Birdbooker Report 82

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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, natural history and bird books that are (or will soon be) available for purchase.


  1. Herlyn, Hendrik G. and Alan L. Contreras. Handbook of Oregon Birds: A Field Companion to Birds of Oregon. 2009. OSU Press. Paperback: 287 pages. Price: $22.95 U.S. [Amazon: $17.90]. SUMMARY: This book is a condensation of the status and distributional material from Birds of Oregon: A General Reference. It has been updated with new maps and distributional information and seasonal bar graphs have been added for rarer species. Eight color plates are included to help in identifying certain groups of birds. Anyone with an interest in the birds of the Pacific Northwest will want this book!

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Backhouse, Frances. Woodpeckers of North America. 2005 (2009). Firefly Books. Paperback: 232 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $18.21]. SUMMARY: This book details the life histories of 28 species of North American woodpeckers (including 5 species from northern Mexico). The text is divided into two main sections: biology and species accounts. Two of the most the most helpful and interesting sections focus on the effects that human activities have on these birds and the anatomy section contains information that has probably escaped most birders.
  2. Haupt, Lyanda Lynn. Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness. 2009. Little, Brown and Company. Hardbound: 230 pages. Price: $23.99 U.S. [Amazon: $16.31]. SUMMARY: In her third book, Haupt documents her journey to becoming an "urban naturalist" through her study of crows. She observes how crows interact with humans, and how we interact with them. If you liked Haupt's previous books, you'll like this one! GrrlScientist comment: I've just received this book and have started to read it. I've reviewed both of Haupt's previous books, and they were excellent!
  3. Jenkins, Steve. Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea. 2009. Houghton Mifflin. Hardbound: 40 pages. Price: $17.00 U.S. [Amazon: $11.56]. SUMMARY: This children's picture book explores the ocean and its animals. It starts at the surface and works its way down to the ocean's bottom. The artwork is so good that it should be nominated for a Caldecott award! For ages 4 to 8.
  4. Mason, Timothy. The Last Synapsid. 2009. Delacorte Press. Hardbound: 311 pages. Price: $16.99 U.S. [Amazon: $13.25]. SUMMARY: This middle reader (for ages 8-12) follows the adventures of Rob and Phoebe, best friends from Faith, Colorado. They find two prehistoric creatures called synapsids from the Permian period (about 250 million years ago). The good synapsid they name Sid and the bad one they call Gorgon. Sid and the kids try to save the evolution of mammals by trying to restore the current time line. If your kids are into dinosaurs, they will like this story about pre-dinosaur creatures.
  5. Trudell, Steve and Joe Ammirati. Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. 2009. Timber Press. Paperback: 351 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S. [Amazon: $18.45]. SUMMARY: This book describes over 450 mushroom species from the Pacific Northwest. It is illustrated with over 500 color photographs. If you have an interest in the Mushrooms of the region, you will like this book.

You can read all the Birdbooker Reports in the archives on this site, and Ian now has his own website, The Birdbooker's Bookcase, 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!


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