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Out + About: November Nature Guide + Book List

written by Victoria Phillips

Happy November! Now that it is starting to get cooler, there are many things to look forward to doing socially distanced outside! We’ve got you covered with a selection of books to aid you as you get outside and enjoy this month!

November 5th – 19: Taurids Meteor Shower

The Southern Taurids Meteor shower, which happens annually from September 23rd to November 19th will peak November 5th. On November 5th after 12am midnight, you should be able to see around 10 meteors per hour. This shower is caused from debris dropping off of the Comet 2P/Encke. (1)

Image of the Taurid Meteor Shower

Some books in our collection that will aid you in viewing this shower are:

Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outerspace with Binoculars, a Telescope, or Just your Eyes!

Call Number: J523 BetB

This book is broken down into three sections based on how you will be viewing the night sky. Each section discusses what you should look for when viewing space with either your naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope. This book reads more like a guide and is super easy to use and filled with beautiful illustrations and pictures.

Meteor Showers

Call Number: J523.53 KelJ

This book is easy to read with large text, colored facts, and lots of pictures. It explains what a meteor, asteroid and comet are (did you know they aren’t the same thing?) and talks briefly about how scientists observe these bolide objects!

Night Sky: National Geographic Kids 

Call Number: E520 DriS

This book is a part of our easy reader non- fiction collection. With large words and plenty of pictures, this book will be a hit with new readers. This book covers the basics of space in a more general manner. It is a great starter book for introducing younger readers to some space vocabulary.

Asteroids and Meteoroids

Call Number: 523.44 HanG

This is another book in our easy reader non- fiction collection that helps younger readers learn the basic concepts of asteroids and meteors. It covers how they form, why we can see them from Earth, and where many of them reside in our solar system.

Fall Bird Migration September – November:

Image of a Painted Bunting: A bird you can spot in Lower Alabama!

The cooler weather brings changes in the sky as thousands of birds migrate in and out of Alabama. Grab your binoculars and a book to enjoy this special time.

Some books in our collection that will aid you in your birding are:

Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

Call Number: j598.072 CatA

This book is amazing. It is illustrated and written in a style similar to a newspaper comic strip. The bright illustrations and quirky commentary hook young readers and invite them to consider birding as an exciting and exhilarating pastime. This book breaks down everything from what to bring when birding to common birds to look for.

Citizen Scientists

Call Number: J590.72 BurL

This book is a personal favorite of mine. It is broken down by season and introduces young readers to the concept of citizen science. Citizen science is  when everyday citizens participate in scientific research by collecting data and observations about the world around them and then send that data to a lab. Winter birding on page 25 discusses collecting data after fall migration. Check this book out if your student is interested in nature, environmental science, biology, or wildlife.

Animal Classes Birds

Call Number: E598.2 MurJ

This book is a part of our easy readers non-fiction collection. It is a general book that introduces younger readers to the basic biology and habits of birds. With large texts and plenty of pictures, this is a wonderful book for kids interested in the outdoors.

What to check out around Birmingham!

North Shelby Library Geocaching at Heardmont Park: Leaf Scavenger Hunt!

Heardmont Park (Source: Melynda Schauer)

Grab your GPS! It is time to hunt for fall leaves! From now until November 20th, you can participate in the North Shelby fall leaf geocaching hunt at Heardmont Park. A geocaching hunt is when you utilize GPS ( google maps on your phone) to type in the coordinates in the scavenger hunt packet to identify leaves native to Alabama. The scavenger hunt includes coordinates for native trees in the park!

You can register for the geocache here!

Alabama Auduobon talk “Black Birders and the Deep South” – Nov 18th 6:00pm – 7:30 pm (Registration Required – Free)

This is an incredible line-up with “Black Birders Week” founder and ornithology Masters student Corina Newsome. Black Birders Week was started out of an incident that sparked controversy after, Christian Cooper, a seasoned Birder  and board member of NYC Audubon had the cops called on him in Central Park. Tens of thousands of black birders participated in Black Birders Week across the nation which spurred  many webinars, talks, and virtual events about diversity and inclusion within outdoor spaces. Christian Cooper will also be a part of this talk as well as Alabama’s own Christopher Joe who owns Birds and Nature Tours LLC which takes people on birding tours throughout Alabama’s Black Belt region.

Plants in the quarry: Virtual Guide to Fall plants in Ruffner Mountain’s Quarry:

https://ruffnermountain.org/home-1/ruffner-mountain-quarry-hike

Ruffner Mountain  Quarry in the Fall. This is accessible via hiking trails at Ruffner Mountain Preserve

This virtual video introduces you to some of the many plants you can see around Birmingham this fall. Head out to Ruffner Mountain Park to follow along with  the guided video and look for these plants yourself. Did you know that Alabama ranks 5th in the Nation for biodiversity (i.e. number of counted species)? It is the most biodiverse state East of the Mississippi River, and number 1 in the US for Freshwater fish species! Talks like these help you discover why our state ranks higher than Alaska, Florida, and even Hawaii! (2)

Sources:

1:  https://www.space.com/33974-best-night-sky-events.html

2:  http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3462#:~:text=With%20more%20than%204%2C533%20documented,east%20of%20the%20Mississippi%20River.

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