Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Birdbooker Report 42

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

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Berra, Tim M. Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man. 2008. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 116 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S. [$13.57]. SUMMARY: a compact but authoritative biography of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) includes 80 illustrations and color plates, along with an annotated list of Darwin’s publications and a chronology of his life. This book was developed from the author’s “Darwin the Man” lectures.
  2. Hatler, David F., David W. Nagorsen and Alison M. Beal. Carnivores of British Columbia. 2008. Royal BC Museum. Paperback: 407 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S. [Amazon: $27.95]. SUMMARY: Carnivores are mammals that hunt and eat other animals, mostly herbivorous mammals. Humans share a long history with carnivores. We fear carnivores as predators, revile them as competitors, exploit them for their fur, or admire them for their grace and beauty. This is a detailed guide to the 21 species of wild terrestrial carnivores found in British Columbia, Canada. The book is divided into 4 main sections: general biology, checklist of species, identification keys and species accounts. Anyone interested in the carnivorous mammals of northwestern North America will want this book.
  3. Oberle, Mark W. Caribbean Bird Song: Puerto Rico south to Grenada, with the Bahamas, Caymans, and San Andres. 2008. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. 3 CD set with booklet. Price: $34.95 U.S. [ABA Sales: $34.95]. SUMMARY: This 3 CD set contains audio recordings of 283 bird species found in the Caribbean (excluding Cuba, Hispaniola and Jamaica). The booklet’s text is in both Spanish and English. Each species is listed by scientific, Spanish and English names. Also each recording is listed by vocalization type and location, etc. The names of the species are not announced on the CDs. GrrlScientist comment: I am a connoiseur of birdsong CDs, and own nearly all birdsong CDs ever published. Well, except this one, so I’d sure like to listen to and review this CD on my blog!
  4. Purcell, Rosamond, Linnea S. Hall and Rene Corado. Egg and Nest. 2008. Belknap/ Harvard University Press. Hardbound: 224 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S. [Amazon: $26.37]. SUMMARY: Purcell’s photography of nests and eggs from the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo, California highlight this book. Hall and Corado co-wrote the text that includes topics such as the history of egg collecting, specimen information, biological information on the species shown, etc. This coffee-table book would make a nice gift not only for naturalists, but for artists interested in nature.
  5. Schultes, Richard Evans, Albert Hofmann and Christian Ratsch. Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers. 2001 (2nd edition). Healing Arts Press. Paperback: 208 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $19.77]. SUMMARY: This book offers scientific, historical, and cultural documentation on plants and mushrooms that are or have been of importance to many societies. Anyone interested in ethnobotany will want this book.
  6. Snyder, Peter J., Linda C. Mayes and Dennis D. Spencer. Science and the Media: Delgado’s Bulls and the Ethics of Scientific Disclosure. 2008. Academic Press. Hardbound: 250 pages. Price: $49.95 U.S. [Amazon: $39.96]. SUMMARY: This book poses the question: what are the ethical obligations of the scientist or scholar when their work is conveyed to other scientists or the general public? Included in this book are a series of essays that offer examples of various topics that include: scientific ethics, science and the media, science and politics, etc. Included is a CD of Jose M.R. Delgado’s famous original movie of a “remote controlled” bull. Scientists and journalists should read this book! GrrlScientiest comment: This is a common theme among all my scientific colleagues, especially among those who write blogs. I think this is a very timely and important topic and I would love to read and review this book on my blog.
  7. Post, Hans and Kees Heij. Sparrows. 2008. Lemniscaat. Hardbound: 25 pages. Price: $16.95 U.S. [Amazon: $13.22]. SUMMARY: A children’s picture book detailing the life cycle of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). The artwork by Irene Goede is nice. For ages 2-6. GrrlScientist comment: The artwork is gorgeous!