Inspiring Children to be the Best That They Can Be

For: Primary Educators, Parents, and Kids Inspiring Children To Love Learning And Be The Best They Can Be

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Egrets and Herons

Time to Explore

     We all know what a heron is, but what is an egret? It's also part of the heron family, with snowy white plumage. 

     All herons have 'powder down' which keeps water off of their feathers and collects dirt and slime. They use their toes to preen and comb out the dirt from this fine powder. 

      Herons live in the wetlands, and as they wade along in shallow water looking for a meal, they keep their long legs straight, with long toes to help them balance. They watch for fish, frogs, worms, crabs, or small turtles to come near. 

     Another method of hunting is to stand still and when a fish comes by, the long, strong neck uncoils and and the long pointed beak opens wide. Others wait on low trees until the prey comes within reach.

Book Reviews for Kids

Feathers Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart (ages 5 -9)
    This book compliments my interest in birds and their versatile - and surprising ways - they use their bodies. Stewart highlights sixteen birds and compares their use of feathers with ordinary objects. For example, feathers could be used as an umbrella, a forklift, or a sponge. 

Gold Medal Winter by Donna Freitas   (ages 10 -14)

     I hope everyone enjoyed the Olympics and were able to watch some of the figure skating. While it is still fresh in your mind, you may want to seek out this touching fictional story featuring a Latina Olympic skater from the Dominican Republic and her dramatic journey as part of the U.S. ladies ice skating team.  Sometimes a victim with vicious rumors and shallow relationships following her, she remains dedicated and grounded. It is a fascinating 'backstage' glimpse into the international skating world.

Superworm by Julia Donaldson    (ages 5 - 8) 
     Superworm is a slimy superhero destined to rescue frogs, beetles, and insects. After a sinister kidnapping by the Wizard Lizard and his henchmen, his buggy friends rescue Superworm and he carries on his charming ways and to save the day.
     The tale is set to a witty, easy rhyme sure to elicite chanting and smiles all around - from all ages.
The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley  (ages 10 - 18)
      We watch Jimmy go through devastating events in his childhood. It's a real life episode of an author taking the 'dumbest idea' ever and turning it into the best thing that ever happened to him - and into his beginnings as a cartoonist. 
      Gownley's popular book series (8 books), Meet Amelia (ages 9-14), features 'tweenage' adventures that strike a real chord and heartfelt dilemmas. Drawn in comic strip style, Amelia meets serious situations with unique sassy messages.

Starring Jules, Super-Secret Spy Girl by Beth Ain (ages 6 - 10)
      This is the third book of the series (also: Starring Jules, as Herself and Starring Jules, Drama-Rama) Authentic, humorous, and entertaining, Jules is a winning combination of a charming second grade kid and her believable family, warts and all. Even though she is on vacation, her best friend sends super spy missions to keep her busy.

In My Backyard

     My introduction to herons began my first week here. We have a wooden heron near the pond and a blue heron would come and sit quietly for what seemed hours just staring at it. It did finally overcome its fear and went fairly close. 
     Now, we have a new supply of fish in the pond, complements of a neighbor wanting to populate it. In reality, it has become a food supply for the blue heron and the snowy white egret. They begin on different bends and banks of the pond, and often switch places after a time. 
     I love to watch as a long beak dips down and comes up with a small fish. Watching them wade on their long legs is how we discovered how shallow or pond is - in most places.

Until next time. . . .

Be Creative. . . . Inspire Others. . . . . Enjoy Life