Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Favorite Books of the far...

 I realized that I have never posted any kids books...that's going to stop today with this wonderful book, "Pretty Betty Butterfly" written by our good friend Sally Deems and illustrated by Wendy Fedan. Sally has been an award winning writer for quite some time and this book is a great read for children of all ages...even me!

The Doodles said "while reading this this book I recalled that carefree feeling of the wonder of nature through a child's eyes, and chuckled over Betty's funny eyes." If The Doodles likes it, it must be good. And she's right about those googly eyes of Betty's!

 Another children's book by another good friend is "Alphabetical Bugs in Color" by Larry Hohman. We've met Larry a number of times at different local birding events and he always has a new alphabet book and artwork to show. The Doodles bought a few of these books for her nieces and nephews over the years.
Larry is an outstanding artist and always manages to find unusual subjects for every letter. Of course my favorite is the bird book...

 "Bringing Nature Home" was a surprise find for me while cruising the internet for a native plant book for The Doodles. Written by Douglas Tallamy, it covers just about everything you need to know to change your habitat from harmful to helpful. This is a great book to help you or a friend change your little piece of the earth.

 As Mr. Tallamy states, "...insects have done fine on this earth without humans and would continue to do so in our absence. If insects were to disappear, however, our own extinction would not be far behind."

 "The Thing With Feathers" by Noah Strycker truly will surprise you with the amazing things that birds do...and make you realize that we may not be the most intelligent life on the planet. If you love birds and want to delve a little deeper into their personal lives and their knowledge, this is a great read.

 Once again, Princeton University Press has come out with an outstanding field guide. This time regarding the "Bumble Bees of North America." I loved this book because of all the bumblies that zoom around our garden. No chemicals used here! They are amazingly soft and wonderful to watch as they flit from flower to flower working tirelessly to gather pollen.

This book will help you simply figure out who is who in your garden...

 "The Trees of Eastern North America" is a book that can help birders identify more birds. How? You know when someone screams out "It's over THERE! Up in that green tree!" and you stand there with that blank look on your face, because like me, you're color blind and all the trees may be green for all you know. Well, this book will help you learn and ID those "green" trees so you can sound smart and say "It's at four o'clock in the Black Oak!" Folks will be impressed...really.

 This is a wonderful book for all of you "hunter gatherers," folks that want to add to their life lists or search for new frustrating birds to aggravate you. "Rare Birds of North America" by Steve N.G. Howell, Ian Lewington and Will Russell is a great tool and wonderful guide to the rarest vagrants that visit North America every year...or almost every year.

I'm still waiting for one to land in my garden.

For my friends in Britain, or even those of you that want to be in Britain, read  "A Sparrowhawk's Lament:How British Breeding Birds of Prey Are Faring" by David Cobham with Bruce Pearson. Mr. Cobham discusses fifteen species of raptors that reside in the UK today and the efforts by scientists and conservationists to stabilize their populations. He uses personal stories and connections to the effects of documentary films on changing peoples perceptions of these wonderful birds. Every chapter has great illustrations by Bruce Pearson which brings the stories to life.

  And then there's "Ten Thousand Birds, Ornithology Since Darwin." I've had this book for a while now...and I'm still reading it! Tim Birkhead, Jo Wimpenny and Bob Montgomerie did a fantastic job with this book.

I'm one of those short attention span folks...if it has more than ten pages and isn't illustrated on every page, I'll fall asleep. I was surprised and delighted when I discovered that this rather large and detailed tome was so easily readable. I keep going back to it over and over again. It's broken down by the major areas of ornithology, including evolution, classification, migration and more. And yes, there are great illustrations and photos throughout!

 I highly recommend  reading "The Passenger Pigeon" by Errol Fuller since we've just passed the anniversary of the passing of Martha, the last passenger pigeon. This beautifully illustrated book has many interesting facts  about the Passenger Pigeon and its demise. There are illustrations, photographs, paintings(including John James Audubon's,) specimens, poems, historical accounts of the billions that roosted and blackened the skies for miles and days and more.

Very easy to read with answers to the many questions I had about this bird and its life...and the over hunting that wiped it out.

SO, these are much better than video games and ugly sweaters...give the gift of knowledge this year, or even get one for yourself!


  1. Thanks for the list and summary. A group I belong to has a book store so I will pass those titles alkng for them to decide if they want to sell them.

  2. Good book choices Dave. "Ten Thousand Birds" should be in every birder's library - a classic.