Library Lists: Beautiful Bird Books for Spring!

Spring has sprung and lots of birds are out and about! If you love the beautiful birds in your backyard, bird-watching, listening to bird calls, or learning about some of the more exotic birds in other parts of the world, check out some of the wonderful bird-related books on this list!

The Thing With Feathers: An enlightening look into the capabilities of different birds, and into how the intelligence of birds relates to that of humans.

Beautiful Birds: A wonderfully illustrated alphabet book that introduces young readers to some of the world’s most beautiful birds with the aid of easy-flowing poetry.

Birds: Nature’s Magnificent Flying Machines: An easy-to-read introduction the science and logistics of flying, accompanied by detailed illustrations.

Extreme Birds: Birds come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, and some have some pretty unique adaptations to help them survive. Extreme Birds highlights the world’s most extraordinary and bizarre birds.

Gardening for the Birds: Planting a bird-friendly garden is easy to do with the help of this useful book. Those wishing to attract more birds to their backyard will find great tips and suggestions for plants and garden layout here.

The Verb “To Bird”: Sightings of an Avid Birder: Long-time bird watcher Peter Cashwell channels Aldo Leopold in this lovely book, making readers feel as though they are wandering the woods with him as he shares his experiences and the joy he gleans from birding.

Bird, Egg, Feather, Nest: In watercolor images and handwritten text, author Maryjo Koch shares with readers facts about bird s from all over the world.

Why do birds’ feathers have such vastly different patterning and coloration? Find out in National Geographic Bird Coloration, a wonderfully informational book about birds’ feathers, accompanied in typical NatGeo fashion by stunning photographs.

Feathers: Poems About Birds: A lovely little poetry book for bird-lovers. Birds of all kinds are described in lyrical poems, accompanied by playful illustrations.

The Boy Who Drew Birds: John James Audubon is famous for his love of birds and his amazing illustrations of birds that he did throughout his life. This biography, geared towards young readers, tells of how Audubon pioneered a technique for researching birds that is still used today and captures his early passion for something he loved.

For more books on birds for all ages and interest levels, check out this even more extensive list!

Washtenaw Community College Earth Day 2015 Celebration

Student Center Building, 1st Floor and North Plaza
Thursday, April 9 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Live Raptor Presentation by the Leslie Science and Nature Center (11 a.m. - Noon)

The Activities Are Free and Open to the Public

In celebration of Earth Day, information about a diverse array of solutions to today’s environmental problems will be presented by local non-profit, business, and government organizations and WCC departments:

Recycling & Waste – Discover a secret stash of inexpensive books, kitchenware, sporting goods and building materials – how to put worms to work for you – why WCC has one of the best recycling records in the U.S.
Getting Around – Learn how to cut your expenses and your commuting carbon with, bicycles, electric cars, hybrid cars, busing and walking. Friends & Neighbors – Build a resilient community, make friends and influence congressmen, grow a community garden, support your local economy with farmers markets.
Healthy Choices – Learn many ways to keep yourself, your family and your community healthy by growing your own food, choosing a healthy diet, exercising, and quitting your fossil fuel addiction.
Mother Earth –Prevent nature deficit disorder, enjoy the outdoors, protect the Great Lakes, help green our campus, find a green career.

Participating Organizations: AAATA/The Ride • Ann Arbor District Library • Ban Fracking Michigan • Clean Water Action • Cobblestone Farm Market • Growing Hope • Hudson Mills Metropark • Huron Valley Group, Sierra Club • Iris Waste Diversion Specialists • Recycle Ann Arbor • Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy • WCC Bookstore/B&N Council • WCC Environmental Science Program • Trader Joe’s • VegMichigan • Wake Up Washtenaw! • WCC Biology Dept. • WCC CORE Garden Project • WCC Environmental Science Dept • WCC Recycling Operations • WCC Student Nurses • WCC Sustainability Council • Wheels in Motion • Ypsilanti Food Coop and more!

For more information contact WCC faculty member Dale Petty at petty@wccnet.edu.

Animalium

If you have not yet seen this giant beauty resting on the new youth nonfiction shelf, please allow me to draw your attention to it. I know I will forever be indebted to the person who first showed Animalium to me. It is one of those rare books that is both captivating to look at and to read. Maybe I should make myself clear here, it is captivating if you enjoy learning about animals and reading facts about them. If you are expecting a great fictional story, then perhaps it would be best if you check this out for the sole purpose of enjoying the pictures. Furthermore, please don't dismiss this book because it is intended for youth, I choose to believe "youth" really just stands for "youthful" and there really is no age restriction when it comes to appreciating beautiful illustrations of wildlife.

The large colorful illustrations are wonderfully detailed and the shadowing and chosen colors give the pictures great depth. Being an amphibian girl myself, I was particularly drawn to the page including the the Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) which has "an oversize vocal sac in which it rears its young." Little tadpoles in a frog's throat never looked so pretty.

Be warned though, when I say "giant beauty" I mean bring a sturdy bag because this is no pocket book.

You may also want to check out Welcome to Mamoko or Maps, both published by Big Picture Press and with equally fascinating pictures and intriguing concepts. Or maybe this has piqued your interest about animals and now you want to learn more. Great! Here is a list of other Awesome Animal books that may help you with your research.

