Backyard Birds of Winter

Backyard Birds of Winter

by Carol Lerner

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This basic guide to birding features over forty of the species most commonly seen in North America, with range maps of regional species. This book also contains basic advice on food and feeders and suggestions for making your yard more attractive to birds.  See more details below


This basic guide to birding features over forty of the species most commonly seen in North America, with range maps of regional species. This book also contains basic advice on food and feeders and suggestions for making your yard more attractive to birds.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Year-round and seasonal Backyard Birds of Winter and Backyard Birds of Summer are featured in two handsome volumes by artist/ author Carol Lerner. Her winter birds (painted to scale) are those attracted by feeders in the lower 48 states and southern Canada. Summer's birds (life size) include those attracted by feeders and a few that dine only on insects. Ms. Lerner notes distinguishing and easily discernible characteristics, describes seasonal behavior, preferred diets and feeding habits, and identifies seasonal ranges via map insets. She specifies appropriate food and feeders in the final chapter of both volumes.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A guide to identifying and observing birds that survive in the cold climate of the U.S. and southern Canada. Introductory statements point out that their range may vary due to lost habitat, milder winters in some areas, and the ability of some to adapt to urban environments. A flowing narrative and realistic illustrations combine to present chickadees, cardinals, sparrows, juncos, and more. Species found only in specific regions are carefully identified and have adjacent range maps. The material is well organized, with species grouped under appropriate headings. Birds are drawn to scale in natural tones with distinctive markings for easy identification. Simple backdrops unique to each one's natural habitat are set against white to create an open, airy format. Providing more information than is found in basic identification guides, Lerner's book describes requirements for survival, adaptation to cold temperatures, and diet as well as distinguishing physical characteristics. One section discusses the best seeds for individual species and well-designed feeders that attract birds and discourage squirrels. A valuable selection to include alongside Golden Guides, Peterson's guides, and Rob Hume's Birdwatching (Random, 1993), which includes more detailed advice for observing birds in all seasons.-Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
This handsome introduction to birds in winter begins with a discussion of how their anatomy and behavior help them survive the cold weather in northern climates. The heart of the book presents the physical features, diets, habits, and ranges of more than two dozen relatively common species. Precise watercolor paintings of birds, usually shown as three-quarters life size, appear on nearly every page, making this a beautiful as well as a practical way to learn about wildlife that even city children can observe. Lerner mentions winter bird feeding as a possible reason for the increasingly northern range of many birds but reasssures readers that birds do not rely solely on backyard bird feeders except in extreme conditions. An appended section provides practical advice on food, feeders, and water for backyard birds. An informative guide to the birds that North American children might expect to see at their bird feeders in winter.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.92(w) x 11.64(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

If Carol Lerner were asked to list three reasons why she started writing and illustrating books for children, she would probably say the Morton Arboretum, Joshua, and Jesse. The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, on the outskirts of Chicago, is one of the few institutions in the country that offers instruc-tion in botanical illustration on a regular basis. Over the years, Ms. Lerner had taken courses in botany, the local flora, birds of the Midwest, and other aspects of nature, but she hesitated to join the illustration class because the members seemed very accomplished. "Finally I gave it a try," she says. I continued attending for the next three years; then I felt ready to do something with my skills. I thought of illustrating children's books because they would offer more variety than strictly scientific illustration. "

Joshua and Jesse are Ms. Lerner's sons, now grown. "Initially my husband, Ralph, and I introduced them to birds and plants, but this realm of experience took such a tremendous grip on their interests and imaginations, they became expert birders [bird-watchers] and very savvy all-around naturalists on their own. All through their childhood years, their curiosity sparked my interest in the natural world."

The first book Ms. Lerner wrote and illustrated was On the Forest Edge. An ecological portrait of the animal and plant life found at the forest edge, it was given an award for Special Artistic Merit by the Friends of American Writers. Ms. Lerner's third, fourth, and fifth books, Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie, A Biblical Garden, and Pitcher Plants, were named ALA Notable Books, as was Tree Flowers, which she illustrated. Plant Families was named a New York Academy of Sciences Honor Book. Among her recent titles are Cactus, Dumb Cane and Daffodils, A Forest Year and Moonseed and Mistletoe, all of which are NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children. Her critically acclaimed Backyard Birds of Winter has recently been followed by Backyard Birds Of Summer.

Carol and Ralph Lerner live in Chicago. Summers and weekends are spent at their house in rural Indiana, where they are surrounded by forests and wetlands. "Wild birds are at our doorstep. There's a swamp across the road that is frog heaven. And I finally have enough space to realize the garden of my dreams. I garden with a certain passion." The same passion is evident in Carol Lerner's fine ecological portraits.

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