My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

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Why does Sam observe the birds' diet in Jean George's My Side of the Mountain?

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In the book My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Sam watches the birds to see what they are eating. Although this behavior might seem unusual to some readers, Sam does this to determine what would be edible for humans.

Because Sam is an avid reader, he discovers in a book that watching birds eat could help determine what is edible for humans. Consequently, Sam spends time ascertaining what might be beneficial for him to eat as well. As the book states:

One manual I had read said to watch what the birds and animals were eating in order to learn what is edible and nonedible in the forest.

Thus, Sam applies this knowledge to his survival skills. As a result, Sam is able to determine which foods might be beneficial for him to consume. Furthermore, Sam even realizes that raccoons have similar taste to humans! Consequently, this knowledge helps Sam to survive in the wilderness.

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