"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.
- Zimmer, Carl. The Tangled Bank: An Introduction To Evolution. 2009. Roberts & Company Publishers. Hardbound: 385 pages. Price: $59.95 U.S. [Amazon: $43.16]. SUMMARY: This up-to-date textbook on evolution is quite readable. It is well illustrated with artwork, charts and photographs. The 14 chapters are well organized.
RECOMMENDATION: This book will be useful for an advanced high school biology class and at the college undergraduate level (especially for non-science majors).
New and Recent Titles:
- Berry, R.J. Islands. 2009. Collins. Paperback: 384 pages. Price: Â£30.00 ($50.00 U.S.).
- Corbet, Philip and Stephen Brooks. Dragonflies. 2008. Collins. Paperback: 454 pages. Price: Â£25.00 ($45.00 U.S.). SUMMARY: These two books are titles from the British New Naturalist series. Islands covers the biogeography of the islands off of Great Britain and Ireland. The book is divided into three main parts: island biogeography, the islands themselves and island naturalists.
Dragonflies covers the insect order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) found in Great Britain and Ireland. This book is divided into three main parts: the British species, Odonata biology and Odonatology in Britain. The appendices include a checklist of British species, distribution maps, etc. Both volumes are well illustrated with color photographs, maps, charts, graphs and some historical art and text. For more information on the New Naturalist series see here.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Islands will appeal to those interested in the biogeography and ecology of islands found in temperate climates. Dragonflies is not a field guide (those are listed on page 14 in this book). It is aimed for those with an intermediate or advanced interest in the Odonata of Great Britain and Ireland.
- Sterry, Paul and Brian E. Small. Birds of Western/Eastern North America: A Photographic Guide. 2009. Princeton University Press. Paperback: Western; 416 pages, Eastern; 336 pages. Price: $18.95 U.S. each. [Western birds: Amazon: $12.89; Eastern birds: Amazon: $12.89]. SUMMARY: These volumes have 2-3 species per page. The text and range maps are opposite the photographs. Each species on average have 1 to 3 photographs. Of the three widely used photographic guides to the birds of North America (Kaufman's Kaufman Guide, Brinkley's National Wildlife Federation guide and Floyd's Smithsonian Field Guide), these guides are the most similar to the Smithsonian field guide in format.
RECOMMENDATION: These guides will be most useful for intermediate level birders. For beginners, I recommend the Kaufman guide. For advanced birders, the forthcoming photographic guide by Richard Crossley looks promising.
- Sampson, Scott D. Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life. 2009. University of California Press. Hardbound: 332 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $19.77]. SUMMARY: In this book, the author gives us an up-to-date overview on dinosaur paleontology that covers the past 25 years. Sampson combines current science with personal stories from the field to give us this story. The book covers such topics as evolution, biology and ecology of the dinosaurs. It contains 14 color plates and numerous black-and-white figures and photographs.
RECOMMENDATION: People that have an intermediate level of interest in dinosaurs and science educators will find this book useful.
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!