By Linda Wilson @LinWilsonauthor
Do you have Nature Buddies in your family? A Nature Buddy is anyone who leaves baby birds and other animal infants alone. In most cases, the parents are nearby.
In my latest picture book, Cradle in the Wild, illustrated by 1000 Storybooks, sisters Kaylee and Madison discover a fun way to become Nature Buddies. Here is an excerpt:
“What’s this?” Kaylee stooped to gather up a bunch of dried leaves and fluff lying on the front porch.
About to toss it away, she stopped. “Wait, this isn’t trash.”
Madison ran her finger inside a perfectly formed cup. “It’s a bird’s nest.”
“What’s a bird’s nest doing down here?” Kaylee said. Then she saw why. “Look! Up there!”
A few strands of grass stuck out from the porch light.
“Those poor birds. They lost their home,” Madison said. “I wish we could help.”
“Maybe we can.”
Kaylee and Madison both know the rule when finding a baby bird or animal—even a nest. Leave it alone. The sisters want to help the birds build a new home. But how?
In the spring, watch the birds in your neighborhood--robins, finches, sparrows--all kinds. You might see one of those birds fly by with a piece of grass, a twig, or even a few leaves in its beak. The bird is building its nest. Just last week I saw a red-tailed hawk fly overhead with a twig in its beak. If you come across a bird's nest, observe it. Not for long, just enough so you can see what it looks like. And of course you know not to touch it. Then you're being a true Nature Buddy, being thoughtful of the bird family that lives there.
Of course, the best part of nest building is when the eggs hatch and the baby birds are fed by their parents. Eventually the baby birds learn to fly. This is not a rare occurrence. You only need to be observant. to see it. One way to watch the behavior of birds is to set up a bird feeder at your home, stay at a distance and watch what happens. After you read the Cradle in the Wild story, see how many ways you can help birds, just like Kaylee and Madison.
Multi-award-winning children's author Linda Wilson lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a classical pianist and loves to go to the gym. But what Linda loves most is to make up stories and connect with her readers.