve the life of the birds he loved so much.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Using her family history of counting owls during the Audubon Christmas Bird Count as inspiration, Stemple lovingly shares how the event began: through the conservation efforts of ornithologist Frank Chapman as he encouraged Americans to help save birds. Delightful collage-style illustrations and simple back matter make it accessible for young naturalists.
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Heidi didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became a probation officer in Florida. It wasn’t until she was 28 years old that she gave in and joined the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has publi ...more