STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Feathers – For more than Flying

FeathersThe birds are getting rambunctious at the feeder and, despite the snow and cold, we’re seeing some return from the south. Last week – a turkey vulture hang-gliding overhead, and down in the valley two robins. So I’ve got birds on the brain.

Fortunately, there are some great books for spring migration – or for just reading about birds. One is Feathers ~ Not Just for Flying, by Melissa Stewart.

Birds and feathers go together like trees and leaves, like stars and the sky.” And most birds, notes Melissa Stewart, have thousands of feathers. But not all feathers are the same, because feathers have so many different jobs to do.

Did you know that juncos use their feathers to distract predators? That ptarmigans use feathers like snowshoes? Stewart shows many ways that birds use feathers, from keeping warm to carrying nest materials to making music. Sarah Brannen’s gorgeous watercolors fill in the details.

You can read more about Feathers and find hands-on beyond-the-book activities over at Archimedes Notebook.

STEM Friday

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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