Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Birdbooker Report 33

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“One cannot have too many good bird books”
–Ralph Hoffmann, Birds of the Pacific States (1927).

The Birdbooker Report is a special weekly report of wide variety of science, nature and behavior books that are or soon will be available for purchase. This report is written by one of my Seattle bird pals, Ian “Birdbooker” Paulsen, and is published here for your enjoyment. Here’s this week’s issue of the Birdbooker Report by which lists ecology, environment, natural history and bird books that are (or will soon be) available for purchase.


  1. Pyle, Peter. Identification Guide to North American Birds: Part II. 2008. Slate Creek Press. Paperback: 835 pages. Price: $49.50 U.S. (Available through Slate Creek Press and Buteo Books.) SUMMARY: Although designed for banders, birders will find this book very useful! Part 2 covers the waterfowl through the alcids. GrrlScientist comment: I really really want this book! I have part one, and have waited eleven years for part two to be completed.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Drayson, Nicholas. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. 2008. Houghton Mifflin. Hardbound: 202 pages. Price: $22.00 U.S. [Amazon: $14.96]. SUMMARY: This novel is centered around a love triangle and birding in Kenya.
  2. Soennichsen, John. Bretz’s Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World’s Greatest Flood. 2008. Sasquatch Books. Hardbound: 290 pages. Price: $23.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.29]. SUMMARY: Follows the life and career of geologist J Harlen Bretz (1882-1981) and his discovery on how the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington (State) were formed.
  3. Todd, Kim. Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis. 2007. Harcourt. Paperback: 330 pages. Price: $15.00 U.S. [Amazon: $10.20]. SUMMARY: This book profiles Maria Sibylia Merian (1647-1717) and her early research on insect metamorphosis. GrrlScientist comment: I saw a bunch of Maria Sibylla Merian’s artwork when I was in London when I visited Buckingham Palace, and it is gorgeous! This book (which I peeked at while visiting the University Bookstore in Seattle), looks wonderful.
  4. Tweti, Mira. Of Parrots and People: The Sometimes Funny, Always Fascinating, Often Catastrophic Collision of Two Intelligent Species. 2008. Viking. Hardbound: 317 pages. Price: $25.95 U.S. [Amazon: $17.13]. SUMMARY: A detailed look at parrots and the parrot trade. GrrlScientist comment: I have a copy of this book and I have strong reservations about this book because Tweti is a journalist with a casual relationship with the truth when it comes to keeping birds as pets. My review of this title is upcoming, so stay tuned for it!


  1. #1 RM
    September 29, 2008

    Bretz’s Flood should be an interesting book. The glacial Lake Missoula flood is a great ice age story.

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