How to Identify Flora/FaunaCollection by Ben Hiebert (30 items)
Field guides, manuals, handbooks, reference books, etc. which are about plants or animals and how to identify them. Pictures are a must.
Includes the following tags:
3rd Edition, Alaska, Anderton, Laurel K., Atlas, Biology, Birds, Birdwatching Guides, Botanical specimens, Botany, Canada, Eastern, Classification, Collection and preservation, Colombia, Colorado, Colorado Flora, Ecuador, Entomology, Facsimile Edition, Families, Fassett, Norman C., Flora, Flowers, Garden Design, Gardening, Gardner, Dana, Geographical distribution, Grasses, Great Basin, Great Lakes, Great Lakes (North America), Guide, Guidebooks, Handbooks & Manuals, Handbooks, manuals, etc, History, Identification, Illustrated Guide, Insects & Spiders, Johnson, Ann, Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile literature, Landscape, Life, Life Sciences, Logging, Manual, Marine animals, Middle West, Midwest, Mohlenbrock, Robert H., Mushrooms, Mutel, Cornelia F., Native plants for cultivation, Natural history, Nature, North America, Northeastern States, Northwest, Pacific, Old growth forest conservation, Old growth forests, Ornithology, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Northwest (OR, WA), Pacific Ocean, Peru, Pictorial works, Plants, Plants & Animals, Reference, Regional, Reptiles, Reptiles & Amphibians, Second Edition, Sierra Nevada, Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.), Subjects & Themes, Texas, Trees, Upper Midwest, Virginia, West (AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY), Wisconsin, Woody plants, Your Pocket, ZoologySee More
Atlas of Wintering North American Birds
by Terry Root
University of Chicago Press, 1989
The Atlas of Wintering North American Birds represents the effects of thousands of people who have participated in the Christmas Bird Counts, an annual event sponsored since 1900 by the National Audubon Society. Unlike a conventional field guide, the Atlas doesn't show what birds look like, but rather tells where to find them in the winter months.
Terry Root has used the data from the 1963-72 counts to provide the first large-scale biogeographical account of birds wintering in North America. Using sophisticated computer techniques, Root has translated the data into both traditional contour maps and innovative new maps that stimulate three dimensions. The maps show at a glance that, for example, the Baltimore Oriole winters primarily along the eastern seaboard, with the densest populations in Florida between Tallahassee and Gainesville and in North Carolina from Rocky Mount to the Croatan National Forest.
Fifty Uncommon Birds of the Upper Midwest
illustrated by Dana Gardner
text by Nancy Overcott
University of Iowa Press, 2007
Although the many common birds of the Upper Midwest are lovely to hear and see, there is no doubt that the uncommon birds attract more attention. In this gorgeously illustrated companion to their Fifty Common Birds of the Upper Midwest, which provided a new appreciation of the not-so-ordinary beauty and life ways of familiar birds, illustrator Dana Gardner and writer Nancy Overcott celebrate the rarer birds of the Upper Midwest.
The authors selected species that are uncommon because of dwindling populations, species that may be common elsewhere but not in the Upper Midwest, species that may be abundant one year and absent the next, and species that are usually present but seldom seen. Beginning with the surf scoter with its multicolored bill and ending with the gregarious evening grosbeak, which resembles a giant goldfinch, they pair watercolors of each species with text that portrays its life cycle, its vocalizations and distribution. Throughout, Overcott's personable text is infused with the pleasures of her twenty-plus years of living and birding in Minnesota's Big Woods and her dedication to preserving natural resources, and Gardner's paintings-each a gorgeous reminder of the rare qualities of these uncommon birds from this renowned illustrator of bird life worldwide-emphasize her call for conservation efforts.
The annotated bibliography includes online information about national and international organizations that focus on birds or that affect birds through conservation, as well as information about a variety of books and journals for beginning to experienced birders.
Grasses of the Intermountain Region
edited by Laurel K. Anderton and Mary E. Barkworth
Utah State University Press, 2009
Grasses of the Intermountain Region is a modification of the two grass volumes of the Flora of North America (FNA). It is designed for identifying members of the Poaceae in the region between the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, and is intended for use by botanists working with the grasses in this intermountain region of North America. The reduction in number of taxa included from FNA has reduced the length of the keys and made it possible to include, in a single volume, descriptions and illustrations for all taxa treated as well as provide distribution maps for species that are established in the area. Another difference from the FNA volumes is that the maps in this volume show only records from IMR and adjacent areas rather than the full North America range of the taxa.
