‘How to Feed Birds in the Backyard: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids’ is the latest book from Chris Earley, author and biologist and educational coordinator.
Chris Earley’s natural experience came in handy when he decided to create a children’s guide to bird feeding.
“I had a lot of kids who loved it,” said Earley, a biologist and education coordinator at the University of Guelph Arboretum, who published a book called. How to Feed Poultry: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids.
“We’re doing a camp with Nature Guelph, and I sang with some kids, and one of the kids at the camp brought the book and said, ‘Oh, I like this, this is that my favorite. photo,’ and ‘I really like these three photos,’ and that kind of thing.”
Published at the end of September, How to Feed Poultry: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids is described by Earley as ‘having it all’ from a bird feeding perspective and was inspired by a larger book project Earley was working on for adults. Earley has published other books, including children’s books.
Growing up in Strathroy, Earley was known as a ‘nature boy,’ and remembers his family moving near a nature preserve and into the canyon when he was seven. Earley remembers that her mother put up a bird feeder and was fascinated by all the different birds she saw there.
“That was a big influence for me and kept my natural interest going, and who knows what it might bring out in other people, right?” Earley talked about watching bird feeders as a child.
When it comes to helping children understand nature, Earley said feeding the birds is like ‘having a fishbowl you don’t have to clean.’
“It’s hard to keep an eye on things, but, especially if you have a backyard, having a bird feeder means the birds will come to you,” Earley said. “You never know what bird is going to be in your bird feeders, and they are always changing.”
Along with a guide on how to hand feed birds, the book also has a bird identification section on the back highlighting 36 species native to Ontario. There are also sections on bird science, bird families, birds of prey and more. In Guelph, he adds, there are many natural areas where families can go and find bird food.
“It’s designed for kids, but adults can use it, too,” Earley said.
In addition to arousing interest in nature, Earley also wants to encourage children to look at nature outside of the human perspective, even if the children continue to pursue other interests.
“We have to realize that we share the planet with everything, so the more adults and children can have a relationship with nature, the better for the whole environment,” said Earley.
Published by Firefly Books, How to Feed Poultry: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids available for purchase at Wild Birds Unlimited, or online at Chapters and Amazon.