Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.
~ Arnold Lobel [1933-1987] author of many popular children’s books.
The Birdbooker Report is a special weekly report of a wide variety of science, nature, environment and behavior books and field guides 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.
- Phillipps, Quentin and Karen Phillipps. Phillipps’ Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo. 2009. John Beaufoy Books. Paperback: 368 pages. Price: $34.59 U.S. [Amazon: $30.86].
SUMMARY: Up-to-date and user-friendly field guide to the birds of Borneo, covering Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and the Indonesian states of Kalimantan. The book gives descriptions of 664 species living or reported on the island, including 51 endemic species. These are superbly illustrated in 141 color plates with more than 2,000 full color bird images, including most of the sexual variants and immature forms of polymorphic species. Each plate is accompanied by species descriptions covering taxonomy, size, call, range, distribution, habits and status. Distribution is shown by detailed thumbnail maps. There are 7 habitat plates, 12 regional maps showing Borneo’s top 130 birdwatching sites, fast-find graphic indexes to the birds of Kinabalu, and a full overview of vegetation, climate and ecology.
RECOMMENDATION: Birders to/or from the region will find this book very useful!
New and Recent Titles:
- Arlott, Norman. Birds of the West Indies. 2010. Collins UK /Princeton. Paperback: 240 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47].
SUMMARY: The West Indies, stretching from Grand Bahama in the north to Grenada in the south, is home to more than 550 bird species. Birds of the West Indies is the complete guide for identifying all of the diverse birds in these island territories. The guide’s 80 vivid color plates are accompanied by succinct text focusing on key field-identification characteristics, and distribution maps for all species are conveniently located at the back of the guide for handy reference. Birds of the West Indies is the perfect companion for birders, wildlife enthusiasts, and holiday-seekers interested in this area of the world.
- 80 color plates featuring more than 550 bird species
- Concise text concentrates on field-identification characteristics
- Detailed distribution maps for each species ( in a section separate from the text and plates).
- Easy-to-use and accessible — the ideal field guide
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Neotropical birds. The USA version (pictured, top) is due out on 19 August 2010.
- Sample, Geoff. Collins Bird Songs & Calls. 2010. Collins UK. Boxed set containing 3 CDs and a 232 page paperback book. Price: $44.95 U.S. [Amazon: $29.67].
SUMMARY: The new Collins Bird Songs and Calls includes re-recorded versions of the original habitat CDs — ensuring that they are even clearer, but just as atmospheric — introducing the user to the major bird habitats of Britain and the birds that live in them. The new edition also contains a third CD containing a unique beginner’s guide to birdsong in a course of 12 monthly sessions. Covering around 30 of the commonest garden and parkland bird species in the 12 sessions, it also gives an outline of the behavioral context — when different species sing, why they sing and what is going on in the wider bird community. The group of species featured each month will be chosen for the similarities in their voices and songs; often this will mean birds of the same family. So, for instance, it makes sense to begin with Great Tit and Blue Tit for January — some of the few birds that can be heard in that month, but also species with songs built around simple repeated patterns. By introducing a group of similar sounding birds each month — and starting with the easy birds first — this accessible guide will help you to quickly appreciate the wonderful range of bird voices and to discover just what birdsong is all about. A walk in the park will never be the same again.
RECOMMENDATION: For those wanting to learn British (and European) bird songs and calls.
- Warkentin, Ian and Sandy Newton. Birds of Newfoundland: Field Guide. 2009. Boulder Publications. Flexibinding: 237 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S. [Amazon: $34.95].
SUMMARY: The first comprehensive field guide dedicated solely to the birds of Newfoundland. Designed to make identifying birds quick and easy, this new field guide to the birds of Newfoundland gives birdwatchers a one-stop reference to the species most commonly seen on North America’s easternmost island. It includes profiles of more than 170 birds, tips on where to look for each species, song, habitat, breeding, and range details, and nesting information. It features 32 full-color plates by Roger Tory Peterson are, with additional images by John A. Crosby and Ralph Jarvis.
RECOMMENDATION: For birders living in or visiting Newfoundland, Canada.
- Eiseman, Charley and Noah Charney. Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates: A Guide to North American Species. 2010. Stackpole Books. Paperback: 582 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S. [Amazon: $26.37].
SUMMARY: The first-ever reference to the sign left by insects and other North American invertebrates includes descriptions and almost 1,000 color photos of tracks, egg cases, nests, feeding signs, galls, webs, burrows, and signs of predation. Identification is made to the family level, sometimes to the genus or species. It’s an invaluable guide for wildlife professionals, naturalists, students, and insect specialists.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone interested in North American invertebrates.
- Watson-Ferguson, Kami. Guide to Aquatic Insects & Crustaceans: Izaak Walton League of America. 2006. Stackpole Books. Paperback: 74 pages. Price: $8.95 U.S. [Amazon: $8.95].
SUMMARY: From the damselfly to the whirligig beetle, our nation’s streams are teeming with critters. This convenient, inexpensive guide allows you to identify any that you find — whether you’re working on your fly tying, researching the local insect life, or just mucking around in the river. Also includes information on the river conservation and management work performed by the Izaak Walton League, making this an especially valuable resource for stream monitors, biologists, and other specialists.
RECOMMENDATION: An introduction to stream macroinvertebrates.
- Glick, Thomas F. What about Darwin? All Species of Opinion from Scientists, Sages, Friends, and Enemies Who Met, Read, and Discussed the Naturalist Who Changed the World. 2010. Johns Hopkins University Press. Paperback: 518 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $19.77].
SUMMARY: Charles Darwin and his revolutionary ideas inspired pundits the world over to put pen to paper. In this unique dictionary of quotations, Darwin scholar Thomas Glick presents fascinating observations about Darwin and his ideas from such notable figures as P. T. Barnum, Anton Chekhov, Mahatma Gandhi, Carl Jung, Martin Luther King, Mao Tse-tung, Pius IX, Jules Verne, and Virginia Woolf. What was it about Darwin that generated such widespread interest? His Origin of Species changed the world. Naturalists, clerics, politicians, novelists, poets, musicians, economists, and philosophers alike could not help but engage his theory of evolution. Whatever their view of his theory, however, those who met Darwin were unfailingly charmed by his modesty, kindness, honesty, and seriousness of purpose. This diverse collection drawn from essays, letters, novels, short stories, plays, poetry, speeches, and parodies demonstrates how Darwin’s ideas permeated all areas of thought. The quotations trace a broad conversation about Darwin across great distances of time and space, revealing his profound influence on the great thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Charles Darwin.
You can read all the Birdbooker Reports in the archives on this site, and Ian now has his own website, The Birdbooker Report, where you can read his synopses about newly published science, nature and animal books. But Ian assures me that he still loves us here, so he’ll still share his weekly Birdbooker Reports with us!