"How does one distinguish a truly civilized nation from an aggregation of
barbarians? That is easy. A civilized country produces much good bird
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.
- Norman, David. Birds of Cheshire and Wirral: A breeding and wintering atlas. 2008. Liverpool University Press. Hardbound: 676 pages. Price: $90.00 U.S. [Amazon: $90.00]. SUMMARY: Cheshire and Wirril are located in the north-west of England. During 2004 to 2007 more than 350 volunteers spent over 50,000 hours surveying every bird species during the breeding and winter seasons. This color atlas provides full accounts of 186 species, with briefer treatments for an additional 31 species. Each species account is 2 to 4 pages long, with 1 to 4 color range maps. Each species have color photographs and/or artwork. Anyone wanting to do a similar atlas here in North America should use this book as a model for their project.
New and Recent Titles:
- Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification (5th edition). 2008. HOPS Press. Paperback: 221 pages. Price: $30.00 U.S. [Amazon: $19.80]. SUMMARY: This one-day tutorial included in the text teaches you seven key patterns to recognize more than 45,000 species of plants worldwide. But the main focus of the text is on the plant families of North America. GrrlScientist comment: Wow, now this looks like a truly wonderful book, worthy of a test-run through Central Park and NYC's local botanical gardens!
- Gribbin, Mary and John Gribbin. Flower Hunters. 2009. Oxford University Press. Paperback: 332 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S. [Amazon: $13.57]. SUMMARY: The authors describe the lives of eleven flower hunters from Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) to Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911). A prologue about John Ray (1627-1705) is included. These early botanist-explorers often risked their lives to to find these exotic plants. GrrlScientist comment: This book sounds fascinating.
- Lanner, Ronald M. The Bristlecone Book: A Natural History of the World's Oldest Trees. 2007. Mountain Press Publishing Company. Paperback: 118 pages. Price: $12.00 U.S. [Amazon: $10.20]. SUMMARY: This well illustrated book discusses the life histories of the bristlecone pines, especially the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, that can live to be over 4,000 years old! The author exposes the inner workings of the trees, taking apart a pine to examine bark, buds, needles, cones, roots, and wood. He follows a tree s lifespan from seedling to great old age, presenting a new interpretation of stages of growth. A stunning pageant of color photos shows off bristlecones and their remarkable growth patterns, and a map shows locations of groves.
- McNulty, Tim. Olympic National Park: A Natural History (revised edition). 2009. University of Washington Press. Paperback: 338 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $18.96]. SUMMARY: McNulty's classic guide to the Olympic National Park of Washington State has been throughly revised to include topics such as the effects of global warming and the latest archaeological research on the region.
- Schmalzer, Sigrid. The People's Peking Man: Popular Science and Human Identity in Twentieth-Century China. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Paperback: 346 pages. Price: $26.00 U.S. [Amazon: $26.00]. SUMMARY: Using the discovery of "Peking Man", Homo erectus, as a backdrop, the author explores the world of paleoanthropology in 20th century China as writes a compelling cultural and comparative history of what it means to be human. By focusing on issues that push against the boundaries of science and politics, this book presents an innovative approach to modern Chinese history and the history of science.
- Turner, Lucien M. An Aleutian Ethnography. 2008. University of Alaska Press. Hardbound: 242 pages. Price: $45.00 U.S. [Amazon: $45.00]. SUMMARY: Between 1878 and 1881, Lucien M. Turner studied the nature and people of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. This book, edited by Raymond L. Hudson, presents Turner's research. Anyone interested in the natural and Human history of the Aleutian Islands will want this book!
- Kochanoff, Peggy. You Can Be a Nature Detective. 2009. Mountain Press Publishing Company. Paperback: 64 pages. Price: $14.00 U.S. [Amazon: $11.90]. SUMMARY: This book teaches children how to investigate the natural world. Think of this title as CSI for young naturalists!