Bird Book

If you follow me on facebook you have already read that I am writing a children’s book.

I am so excited about this adventure. This week I have been working on illustrations and so far they are turning out great. My dilemma is whether to make them line drawings or water colors, but I’m leaning toward water colors.

I illustrated a book in the early 1990s with line drawing but that was the publisher’s request. The book was called “What Can Little Fish Do?” by Devora Landing. We were both living in Northern Virginia at the time we met. I cannot remember how we met; grocery store, art supply store, book store, but we met without a mutual friend or introduction. That was in the late 1980s and when the book was finally published in 1994, she sent me a copy.

The book is basically about a mom fish who teaches her babies to form shapes (circles, triangles, etc) to band together and stay safe.

 

My book is about the life of a Snowy Plover. Yes there is sweetness, yes there is drama, and always a happy ending.

My goal is to teach children about Snowys and other shorebirds, how precious they are and about conservation. I’m working on a series and the Snowys are the debut.

If a  publisher doesn’t pick this up, I’ll put it on Kindle for Kids and CreateSpace for a printed version. Being the publisher I can pick my illustration style. I guess we’ll see when it is published.

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Celebrate World Shorebirds Day

Today is World Shorebirds Day. Celebrate! Here’s how:

  • Check with your local Audubon or other ornithological group about events scheduled for the day or the weekend.
  • Learn all you can about shorebirds. There are some great books out there.
  • Visit any beach and just watch the birds. Don’t forget your book and some binoculars.
  • Make a pledge to Save the Chicks on this website.
  • Go to World Shorebird Day website and register on their map what beach you’ll be on today.
  • Count the birds you see and record them on World Shorebirds Day’s website.
  • Record on Save-the-Chicks.com your birding experience. I’d love to hear from you.
  • Spread the word.

Ibis on the shore, Anna Maria Island FL

Shorebirds are an essential part of our world-wide eco-system. Shorebirds can help us monitor air quality, water quality, plant and food quality, migratory pathways and their hindrances, and more. Get to know what shorebirds can do you for you. You might find a new hobby or activity born out of this knowledge. Then get to know what you can do for shorebirds.

Pass it on!

Caspian Tern

The Caspian Tern is the largest Tern in the world.  In the Western Hemisphere it usually winters in Central America, migrates throughout the eastern part of the United States and nests along beaches as far north as Oregon and Canada.  A rare breeder in Florida, where is spends a lot of time, it has been found to scrape out nests near small tufts of beach grass and shells, lay eggs that are buff color and lightly spotted and raise young.  These are found near Tampa.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, www.allaboutbirds.com, the Caspian Tern is on the Least Concern list for bird conservation meaning it is not endangered, just being watched..  However, people need to be aware of these and other shorebirds to avoid them ending up on the endangered list.

Many beach goers feel that they are free to use any part of the beach and that the nesting areas are an annoyance. They don’t feel that, by hanging out near the ropes that surround a nesting bird area, they are doing anything wrong.  Many people don’t believe birds are that important to the eco-system.

If you set up on the beach near a roped nesting area, birds of prey (larger birds, fish crows, eagles) are attracted because they are looking for food.  People on the beach means there will be food thrown around for these birds of prey to grab and fight over.  Meanwhile, chances are great they flying bird will spot a nesting bird sitting on its nest.  Feeling threatened, the nesting bird flees leaving either the eggs or the  chicks vulnerable to the prey.

Caspian Terns are aggressive birds not to be messed with.  It has been documented that Caspian Terns have attacked people on the head, who have come too close to their nesting grounds.  It is wise to give these and other nesting shorebirds their space.  The beach is large enough for everyone.

If you’d like to help out the organizations that educate people, raising awareness of nesting shorebirds, you can donate to this organization, Save the Chicks, by clicking the button on the Donate page.  Or, by purchasing a set of Caspian Tern notecards from Crafty Beachcomber on Etsy.  Each set of four different photos are attached to blank, ivory cards suitable for framing.  There is a limited edition of 100 of these numbered sets.  The photos are above. Proceeds from the sales of the limited edition card set will be given to an group that works hard to educate beach goers about what the roped areas mean, the importance of birds to the eco-system and other crucial.  Subscribe to this blog, on the button to right on this page, for more information about the group we pick as financial beneficiary this year.

Save the Chicks