bird watching -- anecdotes

Watching Birds: Reflections on the Wing

By Ann Taylor

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"Ann Taylor's humorous and evocative reflections on bird watching and the people who do it are no more just about birds than Thoreau's Walden is just about a pond. Taylor chronicles her fascinating life as a curious and devoted amateur bird-watcher and nature-lover who has traveled the world in pursuit of her passion. Along the way, she also delves into many subjects of interest to the over 50 million American birders -- identification ... songs ... names ... migration methods ... and the watchers themselves."

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The Feather Quest: A North American Birder's Year

By Pete Dunne

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When a flash of pink was spotted in a cloud of gray gulls over Newburyport, Massachusetts, ten thousand people descended on the town in hopes of seeing a rare Ross's gull from Siberia. Among them were Pete and Linda Dunne, who set off from there on a year-long odyssey. Dunne had poured the most remarkable stories, birds, and characters into this unforgettable book about their once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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Neighbors to the Birds: A History of Birdwatching in America

By Felton Gibbons

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Felton Gibbons and Deborah Strom trace the history of bird watching in America. This recreational activity has evolved from the practice of shooting as many birds as possible to the contemporary practice of watching and recording the numbers and varieties of our feathered neighbors. The authors introduce the reader to pioneer naturalists Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon and John Muir.

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The Verb "To Bird": Sightings of an Avid Birder

By Peter Cashwell

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All around the world, birds are the subject of intense, even spiritual, fascination, but relatively few people see the word bird as a verb. Peter Cashwell is one who does, and with good reason: He birds (because he can't help it), and he teaches grammar (because he's paid to). An English teacher by profession and an avid birder by inner calling, Cashwell has written a whimsical and critical book about his many obsessions - birds, birders, language, literature, parenting, pop culture, and the human race. Cashwell lovingly but irreverently explores the practice of birding, from choosing a field guide to luring vultures out of shrubbery, and gives his own eclectic travelogue of some of the nation's finest bird habitats.

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The Little Book of Birding

By George H. Harrison

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Bird-watching expert George Harrison provides more than a glimpse into the unpredictable and often humorous avian world. Experienced bird watchers will recognize with delight the insight he imparts. They will also recognize themselves, albeit with some embarrassment, in the humorous photographs, which show to what lengths some people will go in their obsession with birds.

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Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder

By Kenn Kaufman

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"At sixteen, Kenn Kaufman dropped out of the high school where he was student council president and hit the road, hitching back and forth across America, from Alaska to Florida, Maine to Mexico. Maybe not all that unusual a thing to do in the seventies, but what Kenn was searching for was a little different: not sex, drugs, God, or even self, but birds. A report of a rare bird would send him hitching nonstop from Pacific to Atlantic and back again. When he was broke he would pick fruit or do odd jobs to earn the fifty dollars or so that would last him for weeks.

"His goal was to set a record - most North American species seen in a year - but along the way he began to realize that at this breakneck pace he was only looking, not seeing. What had been a game became a quest for a deeper understanding of the natural world. Kingbird Highway is a unique coming-of- age story, combining a lyrical celebration of nature with wild, and sometimes dangerous, adventures, starring a colorful cast of characters."

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The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession

By Mark Obmascik

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Three birding fanatics compete with each other and themselves to see the most number of birds in and around the U.S. in one year. Where they go, what they do, and how much they spend are almost unbelievable. Talk about obsessed!

Also available on audio.

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