122 pages; ages 7 – 10. Charlesbridge, 2018
The story of Belle begins with her parents, who return to their nest on Martha’s Vineyard in March (brrrr!), and the two scientists who are scouting for active nests. By the middle of July, the young ospreys are nearly as big as their parents and they’re stretching their wings. One day, while the birds are out hunting, Dr. B and his fellow researcher climb up and put a fish in the nest as bait. Then they cover the nest with wire mesh to trap the birds.
Success! They capture Belle, fit the backpack straps over her wings and sew the harness so the radio transmitter won’t fall off in flight. The transmitter will send signals so the scientists can track her migration.
So here’s the thing about a young osprey’s first migratory flight: they don’t have maps. Their parents have already gone, so there’s no flock to join. They may run into danger, such as hurricanes, eagles, or people who shoot at them. And the journey is long – three to four thousand miles.
What I like about this book: The story is written from Belle’s point of view. We see her adventures during migration through her eyes. Chapters about the scientists are written from a different point of view. I like the back matter that gives more information about ospreys, migration, and what to do if you find injured birds. There are also lots of resources.
And I love the illustrations! Full color spreads are soft and inviting. Sepia-colored vignettes give us quick glimpses into the lives of Belle and the children following her journey. There’s even a series of sketches illustrating how an osprey captures fish.
Head over to Archimedes Notebook for more about ospreys and some cool links.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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