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Local Kids Help Write Bird Watching Book

By: Allison Rhea Email
By: Allison Rhea Email

Bill Thompson III first started watching birds when he was little. He saw an owl and wanted to know what kind it was, the book he used to identify the bird was outdated. He decided then to make a bird watching book for kids.

"I wanted to create a book that would get kids interested in watching birds, that wouldn't be overwhelming with all 800 species in North America, something that would be a welcome map for kids, easy to read, fun to look through," says Bill Thompson III, Editor of Bird Watcher's Digest.

So, he enlisted the help of his daughter's third grade class at Salem Liberty Elementary school to help write the book It's taken them 3 years and the book was finally published.

"Every time I go to see Phoebe in her class, they say "Mr. Thompson, Mr. Thompson, when's the book coming in?" So, today's the day I'm going to pass out the books," says Thompson.

Thompson's daughter, Phoebe, says the best part about helping out with the book was learning each birds "wow" factor.

"We each chose a bird and we could work with partners, we chose the bird and look up facts about the bird, those were called the "wow" facts in the book," says Phoebe.

The book may be called the Youth Birders Guide, but Thompson says he's had feedback from bird watchers of all ages.

"The interesting thing is, I've had a lot of adults come up to me and say "I'm a beginner bird watcher and this book's really helped me out, but I'm not 12", So I think this book has a lot of appeal," says Thompson.

It appeals to many, but most importantly, it helps kids understand bird watching and who better to help write the book than elementary school students.

If you're interesting in buying the Youth Birders Guide, it will be out in book stores in just a few weeks.


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