A Manual of Aquatic Plants
by Norman C. Fassett
University of Wisconsin Press, 2006
A Manual of Aquatic Plants can be said to be a classic; it made the identification of aquatic plants in sterile as well as in flowering or fruiting condition as simple as possible, and covers a region from Minnesota to Missouri and eastward to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Virgina.
edited by Richard E. Petit
Temple University Press, 2009
From 1810 to 1811, the English stonemason and amateur naturalist George Perry published a lavishly illustrated magazine on natural history. The Arcana or Museum of Nature ran to 22 monthly parts, with 84 extraordinary hand-colored plates and over 300 text pages describing mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, mollusks, echinoderms, insects, trilobites and plants, alongside travelogues from far-off lands. It presented the first published illustration of the koala and many new genera and species, but astonishingly was then largely forgotten for nearly two hundred years. Perry’s work was deliberately ignored by his contemporaries in England, as he was a supporter of Lamarck rather than of Linnaeus, and the Arcana’s rarity—only thirteen complete copies are known to have survived—has helped maintain its shroud of mystery.
Now at last this neglected gem has been revived for scientists, students, and aficionados of natural history. New scholarship is combined with modern digital reproduction techniques to do full justice to the beautiful plates. An up-to-date account of all the species is given, along with a full collation and extensive notes, by the eminent natural historian Richard E. Petit.
The Arcana is technically interesting too, as its glowing plates were printed with variously colored inks to suppress their outlines. Its appeal will extend not only to academic libraries and scholars specializing in various branches of natural history and the history of science, but also to collectors of beautiful natural history books and enthusiasts of Regency Britain.
Waterfowl in Your Pocket
by Dana Gardner
University of Iowa Press, 2008
Waterfowl in Your Pocket is a welcome aid to identifying the many colorful and intriguing water birds of the midwestern states, from the Great Lakes west to the Dakotas, east to Ohio, and south to Kansas and Missouri. Illustrator Dana Gardner has created fourteen panels showing fifty-one species of ducks, geese, swans, grebes, pelicans, coots, cormorants, moorhens, and loons swimming and flying with complete plumage variations—dark phases, light phases, and juvenile and adult male and female forms in summer and winter. The text also includes length, common and scientific names, and frequency and distribution.
Whether flying high overhead in the fall or swimming in a nearby lake in the summer, waterfowl are notoriously difficult to identify, and Gardner has worked hard to make this guide useful for beginning birders as well as those more experienced in the field. Keep binoculars and Waterfowl in Your Pocket in your car or backpack—or pocket!—during spring and fall migration and summer nesting season for help in identifying such captivating water birds as greater white-fronted geese and tundra swans during spring and fall migration, male wood ducks and mallards in breeding plumage, immature and female red-breasted mergansers and snow geese, and uncommon winter visitors such as eiders and scoters.
Dragonflies and Damselflies in Your Pocket
by Ann Johnson
University of Iowa Press, 2009
Just as more and more people enjoy watching birds and butterflies, watching the many shimmering dragonflies and damselflies—collectively called odonates, from Odonata, the name of this order of aquatic insects—has become a popular pastime. Now Dragonflies and Damselflies in Your Pocket introduces us to 50 of the showiest odonates of the Upper Midwest.
Ann Johnson’s text is clear and informative and her photographs are stunning; it is impossible to look at them without wanting to head out for the nearest stream and search for the living insects. In addition to providing useful general information about broad-winged damsels, spreadwings, pond damsels, darners, clubtails, cruisers, emeralds, and skimmers, she includes common and scientific names, sizes, general flight seasons, and the best habitats in which to find each species: rocky rivers, wetlands, ponds, still waters, and so on.
With their extremely large eyes, elongated transparent wings, long and slender abdomens, and prehensile extendible jaws, dragonflies and damselflies are efficient hunters and quick, darting fliers. Their beauty and their behavior make them delightful subjects for birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Dragonflies and Damselflies in Your Pocket will greatly enhance your appreciation of these winged marvels.
