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Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking
     

Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

by Jim Arnosky
 

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With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings — based on his own field research — and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style,

Overview

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings — based on his own field research — and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Four chapters on the rudiments of bird and bug watching, animal tracking, and shore hiking prepare novices for neighborhood naturalizing…"
Horn Book Magazine
“They’re excellent models—…”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Four chapters on the rudiments of bird and bug watching, animal tracking, and shore hiking prepare novices for neighborhood naturalizing…”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Four chapters on the rudiments of bird and bug watching, animal tracking, and shore hiking prepare novices for neighborhood naturalizing…”
Publishers Weekly
Children's NOTES For the Great Outdoors Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-Watching and Shore Walking by Jim Arnosky. Designed as a scientific notebook, this sturdy volume prepares readers for extended outdoor excursions (e.g., the author recommends applying insect repellant and wearing a hat to ward off ticks), suggests various habitats for study and offers sample notebook pages for budding scientists to record observations and drawings. Detailed b&w illustrations help readers identify animals and their tracks. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
From the time he was a child, the author loved and studied nature. In this accessible book, he shares fascinating facts and nature lore with his readers. Each of his four chapters, "Bug Hunting," "Animal Tracking," "Bird-Watching," and "Shore Walking" shows children how to explore, to observe, and learn about the world around them. As the author tells of his experiences and shows pages from his nature notebooks, he encourages young people to study nature first hand and teaches them keys to decipher what they see. He encourages them to keep a simple notebook, as he does, to record and learn from what is seen. He also notes situations that might be dangerous and cautions readers to avoid them. For instance he tells shore walkers that he always uses a strong stick to frequently test softness of the ground to be sure it is safe to walk on. Although the publisher lists the ages for this book as eight and up, younger nature lovers will certainly enjoy sharing this book with parent or teacher. 2002, Harper Collins Publishers,
— Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-This four-part introduction includes sufficient information, both basic and specific, to prepare and guide a family or group on several enjoyable nature hikes. Arnosky presents general descriptions of life cycles and species identification; items needed for successful observation; and precautionary measures to ensure safety from tick bites, stinging insects, birds protecting their young, and powerful animals. Using his now-familiar field-log format, he has interwoven accurate pencil drawings and accompanying notes into the text and included several pages of silhouette and track charts that will help budding naturalists to identify various insects, birds, animal tracks, shells, plants, and trees. The author coaches readers on the proper way to record their observations accurately, offering sample pages of drawings and notes, and cautions them about removing living organisms from their natural habitat. This book is similar in content to Arnosky's Secrets of a Wildlife Watcher (Lothrop, 1983; o.p.), in which he details even more specifically some habits of various animals and birds, how to find them and safely observe them, and what to watch for.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Each chapter of this field guide focuses on one wildlife field trip in which the reader can discover, investigate, identify, and learn about the various plants and animals that live in the wild. The text is filled with Arnosky's (All About Frogs, p. 42, etc.) characteristically detailed pencil sketches, which will help readers in identifying the various flora and fauna. In fact, the drawings and captions give information that adds to the reader's understanding of the topic. They also serve as an example for children to use in setting up their own wildlife field notebook. Any chapter can stand alone, complete with its own safety precautions and identification charts. In the first, readers are introduced to the various insects and arachnids that fill the world, and are given hints for finding, viewing, and identifying bugs. Animal Tracking introduces the wealth of information that can be learned about an animal from just one set of tracks. Chapter three teaches readers about bird-watching, and is especially good at helping children learn the identifying marks that can distinguish one bird from another. Lastly, readers are taught about the many and varied plants and animals that can be found along the edges of water-salt or fresh. Throughout, the author does a good job of introducing and defining new terms to young readers. His chapters are short, easy to understand, and filled with illustrations. While most of the text relates to the bolded title that precedes it, there are times that paragraphs seem out of place or disjointed. In addition, many young readers may not appreciate the author's introductory section to each chapter, as this details his own education and experience with thetopic. Still, this is an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to know more about the great outdoors, and especially for anyone who is a budding nature artist-and who better than Arnosky to serve as an example? (Nonfiction. 7-12)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Four chapters on the rudiments of bird and bug watching, animal tracking, and shore hiking prepare novices for neighborhood naturalizing…”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688151720
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Bug hunting

I remember my first real field trip. I was seven years old. A friend and his father were going on a nature hike, and I was invited! We walked to the end of the road, passed the last house in our village, and followed a narrow path through a wild, brush-covered field. On the leaves of the bushes were hundreds of great big strange-looking insects. They were cicadas. I followed my friend as he followed his father through the tangle of stems and branches until we were surrounded by the giant bugs. We watched them fly from plant to plant, sometimes buzzing right past our ears. We collected a few and put them in a jar. I felt as if I was in some faraway jungle. It was my first truly wild experience.

