A few book ideas for last-minute shoppers

Photo by Chris BosakCover of Water Babies by William Burt.

Photo by Chris Bosak Cover of Water Babies by William Burt.

I’m not sure if they can still be ordered online and arrive in time for Christmas, but here are some book ideas for those last-minute shoppers with a birder on their list. A simple Internet search of the title will yield plenty of ways to find the books.

In my “Bird Book Look” posts, I don’t give full reviews but rather post a photo of the cover and include a little information about the book. On occasion I offer a little personal insight.

Two bonuses on this post (hey, it is almost Christmas): I’ll include four books; and the photos were taken by my fireplace with a fire going _ my favorite way to read.

Here are the books.

The book pictured above is Water Babies by William Burt, a Connecticut-based nature photographer. I am also a Connecticut-based nature photographer, but I have never had the opportunity to meet William. Perhaps some day.

Duck, of course, are a favorite of mine so I love this book. It is a photo book with a lot information about the birds and the quests to photograph them on their breeding grounds. As the title suggests, it is mostly photos of baby ducks and other water birds.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“Never-before-seen photographs of baby birds of the marshlands from a noted birding photographer

Naturalist William Burt is known for seeking out wild places and elusive birds―and none fit the bill quite so well as the creatures featured in this book. This may well be his break out book, featuring the downy young of the wetlands, whose images are full of character and appeal. Most of these birds have never been captured on film until now. From the comic-monster herons to the fuzzy ducklings and stick-legged sandpipers, these tots have personality and spunk. In the wetlands, they come together, drawn by one essential need: for water. These babies then, are birds that get their feet wet; this book is one for bird lovers, naturalists, photographers, and animal lovers.

“A perfectionist whose photographs of shy and elusive birds of the wetlands are unquestionably the finest ever taken.” –Roger Tory Peterson

“What really comes through, in the writing and the photographs, is his deep and sensitive appreciation of the uniqueness of each of these most intriguing birds.”–David Allen Sibley

150 full color photographs”

A Backyard Birding Adventure

Photo by Chris Bosak Cover of A Backyard Birding Adventure ÑÊWhat’s in Your Yard? by Kermit Cummings.

Here’s the second book, A Backyard Birding Adventure by Kermit Cummings. It is designed for kids and has an online/mobile app component to it. Download the app and you can hear what the birds sound like. The book itself includes short poems about common backyard birds. It’s cute and perfect for young kids.

Here’s the Amazon description:

“Have you ever looked out of your window and wondered what all of that chirping was about? Where those vibrant colors were coming from? What kind of bird was visiting your porch, your tree, or your feeder and serenading you with his song? These are the questions Kermit Cummings addresses in A Backyard Birding Adventure: What’s in Your Yard? This friendly little book employs clever, yet educational, rhymes, stunning photographs, and whimsical illustrations to awaken your child’s interest in the avian world. Written by a veteran birder, the focus is on easy-to-see, readily available bird species, so that parents and children alike will feel encouraged to create backyard adventures of their very own! Now, A Backyard Birding Adventure is even more exciting and educational! Download a FREE app for your smartphone to HEAR a typical call or song made by each bird featured!
Instructions come with the book.”

Photo by Chris BosakCover of Birding for the Curious by Nick Swick.

Photo by Chris Bosak Cover of Birding for the Curious by Nick Swick.

Birding for the Curious by Nate Swick is a fun book that includes all sorts of information about our feathered friends. Here’s the Amazon description:

“Explore the Fascinating World of Birds

There’s something about birds that fascinates people and invites us to pause, look and listen to the beautiful, natural world around us. But do you always recognize what you see and hear? With this book, you’ll get started. Birding for the Curious is a beginner course in birding for every nature and animal lover out there. With it, you’ll learn what birding is all about, what birders do and how you can become one. You’ll also learn how to:

– Find more birds
– Identify the birds you see
– Attract more birds to your yard and feeders

Birding for the Curious is the perfect gift for the nature-lover in your life, or an excellent introduction to birding for you. It won’t be long before you can easily recognize and name the common birds in your area. With this book, you will enjoy nature at a whole new level.”

Finally …

Photo by Chris BosakCover of Gods of the Morning by John Lister-Kaye

Photo by Chris Bosak Cover of Gods of the Morning by John Lister-Kaye

Gods of the Morning by John Lister-Kaye is a thought-provoking book and puts birds’ vital importance on the earth in proper perspective. A good fireplace reader.

Here’s the Amazon description:

A celebration of birds that reflects a year in the wild, revealing how these amazing creatures embody our changing world, by one of Britain’s foremost naturalists.

Gods of the Morning follows the year through the turning of the seasons at Aigas, the Highlands estate John Lister-Kaye has transformed into a world-renowned wildlife center. John’s affection, wisdom and lyricism sings off every page, bringing the natural world around him to life: from the rookery filled with twenty-nine nests and distinct bird calls to descriptions of the winter morning light, from the wood mice and the squirrels preparing for winter to tracking a fox’s path through the snow. In particular it brings John’s lifelong love of birds―his gods of the morning―to the fore.

In the Highland glens, bird numbers plummet as their food supplies―natural fruits and every kind of creeping, crawling, slithering or flying bug―begin to disappear. Not just the swallows and house martins have vanished from round the houses. Gone are the insect snatching wheatears, whinchats and stonechats from the hills, and redstarts and flycatchers have fled the woods. Pied wagtails no longer flicker across the lawns and sandpipers and grey wagtails have deserted the river banks. Farmland and hedgerow species have vanished in the night: the linnets, yellowhammers, and all the warblers have decamped from the thickets.

By the first frosts the hills will have emptied down to a few hardy stalwarts such as the golden eagles, the raven and the irrepressible hooded crows. Silence settles across the land. The few species that are left frequent a changed world. Soon only the buzzards and wood pigeons will hang on in the woods and the coniferous forests will be host to flocks of chaffinches, tits, siskins, and crossbills passing through.”

Best of luck with your selection and getting them on time for the big day. Sorry I didn’t post this earlier. Hey, I’m a procrastinator, too.

Merry Christmas everybody and thanks for your support of http://www.BirdsofNewEngland.com

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