Michigan Author Jerry Dennis: A Daybreak Handbook

Monday January 26, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Author Jerry Dennis, best known as an award-winning nature writer, has branched out in two new directions: poetry and publishing. Jerry's first book of poems, A Daybreak Handbook, was published in 2014. Also in 2014, Jerry, his wife Gail, and illustrator Glenn Wolff established Big Maple Press, a small press dedicated to producing special editions exclusively available for sale through independent booksellers.

Dennis will discuss these new avenues in his career as well as his ongoing work with the Great Lakes. Dennis' book The Living Great Lakes was the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection in 2010. A selection of Dennis' books will be available for sale and signing at the event.

Sustainable Landscaping with Landscaping Expert Drew Lathin

Tuesday March 24, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Drew Lathin is the General Manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes and a sustainable landscapes consultant who creates ecologically restorative urban and suburban landscapes. As an outspoken critic of conventional landscaping practices which destroy habitat, result in species extinction, and threaten the biodiversity upon which life depends, Drew utilizes native plants in his beautifully installed landscapes that support wildlife, and reduce or eliminate resource inputs such as pesticides and supplemental water. He will speak on these subjects and offer suggestions and tips for how you too, can utilize native plants and biodiversity to create sustainable landscapes of any scale on your own property.

Trick or Treat Down the River!

Trick-or-treat Down the River is coming up Sunday, Oct. 19 from noon to 5 pm at Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road. The event is sponsored by .Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation. By canoe or kayak, boaters will see creatures along the river handing out treats. Cost is $18 per boat. Children must be at least 1 year old to be in a boat. Bring a bag for candy, and feel free to wear a costume.

October is Bat Appreciation Month

Do you like bananas, cocoa, or agave? You can thank bats for that! (Bats are major pollinators of those plants.) Do you hate pesky insects like flies, mosquitoes, and gnats? You can thank bats for eating those! (One bat can eat up to 5,000 insects a night!) Bats are an extremely important part of the ecosystem, and now is a great time to celebrate how wonderful they are. October is Bat Appreciation Month, and boy do we have a lot of bat books and DVDs for you to check out!

Brian Lies has a great series of picture books including Bats at the Library, Bats at the Ballgame, and Bats at the Beach. And don't forget the classic Stellaluna by Janell Cannon!

If you’re interested in learning more facts about bats, we have a large selection of nonfiction books for both kids and adults. We even have a downloadable book about the link between bat echolocation and radar technology!

Sadly, many bat populations are on the decline due to things like loss of habitat and the dreaded “white-nose syndrome.” You can find out about the plight of the little brown bat (native to Michigan!) in the new book The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bat: A Scientific Mystery. Get those holds placed now!

One way you can help out bats is by building a bat house for your backyard. And guess what? We have a book for that!

The last week of October is National Bat Week (Oct 26 –Nov 1). The Organization for Bat Conservation, a Michigan-based, nonprofit environmental educational organization, has launched a Save the Bats campaign to raise awareness of the problems facing bat populations around the world. Check them out and find more ways you can help save bats!

Nature Walk @ Barton Nature Area

Thursday May 7, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Barton Nature Area

This event is intended for adults, teens and youth (grade K and up).

Join staff members of AADL and the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation for an informative nature walk in the beautiful 102-acre Barton Nature Area.

Learn about native plants and animals, and about the diverse natural features of the area.

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Meet in the parking lot off Huron Drive, just north of the Bird Road intersection.

Join us for a nature walk at Mary Beth Doyle Park Thursday evening!

Some of you Summer Gamers might be familiar with Mary Beth Doyle Park after earning the Park Explorer badge that took you there! This final installment in our summer nature walk series is an opportunity to revisit this lovely wetland area, or see it for the first time if you've never visited before. The nature walk will take place this Thursday, September 4, from 7:00 to 8:30pm. The approximately 80-acre park has a long, unpaved trail that runs along Mallets Creek, which we will be exploring. The creek and surrounding ponds and wetland make for great wildlife viewing. A representative from Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation will lead the hike and provide interesting information as we explore the area.

We will meet in the parking area off of Packard Road. You can also park at the Mallets Creek branch of the AADL and walk half a mile east along Packard to the entrance of the park. Bring water and dress comfortably. Arrive a few minutes early to make sure that you don't miss the group before we set out on the walk!

City Of Ann Arbor 2015 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum: Responsible Resource Use

Thursday April 9, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join the conversation about sustainability in Ann Arbor as the City and the Ann Arbor District Library host their annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series.

The final event in the series centers on Responsible Resource Use, including an overview of waste, compost, and recycling across the community. The series includes four events (ending with this session in April), each focusing on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s sustainability framework.

A think tank of local stakeholders including representatives from community organizations, City of Ann Arbor staff, and Washtenaw County staff will join the public to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community. The program will include a series of short presentations followed by a question and answer session. Speakers for the Responsible Resource Use discussion include:

• ​Bryan Weinert, Policy Advisor & Zero Waste Advocate, Recycle Ann Arbor​
• ​Aaron Burman, Senior Engineer, Resource Recycling Systems
• ​Robert Kellar, Communications Specialist, City of Ann Arbor
• ​Steve Mangan, Director of Dining, University of Michigan
• ​Nicole Chardoul, Chair, Washtenaw County Food Policy Council

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