Snakes and Lizards in Your Pocket
by Terry VanDeWalle
photographs by Suzanne L. Collins
University of Iowa Press, 2010
From the rare and docile massasauga, which relies on camouflage to remain unnoticed, to the more familiar bullsnake, which defends itself by hissing loudly and vibrating its tail from an S-shaped striking position, to the eastern racer, often seen crawling at more than three miles an hour during daytime, snakes are beautiful animals with habits both fascinating and beneficial to humans. Their relatives the lizards, most of which are more easily seen and identified, exhibit similarly fascinating behavior. This colorful addition to our series of laminated guides informs both amateur and professional herpetologists about twenty-seven species of snakes and six species of lizards in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.
Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of each species, both adult and young, as well as distinguishing characteristics for thirty-two subspecies of snakes and two subspecies of lizards: length, color, head and neck patterns, scales, and so on. Also included is information about habitat preferences: forests, wet meadows, and sand prairies, for example. Most helpful for identifying snakes and lizards in the field are his comparisons of similar species and his comprehensive key.
Superb photographs by Suzanne Collins of adult and, when needed for identification, young snakes and lizards make this guide the perfect companion for hikers in all kinds of environments whenever a snake ripples across your path or a lizard darts into the underbrush.
The Life of Plants
by E. J. H. Corner
University of Chicago Press, 2003
E. J. H. Corner's perennial favorite The Life of Plants, copiously stocked with now-classic botanical illustrations, is one of the most fascinating and original introductions to the world of plants ever produced—from the botanist to the amateur, no reader will finish this book without gaining a much richer understanding of plants, their history, and their relationship with the environments around them.
100 Cool Mushrooms
by Michael Kuo and Andy Methven
University of Michigan Press, 2010
All mushrooms are cool, but the ones discussed in 100 Cool Mushrooms are especially cool. Authors Michael Kuo and Andy Methven cover a broad spectrum of notable North American mushrooms: from common fungi that are widely distributed and frequently found, to rare mushrooms that are not found in field guides; from the beautiful to the ugly (and even disgusting).
Each is described and shown, including its ecology and physical features. Inside, you'll find mushrooms such as:
Dr. Michael Kuo, the principal developer of MushroomExpert.Com, is an English teacher in Illinois and an amateur mycologist. He is the author of Morels and 100 Edible Mushrooms.
Dr. Andrew Methven is Professor of Mycology and Chair of the Biology Department at Eastern Illinois University.
Alaska Trees and Shrubs
by Les Viereck
University of Alaska Press, 2007
Alaska Trees and Shrubs has been the definitive work on the woody plants of Alaska for more than three decades. This new, completely revised second edition provides updated information on habitat, as well as detailed descriptions of every tree or shrub species in the state. New distribution maps reflect the latest survey data, while the keys, glossary, and appendix on non-native plants make this the most useful guide to Alaska trees and shrubs ever published.See More
WOODY PLANTS IN WINTER
by EARL L. CORE and NELLE P. AMMONS
West Virginia University Press, 1958
A manual to identify trees and shrubs in winter when the lack of leaves, fruits, and flowers makes them least identifiable, Woody Plants in Winter has become a classic for naturalists, botanists, gardeners, and hobbyists. Earl L. Core and Nell P. Ammons, both West Virginia University Professors of distinction, originally published this book with The Boxwood Press in 1958. Now in its fifteenth printing, the title has come home to West Virginia University Press.
Spring Flora of Wisconsin
by Norman C. Fassett and Olive S. Thomson
University of Wisconsin Press, 1976
Norman C. Fassett was professor of botany and curator of the Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin from 1925 to 1954. He was a pioneer in preserving habitat of the rich and diverse flora of Wisconsin. He is also the author of Grasses of Wisconsin and A Manual of Aquatic Plants, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press.See More
Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains
by Jon Farrar
University of Iowa Press, 2012
From the mixed-grass prairies of the Panhandle in the west, to the Sandhills prairie and mixed-grass prairies in central Nebraska, to the tallgrass prairies in the east, the state is home to hundreds of wildflower species, yet the primary guide to these flowers has been out of print for almost two decades. Now back in a second edition with updated nomenclature, refined plant descriptions, better photographs where improvements were called for, and a new design, Jon Farrar’s Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains, originally published by NEBRASKAland magazine and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, is a visual treat and educational guide to some of the region’s showiest and most interesting wildflowers.
