10 Books About Backyard Wildlife in Winter

At this time of year, I get the urge to feed birds and water houseplants. I think I am drawn to birds and houseplants in late-winter because birds and houseplants are two signs of life at a time when the world, covered in snow, looks lifeless. Here is a list of books to encourage kids to notice the birds, tracks, and other signs of life in their backyards.

Animals in Winter by Harrietta Bancroft, Richard Van Gelder, and Helen Davie. A wonderful introduction to the various ways animals prepare for winter. Animals in Winter explains that some animals must hunt and gather food all winter long and encourages kids to help by feeding backyard animals. Ages 2+

In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George. A story about two curious kids who go on a hike and discover clues along the way that animals have been there before them. In the Snow’s layout enables readers to guess which animals left various clues before turning the page to see the animals revealed. Ages 2+

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. An obvious choice for the fall, but also a nice read in the winter. In Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, the narrator describes how his sugar maple tree changes from one season to the next. This book includes illustrations of black capped chickadees and downy woodpeckers (two common backyard visitors in winter) and instructions for making bird treats. Ages 2+

Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints by Millicent Selsam and Marlene Hill Donnelly. This introduction to animal tracks encourages young children to become “nature detectives” and look closely for clues about animal behavior. Ages 3+

Those Darn Squirrels! By Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri. A humorous story about some very clever squirrels that eat the birdseed that Old Man Fookmire has set out. In an unlikely turn of events, the squirrels try to make up with Old Man Fookmire by concocting an elaborate surprise. Ages 4+

Birds in Your Backyard by Barbara Herkert. A straightforward introduction to feeding and identifying backyard birds. Ages 4+

Woodpecker Forest by Tejima. A story about a young woodpecker learning to live on his own. The highlight of Woodpecker Forest is Tejima’s beautiful, bold woodcut illustrations. Ages 4+

Who Lives in the Snow? by Jennifer Berry Jones and Consie Powell. This book is brimming with fascinating information about the winter lives of plants and animals in the “subnivean zone,” the zone beneath the snow. Ages 5+

Cooking for the Birds by Adele Porter. A cookbook with fun, crafty cooking projects and information about the birds that each recipe is most likely to attract. This book includes a few simple, practical recipes (e.g. hummingbird nectar made of sugar and water) and many complicated, entertaining recipes (e.g. “happy bird-day cake,” a cupcake made with suet, seeds, berries, and mealworms.) The format is good for getting kids excited about feeding and learning about birds. Ages 5+

Backyard Birds of Winter by Carol Lerner. This winter bird guide contains in-depth descriptions of backyard birds, including information about feeding behavior, winter adaptations, and distinguishing features. The highlight of Backyard Birds of Winter is Lerner’s accurate, attractive illustrations and focus on winter birds. Ages 6+

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9 Responses to 10 Books About Backyard Wildlife in Winter

  1. Pingback: Teach Science With These Excellent Nonfiction Picture Book Series | Delightful Children's Books

  2. Amy says:

    I keep meaning to add this book to this list: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
    Beautifully illustrated. It’s fun to imagine what animals might be right under your feet as your skiing! http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780811867849/kate-messner/over-and-under-snow

  3. Jenny says:

    Wonderful list, thank you!

  4. Pingback: Festive Feeding Frenzy – Holiday Contest | bildebok from Cathy Ballou Mealey

  5. Brenda says:

    these are great! thanks for the titles. I read nature books at my storytime at work so always looking for new books to share with the little ones and the moms love it too!!! new follower of yours too.

  6. Also love “Stranger in the Woods” . We always read “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen as part of our winter stories.
    “Lost in the Woods” by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick is another great backyard wildlife story – just for Spring. – It’s about a newborn fawn.

    • Amy says:

      Two votes for Stranger in the Woods! I concur. It didn’t quite make my list, but I would go check out Stranger in the Woods and First Snow in the Woods too if you’re looking for books about backyard wildlife in the winter.

  7. Gini says:

    Fun list! For winter and animals, we also love “Stranger in the Woods” by Carl R. Sams and Jen Stoick. The pictures are wonderful and the kids are so intrigued by the animals checking out the snowman.

  8. Meemah says:

    Grandmother Schaff would especially like the book about Mr. Fookmire and the squirrels. Could you let her know you have new postings? She doesn’t look at facebook.

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