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Children reading books

Animal Hospital Books Are Perfect for Kids

Stories centered around an animal hospital (or wildlife rehabilitation center) have it all: There are animals, helpful doctors, injury, and recovery. These topics are highly interesting to most young readers, making a wildlife rescue story quite compelling. As an added benefit, such picture books foster a love for and an appreciation of nature. I had the pleasure of editing two books by Christie Gove-Berg. My introduction to these wonderful centers came via Esther the Eaglet in 2015. A year later, another animal hospital was featured in Christie’s Maggie the One-Eyed Peregrine Falcon. These books are absolutely perfect for children, and here’s why. Kids Love Animals It’s practically a universal truth: Children adore critters of all shapes and sizes. Dogs and cats are the standard, but wild animals hold a special allure. They are unique and exotic, often talked about but rarely seen. A nonfiction book about them is a treasure, especially one that tells a captivating tale—and has photographs...

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Animal Hospital Books Are Perfect for Kids

Stories centered around an animal hospital (or wildlife rehabilitation center) have it all: There are animals, helpful doctors, injury, and recovery. These topics are highly interesting to most young readers, making a wildlife rescue story quite compelling. As an added benefit, such picture books foster a love for and an appreciation of nature. I had the pleasure of editing two books by Christie Gove-Berg. My introduction to these wonderful centers came via Esther the Eaglet in 2015. A year later, another animal hospital was featured in Christie’s Maggie the One-Eyed Peregrine Falcon. These books are absolutely perfect for children, and here’s why. Kids Love Animals It’s practically a universal truth: Children adore critters of all shapes and sizes. Dogs and cats are the standard, but wild animals hold a special allure. They are unique and exotic, often talked about but rarely seen. A nonfiction book about them is a treasure, especially one that tells a captivating tale—and has...

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American Beaver

American Beaver Braves Cold and Snow

In today’s post, Stan Tekiela shares with us his encounter with an American beaver. On my recent Wyoming mountain adventure to study and photograph Bighorn Sheep, one afternoon I was thrilled to find an American Beaver (Castor canadensis) along a frozen mountain stream. The temperature was below freezing, there was no wind, and a light snow was falling. It was perfect winter weather, but that normally means that beavers are deep in their dens waiting for spring. However, this brave beaver was out and about, despite the cold and snow. Beavers that live in cold climates, where the water freezes solid, don’t hibernate. They remain awake all winter, but they are forced to restrict their activities to the space inside their lodge or under the ice. This is why it is so important for beavers to store enough food to last them the entire winter. Beavers live in family units called colonies, which often consist...

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Children reading books

American Beaver Braves Cold and Snow

In today’s post, Stan Tekiela shares with us his encounter with an American beaver. On my recent Wyoming mountain adventure to study and photograph Bighorn Sheep, one afternoon I was thrilled to find an American Beaver (Castor canadensis) along a frozen mountain stream. The temperature was below freezing, there was no wind, and a light snow was falling. It was perfect winter weather, but that normally means that beavers are deep in their dens waiting for spring. However, this brave beaver was out and about, despite the cold and snow. Beavers that live in cold climates, where the water freezes solid, don’t hibernate. They remain awake all winter, but they are forced to restrict their activities to the space inside their lodge or under the ice. This is why it is so important for beavers to store enough food to last them the entire winter. Beavers live in family units called colonies, which often consist...

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Eastern Bluebirds

The Miracle of Hibernation

Stan Tekiela, author of Bears: Black, Brown & Polar Bears, explains the miracle of bear hibernation. Black and Brown Bears are perhaps best known for the fact that they hibernate in winter. Hibernation is not a response to changing weather, extreme cold, or lots of snow, as many people believe—it’s a reaction to reduced food supplies. Thus, bears in captivity, which are fed regularly, do not hibernate. Similarly, many bears in the wild won’t hibernate when food is abundant during mild winters without snow. Hibernation in bears is a state of inactivity with a high degree of dormancy. Metabolic rates, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature are greatly reduced at this time but still functioning. During summer, Polar Bears go into walking hibernation, a state in which their metabolic rate is reduced, but they are still active. Grizzly Bear hibernation is different from the deep sleep hibernation experienced by groundhogs, chipmunks, and other similar animals. It usually takes these critters several weeks to attain their extremely low metabolic rates. It doesn’t...