Organizing species by color, Farrar provides scientific, common, and family names; time of flowering; distribution both for Nebraska specifically and for the Great Plains in general; and preferred habitat including soil type and plant community from roadsides to woodlands to grasslands. Descriptions of each species are succinct and accessible; Farrar packs a surprising amount of information into a compact space. For many species, he includes intriguing notes about edibility, medicinal uses by Native Americans and early pioneers, similar species and varieties, hybridization, and changes in status as plants become uncommon or endangered. Superb color photographs allow each of the 274 wildflowers to be easily identified and pen-and-ink illustrations provide additional details for many species.
It is a joy to have this new edition riding along on car seats and in backpacks helping naturalists at all levels of expertise explore prairies, woodlands, and wetlands in search of those ever-changing splashes of color we call wildflowers.
Wild Plants of the Sierra Nevada
by Ray S. Vizgirdas and Edna M. Rey-Vizgirdas
University of Nevada Press, 2006
The Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada is the longest continuous mountain range in the United States. It contains over 50 percent of California’s total flora, approximately 405 plant taxa endemic to the Sierra, and 218 taxa considered rare. Wild Plants of the Sierra Nevada inventories the flora of the entire range, including comprehensive descriptions of the plants; their traditional uses as food, medicine, or for making tools and other utensils; and information about their habitat. The authors describe the natural history and ecology of Sierra Nevada plants in terms of plant communities and life zones, and outline the basic principles of ethnobotany, the classification of plants, and methods of collecting plant specimens and protecting rare species.
The plant descriptions are accompanied by line drawings of each major species, and the book includes a table of Sierra Nevada habitats and their associated plants, along with a list of threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant species found in the range.
This text is an essential guide for botanists, outdoors aficionados, and anyone interested in the intricate connections between plants, their environment, and our human species.
A Flora of Southern Illinois
by Robert H. Mohlenbrock and John Voigt
Southern Illinois University Press, 1974
This book will be of particular interest to those interested in applied fields of biology, such as conservation, forestry, and wild life. The southern twelve counties of Illinois, a total of 4,355 square miles, comprise the area covered in this book. It is an area in which both northern and southern flora specimens abound. A wide variety of plant species grow in this area, and nearly 200 new plants not formerly identified with this area have been included in the listings.
Especially valuable to amateur botanists, the book is an important manual in identifying the plants that make up the native scenery of this region. Seventy-seven illustrations aid in identifying and understanding the plant communities.
A Field Guide to the Families and Genera of Woody Plants of Northwest South America
by Alwyn H. Gentry
illustrated by Rodolfo Vasquez
University of Chicago Press, 1993
To understand almost any part of the tropical rain forest's fabulously complex web of life, one must first learn to identify a bewildering array of plants. Alwyn Gentry's landmark book, completed just before his tragic death in 1993, is the only field guide to the nearly 250 families of woody plants in the most species-rich region of South America.
As a consummate field researcher, Gentry designed this guide to be not just comprehensive, but also easy to use in rigorous field conditions. Unlike many field guides, which rely for their identifications on flowers and fruits that are only present during certain seasons, Gentry's book focuses on characters such as bark, leaves, and odor that are present year-round. His guide is filled with clear illustrations, step-by-step keys to identification, and a wealth of previously unpublished data.
All biologists, wildlife managers, conservationists, and government officials concerned with the tropical rain forests will need and use this field guide.
Alwyn Gentry was one of the world's foremost experts on the biology of tropical plants. He was senior curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and was a member of Conservation International's interdisciplinary Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) team, which inventories the biodiversity of the most threatened tropical areas. From 1967 to 1993 he collected more than 80,000 plant specimens, many of them new to science.
by David H. Benzing
Cornell University Press, 2012
Often growing far above the ground, "air plants" (or epiphytes) defy many of our common perceptions about plants. The majority use their roots only for attachment in the crowns of larger, usually woody plants-or to objects such as rocks and buildings-and derive moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere and by collecting falling debris. Only the mistletoes are true parasites. Epiphytes are not anomalies and there are approximately 28,000 species-about 10 percent of the higher or vascular plants-that grow this way. Many popular houseplants, including numerous aroids, bromeliads, ferns, and orchids, rank among the most familiar examples. In Air Plants, David H. Benzing takes a reader on a tour of the many taxonomic groups to which the epiphytes belong and explains in nontechnical language the anatomical and physiological adaptations that allow these plants to conserve water, thrive without the benefit of soil, and engage in unusual relationships with animals such as frogs and ants.
