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Children's Nonfiction Birds

How to Feed Backyard Birds

A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids

by (author) Chris Earley

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Aug 2022
Birds, Experiments & Projects, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7


How to Feed Backyard Birds: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids is the perfect resource for beginners who are young (and not so young) to discover the joy of attracting birds to your yard. Bird lover and expert Chris Earley wants to share his passion for our colorful singing and flying neighbors with the whole family. This easy-to-read book helps readers of all ages not only attract and identify birds but also understand bird behavior and their relationship to the environment. A wide variety of feeders and feed types are presented with helpful tips on how to attract different kinds of birds.

Packed into this easy book:

  • Why feeding birds is important
  • How to build your own feeders
  • How to foil squirrels and other predators
  • Attracting birds with natural foods and water
  • Hand feeding do's and don'ts
  • Recognizing and identifying birds
  • Which plants in your garden will attract birds?
  • Bird conservation efforts and how to get involved.

Colorfully designed and full of photographs, How to Feed Backyard Birds: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids will feed the curiosity and imagination of young lovers of nature.

About the author

Chris Earley is a zoologist and environmental biologist He is the Interpretive Biologist and Education Coordinator at The Arboretum, University of Guelph His previous books include Falcons in the City, Warblers of the Great Lakes Region and Eastern North America, and Birds A to Z He lives in Guelph, Ontario

Chris Earley's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Well-illustrated with crisp, clean and often dynamic photos... Written and illustrated for young readers without patronizing them. Instead, it provides upbeat encouragement, scientific information about bird survival in winter, feeding specifics, lessons in bird-friendly gardening, what feeders to buy or build, and insights into bird biology. Also helpful is the 'Bird Guide', which high lights 36 species across the continent. It is just enough (but not too much) to get a new young birder on the path to proper identification... The benefit is also obvious: If you can encourage your kids to get involved in backyard bird-feeding through Chris' new book, they can graduate to the next level by pouring over the detailed biology and identification information in Feed the Birds.

OFO News

This little guide covers everything you need to know about contributing to bird survival. Filled with wonderful photographs, readers are shown how to make their own feeders and given information on what to use as a food source, complete with recipes. They will also learn about bird anatomy, identification, behaviour and predators. Easy-to-read text and interesting sidebars make this a great book for bird lovers of all ages.

Stratford Beacon Herald

A great resource for beginner bird enthusiasts of all ages.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens 2023

[A] very practical and highly readable guide... A "must" purchase for libraries serving juveniles, and it most definitely has a place in home libraries. Highly Recommended.

Canadian Review of Materials

How and what to feed avian guests, with a gallery of common North American species. Getting feathered visitors to hold still is a perennial problem for budding bird-watchers, but bird feeders offer opportunities for observation. Earley provides helpful suggestions aplenty--from types of feeders, including specialized designs and homemade ones constructed of plastic bottles or craft materials, to popular seeds and other foods like suet, fruit, and, with a recipe, an appetizing peanut butter spread. The author acknowledges the squirrel problem and offers clever strategies for foiling these fiendishly ingenious foragers (such as spring-loaded feeders); he also notes ways to dissuade finches, starlings, and other more aggressive birds to give shyer species places on the perch. And, as a sort of stretch goal, Earley provides guidance on persuading bolder sorts to feed out of an observer's hand. All the birds depicted throughout chowing down in the close-up color photos are identified, and the common types posing in the appended gallery also come with lists of distinctive physical characteristics. Occasional naturalistic touches, like an image of a woodpecker eying a well-chewed animal carcass, underscore the message that birds are almost always quite able to find food on their own; still, Earley makes clear that backyard bird-watching is easy, fun, and educational. An engaging invitation to see nature in action right outside the window.


An-easy-to-read book, it is filled with bright color photos of common backyard birds and good information... Birding can be a lifetime activity. Giving a child an early start is a gift.

Minnesota Star-Tribune

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