Today I have a grandson who is seven years old. Together we walk the long winding footpaths around the farm, looking for caterpillars, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders, and for a time my grandson and I are lost in wonder.

If you cannot let a butterfly flutter by without following it a little ways... If you have ever spent time watching a spider weave its web... If you have trapped a firefly in a jar just to look closely at its mysterious glowing abdomen, before letting it fly again... If you find ants, beetles, caterpillars, and dragonflies mesmerizing...you are a born bug hunter!

Anywhere you look outdoors, you are likely to see some bug flying or crawling around. On a bug-hunting field trip, you can choose to look for insects or spiders in a general way. Or you can go out to find and watch a certain species, such as a favorite butterfly.

There are bugs to look for indoors,also. Spiders are making webs in skyscraper windows. Houseplants are home to tiny flies, mites, spiders, earwigs, aphids, and ants. Occasionally a ladybug may be discovered climbing a green leaf of a potted plant or scaling window glass. I once found a daddy longlegs in our bathtub!

You can catalog the tiny creatures living in your house or classroom. Then go on a field trip and see if you can find the same species living outdoors.

Identifying Bugs

Just how many different kinds of bugs are in the world is unknown. We do know that there are more insects on earth than all other kinds of animals combined. However, even with so many different species, the basic types of bugs are easy to recognize. Generally, bugs can be divided into three main groups -- land-dwelling bugs (which, besides a multitude of insects, includes all arachnids), airborne (flying) bugs, and aquatic (water-dwelling) bugs. Knowing this not only helps you identify bugs more easily but also helps you locate the bugs you are looking for.

Bug-hunting Equipment

Unlike birds and other wildlife, bugs are not shy. They will crawl or fly all around you. I've done some of my best bug watching while trout fishing, observing close-up mayflies and caddis flies that have alighted on my sleeve or hand.

For viewing tiny bugs afield, I carry a pocket magnifying lens. A small aquarium net comes in handy for gently scooping up aquatic insects for a closer look.

You can use a small plastic jar to carry home pieces of wings or shed insect skins or even a dead insect you find. A pair of tweezers will help you to pick up such small and often delicate things.

These found objects are fascinating to examine closely later at home. With a magnifying lens or a microscope, even the tiniest fly looks monstrous!

Using binoculars for watching bugs!

On a field trip, a 7 x 35 power binoculars can bring you closer to large insects without you having to chase after them. I often use my binoculars to watch bugs, the same way I watch birds. And using binoculars is the only safe way to get a close look at stinging scorpions or hornets and biting ants.

Always stay at least twelve feet from an ant mound unless you are certain the ants are not a biting kind. Stay well away from any tree or bush or hole you suspect to be home to a beehive or hornet nest.

Ticks

When I'm bug hunting, I'm always careful about ticks. I stay to the edges of the tall plants and grasses and walk only on the short, mowed grass of a lawn or the well-worn paths in the woods. If you do not rub against a plant a tick happens to be on, chances are the tick will not be able to climb on you.

Apply insect repellant to exposed skin and around the cuffs of your pants and sleeves.

Wear a hat so ticks that may be on leaves above you will not be able to drop down onto your hair. Be aware of the possible presence of tiny ticks in your yard or garden.

If you happen to brush through tall grass or weeds, take a moment to stop and check your clothes for ticks. If you find any, get them off using the tweezers in your bug-hunting gear -- or flick them off with a twig -- before they can crawl and migrate to your skin.

Remember, the tick must come off intact. Never squeeze, crush, or break a tick when removing one. Some ticks carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

Field Trips. Copyright � by Jim Arnosky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Acclaimed for his picture books that speak directly to young naturalists, Jim Arnosky enjoys researching different ecological areas with his wife, Deanna. His many awards and honors include the Washington Post—Children's Book Guild Award for overall contribution to nonfiction for children and the Eva L. Gordon Award for outstanding children's science literature. He has also written and illustrated numerous ALA Notable Books and Outstanding Science Books. Home base for the Arnoskys is a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in northern Vermont. Their daughters and their families live nearby.

Acclaimed for his picture books that speak directly to young naturalists, Jim Arnosky enjoys researching different ecological areas with his wife, Deanna. His many awards and honors include the Washington Post—Children's Book Guild Award for overall contribution to nonfiction for children and the Eva L. Gordon Award for outstanding children's science literature. He has also written and illustrated numerous ALA Notable Books and Outstanding Science Books. Home base for the Arnoskys is a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in northern Vermont. Their daughters and their families live nearby.

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