Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests by Sneed B. Collard III

Published by Bucking Horse Books

Summary:  Sneed B. Collard takes the reader to forests after major fires to show how birds thrive in the burned trees.  For instance, certain woodpeckers are almost never found outside of burned forests.  The wood boring beetles that lay eggs in the trees provide food for them, and the trees are perfect for the birds to make nests.  Collard profiles University of Montana professor Dick Hutto as he observes the birds, explaining how his research has helped scientists understand more about fire ecology.  More scientists are now supporting the idea that it’s better to let naturally occurring forest fires burn.  A glossary, index, and full page of additional resources are included at the end.

Pros:  This would make a great mentor text for demonstrating informational writing.  Illustrated with many photographs, the text is engaging and packed with information.

Cons:  Was Smokey the Bear really wrong about forest fires?

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