Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Birdbooker Report 68

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“How does one distinguish a truly civilized nation from an aggregation of
barbarians? That is easy. A civilized country produces much good bird
–Edgar Kincaid

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,


  1. MacDonald, S.O. and Joseph A. Cook. Recent Mammals of Alaska. 2009. University of Alaska Press. Hardbound: 387 pages. Price: $55.00 U.S. [Amazon: $34.65]. SUMMARY: This authoritative reference is the first comprehensive accounting of the 116 mammal species, both extinct and extant, that have inhabited Alaska since the end of the Pleistocene. This book is divided into 3 main sections: introductory material, species accounts and appendices.Each species account includes the following: species name (both English and scientific), other common names, systematics, global distribution, Alaska distribution, habitat, status, fossils and a black-and-white range map. Anyone interested in the mammals of the Far North will want this book!

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Kricher, John. The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth. 2009. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 237 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47]. SUMMARY: Kricher examines the idea that there is a balance of nature. Then he goes on to demostrate that in fact nature is not in balance, nor has it ever been in at any stage in Earth’s history. Kricher also explains why it is critical that we accept and understand evolution is a fact of life, and that ecology is far more dynamic than we ever imagined.
  2. McLeod, Michael. Anatomy of a Beast: Obsession and Myth on the Trail of Bigfoot. 2009. University of California Press. Hardbound: 222 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47]. SUMMARY: The author takes a critical look at the Bigfoot phenomenon and its supporters. His main focus is the time periods of the 1960s and 1970s. One area of speculation is that Bigfoot might be related to the giant fossil ape, Gigantopithecus. This idea was brought to my attention by a former professor of mine, the late Grover Krantz, who is mentioned briefly in the text. Anyone interested in cryptozoology will like this book.


  1. #1 apikoros
    May 31, 2009

    Grrlscientist, I think you need to see this:

    Original thought and problem solving in addition to personal bravery and pair cooperation. Wraps it all up in one go!

  2. #2 MadScientist
    June 1, 2009

    Oops … sorry about the anon post offering a birdie pic; I blame it on the delirium – but I really do have a pic of a local (at least local in the southern hemisphere) parrot. Awwwrk!

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