Planning a birding trip to Connecticut and not exactly sure where to go? Now there’s help.
Frank Gallo, a well-known birder in Connecticut, has recently written “Birding in Connecticut,” published by Wesleyan University Press. The book breaks down the state by regions and offers insight, directions, and unusual species that may be seen there.
“Birding in Connecticut” is valuable to those who know Connecticut well and those who don’t know a thing about the Constitution State. I know Connecticut and its birding hot spots Continue reading →
You’ve heard of color by number and paint by number, now the latest thing is Paint by Sticker. There is a birding option for Paint by Sticker from Workman Publishing and I received the book a few weeks ago. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but I really am enjoying the book. It is fun to see the work come together into a neat finished project.
As the name suggests, you have a white outline of a picture with numbers and shapes on it. in the back of the book are correlating stickers to be placed in the shapes.
Here are a couple photos to illustrate the new trend. (Don’t laugh, it was my first attempt.) There are 12 photos to do, including blue jay, spoonbill, waxwing and oriole. Below the photos are some thoughts from the publicity department at Workman.
“Nearly a year old, with over 450,000 copies in print, the Paint by Sticker series has surpassed coloring books with its simplistic approach to mindfulness in which “paintings” are pieced together one sticker at a time. These activity books have allowed adults to re-create the Mona Lisa and kids to re-create some of their favorite zoo animals.
“Paint by Sticker: Birds is a true celebration of the birds that provide beauty, soundtrack, and vibrancy to our lives. The piecing together of these posters ultimately reveals some of the most stunning birds, from the mandarin duck to the roseate spoonbill. This book fuels creation, while transporting participants into a meditative state.”
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, Continue reading →
The book “Birdology” by Monica Russo came out earlier this year. It’s designed for kids, but is also interesting and engaging for adults. It is full of information about birds, activities for further exploration of birds and excellent photos by Kevin Byron.
I enjoy this book and have enjoyed reading parts with my kids.
Here’s the description of the book from its publisher Chicago Review Press:
“An engaging book that encourages young nature enthusiasts to explore the world of birds This generously illustrated, full-color book teaches kids that birds can be seen almost anywhere: in city parks and streets, zoos, farms, and backyards. Using “Try This,” “Look For,” and “Listen For” prompts, Birdology promotes independent observation and analysis, writing and drawing skills, and nature literacy. Kids observe the diversity of shapes, colors, patterns, and behavior of birds; listen for their songs and the clap of wings; make a juice-box feeder; plant flowers that attract hummingbirds; start a birding journal and sketchbook; and much more. Other topics that are presented in clear, kid-friendly prose include migration, nesting, food, territories, and conservation and preservation. Additional resources, such as a glossary, bird orders and scientific names, bird and wildlife organizations, and “Teacher Topics” to initiate classroom discussion and investigation, are also included.”
It is “Into the Nest” by Laura Erickson and Marie Read, published by Storey. As the subtitle states, the book shows and describes: “Intimate Views of the Courtship, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds.”
I really like this book for its terrific photography and descriptive writing about birds in regards to their raising young. The photography offers incredible shots of nest building, parents feeding young, birds courting, and birds fledging. The accompanying text describes in great detail, but in easy to read fashion, all the behaviors regarding birds raising their young. The birds featured range from familiar backyard birds, not-as-often seen songbirds, birds of prey and shorebirds.
Bird Book Look is not intended to be reviews of books about birds, but rather just letting readers know what new bird books are out there. I can say, however, that I really enjoy this book, both Continue reading →
Here’s the first of many (hopefully) posts about bird books, or Bird Book Look, as I will call the posts. They will not be full reviews of the book, but rather quick posts with some information about the book and a few thoughts about the text and images. These bird book posts will be used mainly to let everyone know that the books are out there and give a general sense about it.
The first book to be featured here is “Inside A Bald Eagle’s Nest,” by Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie, published by Schiffer Publishing. The nonfiction book is rich with pictures and accompanying text about a Bald Eagle pair raising young in a neighborhood outside Washington DC. It includes Continue reading →
David Allen Sibley, the renowned birdwatcher and field guide author/artist, was kind enough to grant me and The Hour an interview about his recently released second edition of The Sibley Guide to Birds. I picked him up at the train station, drove to The Hour offices in Norwalk, and did the interview. I was hoping for some time to do some birdwatching, but alas, time was tight and it just didn’t happen. Not really anyway (read the column ((link attached)) for more details.)He sat down with The Hour photographer Erik Trautmann and me and I fired a bunch of random birding questions at him. We started, of course, with the field guides but then, as my interviews normally do, we headed off in all kinds of directions.It was a great time and I’m glad David took the time to do the interview in our office. Click here for the column and accompanying video of a portion of the interview. I will add to this website more audio of the interview in the coming days.
It’s been 15 years since the original The Sibley Guide to the Birds came out and, in its own way, revolutionized the birding field guide. Today, the second edition hits the streets.
As press materials for the release says, the birds haven’t changed, but the book has to come degree. The second edition includes more than 600 new paintings and adds 111 rare species. It also includes tips on finding species in the field.
In his own words, from a media release: “The plan for a revised edition was driven mostly by my own ideas about things that I wanted to change. I thought the text could be improved, to make more direct comparisons between challenging species and to include information about status and habitat. And I wanted to revise the artwork.”
I will write much more about this book in the coming weeks. David Allen Sibley is touring New England, and beyond, to promote the book. I will get to sit down with the author later this month and pick his brain about the new edition. Til then I will delve into my copy and compare it with the original. I’ll let you know what I think. In the meantime, if you have the new edition or get it soon, let me know what you think.
Contributed image Cover of Joel Greenberg’s “A Feathered River Across the Sky.”
Here’s an excerpt from my latest For the Birds column, which will be in print in The Hour tomorrow. Full story is available online now, click on link below.
Joel Greenberg says the story of the Passenger Pigeon is unique in three ways: the species’ sheer abundance; its vast flocks; and its rapid descent to extinction.
To expand on that a bit: The Passenger Pigeon likely numbered in the billions in the mid 1800s. Its flocks were so monumentally large that naturalist John James Audubon wrote that a single flock darkened the sun for three days. Finally, the species went from billions of individual birds to zero in matter of about 40 years.
Greenberg is the author of “A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction,” which was published in January by Bloomsbury USA. He is also working on an accompanying documentary entitled “From Billions to None.”
Species in peril today are protected by various laws and, for the most part, have the human race rooting for them to survive. That was not the case with the Passenger Pigeon.
“Hunters, instead of saying ‘let’s lay off a bit,’ took the other attitude,” Greenberg said. “They said ‘this bird is disappearing so I’m going to kill as many as I can before they are gone.’ There were a handful of individuals expressing concern, but not many.”