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Bear hibernation

The Miracle of Hibernation

Stan Tekiela, author of Bears: Black, Brown & Polar Bears, explains the miracle of bear hibernation. Black and Brown Bears are perhaps best known for the fact that they hibernate in winter. Hibernation is not a response to changing weather, extreme cold, or lots of snow, as many people believe—it’s a reaction to reduced food supplies. Thus, bears in captivity, which are fed regularly, do not hibernate. Similarly, many bears in the wild won’t hibernate when food is abundant during mild winters without snow. Hibernation in bears is a state of inactivity with a high degree of dormancy. Metabolic rates, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature are greatly reduced at this time but still functioning. During summer, Polar Bears go into walking hibernation, a state in which their metabolic rate is reduced, but they are still active. Grizzly Bear hibernation is different from the deep sleep hibernation experienced by groundhogs, chipmunks, and other similar animals. It usually takes these critters several weeks to attain their extremely low metabolic rates. It doesn’t...

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Coastal Redwoods

Coastal Redwoods

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela talks about his visit to the Californian coastal redwoods. California is known for many things—sunny beaches, Hollywood, Disneyland, its designation as the Garlic capital of the world—well, maybe not so much for this last one, but you know what I mean. However for me, California has some of the most beautiful places on Earth and some of the most amazing wildlife. I am always on the lookout for the unusual or the underdog or the cool thing that isn’t so flashy. So I headed for the Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens)—the tallest trees in the world! On my recent trip to California, I took a day out of my wildlife photography schedule to visit a stand of old growth Coastal Redwoods. You really need to stand at the base of one of these magnificent trees to really understand their grandeur. The Coastal Redwoods grow along a narrow band of...

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Children reading books

Coastal Redwoods

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela talks about his visit to the Californian coastal redwoods. California is known for many things—sunny beaches, Hollywood, Disneyland, its designation as the Garlic capital of the world—well, maybe not so much for this last one, but you know what I mean. However for me, California has some of the most beautiful places on Earth and some of the most amazing wildlife. I am always on the lookout for the unusual or the underdog or the cool thing that isn’t so flashy. So I headed for the Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens)—the tallest trees in the world! On my recent trip to California, I took a day out of my wildlife photography schedule to visit a stand of old growth Coastal Redwoods. You really need to stand at the base of one of these magnificent trees to really understand their grandeur. The Coastal Redwoods grow along a narrow band of...

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American Goldfinch

About Birds and Plants

Today, Stan Tekiela, author of Backyard Birds: Welcomed Guests at Our Gardens and Feeders, talks to us about the relationship between birds and plants. Often the most complex relationship between birds and nature is right in front of us, but we don’t see it. For example, Blue Jays are critically important for forest regeneration. A number of studies link the dispersal of oak trees to Blue Jays. Jays collect, disperse, and cache oak acorns, then later forget where they hid some. The forgotten acorns sprout into oak trees, which extend the stand from the mother tree almost 400 yards per year. Blue Jays surpass squirrels as successful oak tree planters. Birds in flight can disperse acorns farther away from the mother tree than a scurrying squirrel. Some botanists even speculate that oak trees with smaller acorns have an evolutionary advantage, as their acorns are more likely to be dispersed by Blue Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, and other birds, rather than squirrels. The...

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About Birds and Plants

Today, Stan Tekiela, author of Backyard Birds: Welcomed Guests at Our Gardens and Feeders, talks to us about the relationship between birds and plants. Often the most complex relationship between birds and nature is right in front of us, but we don’t see it. For example, Blue Jays are critically important for forest regeneration. A number of studies link the dispersal of oak trees to Blue Jays. Jays collect, disperse, and cache oak acorns, then later forget where they hid some. The forgotten acorns sprout into oak trees, which extend the stand from the mother tree almost 400 yards per year. Blue Jays surpass squirrels as successful oak tree planters. Birds in flight can disperse acorns farther away from the mother tree than a scurrying squirrel. Some botanists even speculate that oak trees with smaller acorns have an evolutionary advantage, as their acorns are more likely to be dispersed by Blue Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, and other birds, rather than squirrels. The...

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