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Children's Nonfiction Birds

Weird Birds

by (author) Chris Earley

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2014
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 18
  • Grade: 5 to 12


Praise for Weird Insects:

"A gallery of brilliantly clear, color photos gives intimate, close-up looks at just 59 of the millions of insects crawling, flying, scurrying, and burrowing on our planet, but Worek's choices open up a visual treasure house of the class Insecta. From metallic armored beetles to lacy-winged flies to spiny caterpillars, the pictures glow on the crisp white pages... This is not a book for in-depth research, but for the curious of mind and those with an understanding of biological diversity and evolutionary differentiation, it's a visual feast and -- oh my -- those pictures!" -- School Library Journal

Some birds look bizarre. Some behave that way. In almost all cases, their appearance has an important function -- in evolution or every day. This colorful book exposes more than 50 strange birds, preening, stretching, and showing their strange bodily adaptations.

Weird Birds features:

  • Beautiful photographs that show the birds in sharp, clear detail
  • Informative captions that provide fascinating details about the lives of these intriguing creatures.

Available in hardcover and paperback, the book will appeal to middle school students exploring topic ideas, younger students interested in wildlife and advanced readers who enjoy picture books.


About the author

Text by Chris Earley ; Photography by Luke Massey

Chris Earley's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Earley presents 59 strange birds, each getting a beautiful full-color photo and a caption explaining the purpose of their bizarre features.

Chicago Tribune

Incredible photography of the world's most unique birds accompanied by equally interesting details makes this book a positive delight... 5 out of 5.

Youth Services Book Review

An album of captioned photographs of nearly 60 exotic birds offers dramatic evidence of astonishing diversity in the avian word. The images are striking, with the bird (or its head) shown against a stark white background. From the black skimmer to the vulturine guineafowl, they are presented by common name, but Latin names are also given. Each illustration is accompanied by a paragraph about ways in which the bird is particularly bizarre. Sometimes the text indicates where it might be found, in a general way -- Africa, Central and South America, in rain forests -- and sometimes it mentions habitat or eating habits, size or eggs. But this is not a book for research; it's a display. There are enormous beaks and splendiferous tails, bright colors in skin and feathers, and surprisingly different feet. The southern ground hornbill has remarkable eyelashes; penguins excrete excess salt through their nostrils; the palm cockatoo makes a drumstick from a branch and bangs it against a hollow tree to attract a mate... A similar, simultaneously publishing collection, Weird Frogs, uses a similar approach. A browser's delight.

Kirkus Reviews


Canadian Review of Materials

Similar to his book Weird Frogs, Chris Earley covers many interesting birds who look or behave weirdly in Weird Birds. In all, 59 birds are included and Earley explains why these birds look and act the way they do.

The Muskokan

The Earth truly is a wondrous place made special by the species that live here. Books like Weird Birds and Weird Frogs provide us with a glimpse of some of the fascinating animals we are fortunate to share the planet with. Learning more about these animals can provide us with the incentive to live lightly on Earth and protect all life.

This lovely book teaches the reader about the incredible variety in sizes, shapes, colors, and design of birds around the world. Each glossy page is dedicated to one bird featured in a half-page of color photo accompanied by a short, but informative caption including Latin and English names of birds. In the photos, birds are not featured in their habitats; rather, the background is the glossy white page. The photos are phenomenal... sure to please the young elementary audience.

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's and Young Adult Literature

Amazing images of weird birds and frogs appear ready to fly and leap, respectively... (Reviewed with Weird Frogs) off the pages of these informative books written by a biologist who is keen to share his fascination with the creatures featured. The crisp photographs display the image on a white background that allows the reader to focus on the striking details of the exotic birds and frogs, while the text points out bizarre and not-so-bizarre facts.

City Parent

Some birds look bizarre. Some behave that way. This colourful book presents more than 50 strange birds, preening, stretching and showing their strange bodily adaptations in marvellous detail. Brilliant feathers in all the colours of the rainbow, a wide variety of outlandish beaks and unique genetic adaptations are just a few of the features that will captivate nature lovers while stimulating their curiosity.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens 2015

From the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock to the Secretary bird to Atlantic Puffins and Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Earley's birds and descriptions are highly amazing.

Lodi News-Sentinel

Other titles by Chris Earley