Benzing's comprehensive account covers topics including ecology, evolution, photosynthesis and water relations, mineral nutrition, reproduction, and the nature of the forest canopy as habitat for the free-living and parasitic epiphytes. It also pays special attention to important phenomena such as adaptive trade-offs and leaf economics. Drawing on the author's deep experience with epiphytes and the latest scientific research, this book is accessible to readers unfamiliar with technical botany; it features a lavish illustration program, references, a glossary, and tables.
The Midwestern Native Garden
by Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz
Ohio University Press, 2011
Midwestern gardeners and landscapers are becoming increasingly attracted to noninvasive regional native wildflowers and plants over popular nonnative species. The Midwestern Native Garden offers viable alternatives to both amateurs and professionals, whether they are considering adding a few native plants or intending to go native all the way. Native plants improve air and water quality, reduce use of pesticides, and provide vital food and reproductive sites to birds and butterflies, that nonnative plants cannot offer, helping bring back a healthy ecosystem.
by Wendy Mee
Utah State University Press, 2003
Today, native plants and water conservation are subjects of vital interest to cities, offices, homeowners, and agriculture alike, as all are affected by the growing shortage of water in the Intermountain region.
This comprehensive volume provides specific information about shrubs, trees, grasses, forbs, and cacti that are native to most states in the Intermountain West, and that can be used in landscaping to conserve water, reflect and preserve the region's landscape character, and help protect its ecological integrity. The book is an invaluable guide for the professional landscaper, horticulturist, and others in the Intermountain nursery industry, as well as for the student, general reader, gardener, and homeowner.
Water Wise is both convenient and comprehensive. The heart of the book presents hundreds of species, devoting a full page to each, with a description of appearance, habitat, landscape use, and other comments. Color photographs illustrate each plant described. A reader-friendly introduction provides important background on the ecology of the Intermountain West, along with full descriptions of native plant habitats and associations.
An accessible resource of accurate native plant information for all readers, Water Wise will be indispensable to professional landscapers and amateurs alike.
Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West
edited by Heidi Kratsch
Utah State University Press, 2011
This working manual provides complete information on the technical aspects of designing, building, and maintaining waterwise landscapes in the Mountain West. Written particularly for professionals, including landscape designers, architects, contractors, and maintenance and irrigation specialists, it has an attractive, well-illustrated, user-friendly format that will make it useful as well to DIY homeowners and to educators, plant retailers, extension agents, and many others.
The manual is organized according to landscape principles that are adapted to the climate of the intermountain region. Beginning with planning and design, the topical principles proceed through soil preparation, appropriate plant selection, practicalities of turfgrass, use of mulch, and irrigation planning, winding up with landscape maintenance. Designed for onsite, handy use, the book is illustrated with color images of landscapes, plants, and materials. Tables, charts, diagrams, landscape plans, plant lists, checklists, and other graphic resources are scattered throughout the manual, which is written in an accessible but information-rich style. Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West answers, more comprehensively than any other single book, the need for professional information that addresses both growing awareness of the necessity for water conservation and the desire for beautiful, healthy yards and properties.
Zooplankton of the Great Lakes
by Mary D. Balcer, Nancy L. Korda and Stanley I. Dodson
University of Wisconsin Press, 1984
Researchers, instructors, and students will appreciate this compilation of detailed information on the crustacean zooplankton of the Great Lakes. The authors have gathered data from more than three hundred sources and organized into a useful laboratory manual. The taxonomic keys are easy to use, suitable for both classroom and laboratory identifications. Detailed line drawings are provided to help confirm the identification of the major species. Zoologists, limnologists, hydrobiologists, fish ecologists, and those who study or monitor water quality will welcome this dependable new identification tool.
