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Woodpeckers, Our Forest Guardians

A review by Noel Snyder

Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America

by Stephen Shunk

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

298 pages, $35–hardcover

ABA Sales #14633

This is an attractive reference guide to the twenty-three extant woodpecker species occurring regularly north of the Mexican border since European settlement. The number of species recognized in the [read more…]

Owls in Context: Nature and Culture

A review by Alison Beringer

The House of Owls

by Tony Angell

Yale University Press, 2016

224 pages, $18–softcover

ABA Sales #14480P

One of the first bird sounds many children learn is the hoot of an owl—but not so often from the owl itself as from an adult’s mimicking the bird. How many children actually [read more…]

A New and Forgotten Hero for Birders

A review by Frank Izaguirre

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

by Andrea Wulf

Knopf, 2015

497 pages, $17–softcover

Birders love heroes. From John James Audubon and his criss-crossings of early America to Kenn Kaufman and his shoestring big year and to Phoebe Snetsinger and her quest to see 8,000 species, stories [read more…]

Point of No Return: Let’s Leave Nature Behind?

A review by Laura Kammermeier

Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution, by Alexander Pschera (translated by Elisabeth Lauffer)

New Vessel Press, 2016

200 pages, $14.95—softcover

I never liked Star Trek. In spite of its prophetic imagination, the fact that the show was staged wholly outside of any form of visible nature made it [read more…]

New Owl Books—and New Owls

A review by David E. Quady

Undiscovered Owls, by Magnus Robb & The Sound Approach

The Sound Approach, 2015

308 pages, $59.50—hardcover, with 4 CDs

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14512

Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean, by Scott Weidensaul

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015

333 pages, $40.00—hardcover

ABA [read more…]

Character Assassination, Slander, and DDT Science

A review by Henry T. Armistead

DDT Wars, by Charles F. Wurster

Oxford University Press, 2015

256 pages, $24.95–hardcover

Pity the poor non-birder guy from Time, stuck in the back of a station wagon for 24 hours as we blasted over 500 miles of Delaware highway on one of Dave Cutler’s legendary Big Days, recording [read more…]

Comprehensive, Well-organized, and Scholarly

A review by Wayne Petersen

The Birds of New Hampshire, by Allan R. Keith and Robert P. Fox

Nuttall Ornithological Club, 2013

473 pages, $55–hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books NOCM19

People acquire state bird books for many reasons. Some are bibliophiles wanting to own every new state book published, while others may have a [read more…]

An Affectionate and Intelligent Look at the Cuckoo

A review by Donna Schulman

Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature, by Nick Davies

Bloomsbury, 2015

289 pages, $27–hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14645

I wonder how the word “cuckoo” ever became associated with simple-mindedness or insanity. The titular species of this book, the Common Cuckoo, is one of the cleverest birds around and one of [read more…]

A New Classic for North American Waterfowl and Their Watchers

A review by Keith Betton

Waterfowl of North America, Europe, and Asia, by Sébastien Reeber

Princeton University Press, 2016

656 pages, $45—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14588

This is the latest in the series of Helm Identification Guides, which includes such great titles as Robins and Chats, Woodpeckers of the World, and Owls of [read more…]

A Diamond in the Rough from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

A review by Caitlin Kight

The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature, photos by Gerrit Vyn

Mountaineers Books, 2015

208 pages, $29.95—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14572

Undeniably gorgeous, The Living Bird feels good in the hand and catches the eye with its generous collection of striking photographs. It also features informative [read more…]

Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
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