04 March 2016

And now for something different...

Spit & Sticks: A Chimney Full of Swifts by Marilyn Grohoske Evans with illustrations by Nicole Gsell

Something a bit different for all you swifters out there late on a Friday afternoon in early March – a children’s book about Chimney Swifts!

Spit & Sticks is a story based around a farming household in Texas and their summer visitors. The book is very educational, telling a story of a pair of Chimney Swifts as they arrive in spring, nest and produce three offspring. The human family are illustrated alongside getting ready for their own new arrival, almost as if in a parallel universe. For example, opposite a painting of the adult swifts building their nest is the human family building a crib. The language is designed to educate the young reader about the life cycle of Chimney Swifts:

Fun ends. Work begins. The birds’ long claws snatch twigs from the treetops. They carry them to the chimney in their beaks. Inside the chimney, the pair pastes the small sticks together with a special glue made from their own sticky spit. The pair won’t quit until their half-saucer nest is perfect.’

This is in my view a terrific resource for sharing the remarkable story of the Chimney Swifts with younger children. The language is simple and the parallel story with the human family would help illustrate the story for younger readers.

The book is available on Amazon and you can take a sneak peek inside (http://www.amazon.ca/Spit-Sticks-Chimney-Full-Swifts/dp/1580895883).

The Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative is keen to promote the Chimney Swift message to communities across the swift range in Manitoba. We have small funds available to purchase a few copies as an outreach opportunity for any local school, community centre or library who might be interested. If you think this might suit your local school or community please let me know by Friday March 11th and I will out in an order.

Tim Poole, Habitat Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator, MCSI, mcsi.outreach(at)gmail.com

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