scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source
Counting Birds starts off as the story of a man named Frank Chapman, who decided to do something to combat what was a Christmas tradition in some places 100+ years ago: shooting birds for fun.
His idea of an annual "bird count" has since developed into a massive citizen science project organized by the Audubon Society. This book celebrates the joy of discovery and conservation of our feathered friends, in a way that reminds me of The Sky Painter, which features another bird lover who also decided to find a way to depict birds without shooting them (see my review here).
That spirit of conservation is present here, displaying an attitude of enjoyment and appreciation of wild birds, and portraying the thrill of the "hunt" as well as the benefit this participation can be to science.
The last few pages give some more information on how the bird count works, and how the average citizen can participate. This is definitely something I'd like to be involved in someday, and would make a great homeschool project.
Oh, and, plot twist! When I read the page about calling owls, I couldn't help but think of Jane Yolen's Owl Moon. Turns out the author of this book is actually her daughter, who is the girl who goes owl calling with her father in Owl Moon. Nifty!
(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)
Scrounged From: NetGalley
Author: Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Illustrator: Clover Robin
Content Advisory: One scene shows a bunch of dead birds lying on the ground, but it's from a distance and not graphic.