The History of Ornithology in Virginia
by David W. Johnston
University of Virginia Press, 2003
Host to a large and diverse bird population as well as a long human history, Virginia is arguably the birthplace of ornithology in North America. David W. Johnston's History of Ornithology in Virginia, the result of over a decade of research, is the first book to address this fascinating element of the state's natural history.See More
Tertiary-era fossils show that birds inhabited Virginia as early as 65 million years ago. Their first human observers were the region's many Indian tribes and, later, colonists on Roanoke Island and in Jamestown. Explorers pushing westward contributed further to the development of a conception of birds that was distinctively American.
By the 1900s planter-farmers, naturalists, and government employees had amassed bird records from the Barrier Islands and the Dismal Swamp to the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. The modern era saw the emergence of ornithological organizations and game laws, as well as increasingly advanced studies of bird distribution, migration pathways, and breeding biology. Johnston shows us how ornithology in Virginia evolved from observations of wondrous creatures to a sophisticated science recognizing some 435 avian species.
David W. Johnston taught ornithology at the University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station for nearly two decades and has edited numerous ecological studies as well as the Journal of Field Ornithology and Ornithological Monographs.
Birds and Other Wildlife of South Central Texas
by Edward A. Kutac and S. Christopher Caran
University of Texas Press, 1994
Nature takes a surprising turn in the heart of Texas. The flat Gulf Coastal Plains, which become the fertile Blackland Prairies in Central Texas, end abruptly at the Balcones Escarpment, one of the state's most dramatic geological features, and the rolling, more sparsely vegetated Hill Country begins. The animal life varies as dramatically as the land. More than 400 species of birds alone, nearly three-fourths of all Texas birds, can be spotted in the region.See More
This handbook offers a concise natural history of Central Texas and a complete checklist of all native and naturalized vertebrate animals, including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, as well as invertebrates that include butterflies and land snails. The listings cite both scientific and common names for each species, relative abundance in the region, and preferred habitats.
A distinguishing feature of the handbook is its list of parks and recreational areas in the region, which includes the counties of Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Fayette, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Lee, Llano, Milam, Travis, and Williamson. The authors describe the recreational facilities available in each park and list the animal species likely to be encountered there.
For birdwatchers, naturalists, visitors, and residents alike, this popular handbook will be the essential "where-to-find-it" reference.
The Final Forest
by William Dietrich
University of Washington Press, 2010
William Dietrich has gone to the heart of the greatest forest left in North America and returned with a clear and compelling story of why so many people are fighting over it. Like the towering firs of the Olympic Peninsula, this book will stand the test of time. - Timothy Egan, author of The Big BurnSee More
Birds Every Child Should Know
by Neltje Blanchan
foreword by Cornelia F. Mutel
illustrated by Christine Stetter
University of Iowa Press, 2000
Originally published in 1907, Birds Every Child Should Know is a collection of storylike descriptions of more than one hundred birds commonly found in the United States. Neltje Blanchan's detailed descriptions of birds—their physical attributes, calls, nesting and mating habits, and other behaviors—are nothing less than enchanting, and some read almost like fairy tales. Take for instance the mockingbird's call:
“when the moonlight sheds a silvery radiance about every sleeping creature, the mockingbird sings to his mate such delicious music as only the European nightingale can rival. Perhaps the stillness of the hour, the beauty and fragrance of the place where the singer is hidden among the orange blossoms or magnolia, increase the magic of his almost pathetically sweet voice; but surely there is no lovelier sound in nature on this side of the sea.”
or the yellow warbler's nest:
“an exquisite little cradle of silvery plant fiber, usually shreds of milkweed stalk, grass, leaves, and caterpillar's silk, neatly lined with hair, feathers, and downy felt of fern fronds.”
Blanchan includes folk history (how Native Americans and southern slaves thwarted mosquitoes by hanging gourds to attract purple martins) as well as common threats to birds that foreshadow current dangers to avian life (the toll taken on songbirds by lighthouses and electric towers). Such informative details, along with the author's disarming enthusiasm for her subject, will charm adult bird-watchers as well as children.
Cornelia Mutel's informative foreword places Blanchan's writing in the historical context of a turn-of-the-century environmental reawakening and burgeoning activism and research by women on behalf of dwindling bird populations.
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