By: Caroline Arnold
Publisher: Picture Window Books
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2010
Not many people would know the scientific name for the bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, but many do know that this magnificent creature is our national bird. Even if you have never seen one, simply following two eaglets through the first year of their life you will soon become acquainted with them and learn a lot about them. For example, it takes five weeks for an egg to hatch and during the process the "eagle chick breaks its shell with an egg tooth." This unusual feature is only a temporary one because the tooth quickly falls off. Both parents take part in feeding and protecting their young. One will hunt for food while the other stays with the nest.
By the time a chick is a month old they have grown quickly, are capable of moving independently around the nest and have begun growing feathers. They don't look like their parents for almost four years, but are able to stay alone after one month "while both parents hunt for food" and at the age of three months "are as big as their parents." In this appealing educational book you'll learn about the life cycle of the bald eagle, how eaglets learn to hunt, where their habitat is, what they eat, their physical characteristics, and many other interesting facts. Did you know that "A bald eagle pair stays together for their whole lives?" If one dies, does the surviving bird find a new mate or remain single? If you want to know this and other amazing facts about the bald eagle, you'll just have to read the book!
This book is an easy, fascinating way to learn about our national bird, the bald eagle. Between the sweeping collage artwork and the well-researched text this book is a real treat. This is the type of book that even the most reluctant reader will find easy to read to the last page. Although the reading level is grades 1-2, the interest level is variable. This book can be read to a younger child or can be used by an older student as a stepping stone to a report. There are small informative sidebars scattered throughout the book. For example, one says that "Young eagles are fed by their patents for about two months after they leave the nest." In the back of the book there is a map showing where bald eagles live, an index, a glossary, "Bald Eagle Fun Facts," and additional recommended books and internet resources (Fact Hound). This is one in the series, "Caroline Arnold's Animals," that would be a welcome addition to any homeschool or library shelf!
Quill says: This book is an easy, fascinating way to learn about our national bird, the bald eagle!