Keeping a few hens was once only for rural dwellers with big yards - or inner-city hippies. Now it's mainstream and an attractive proposition wherever you live. Fluffy little recycling units that eat weeds, bugs and scraps and turn them into organic eggs - what's not to love? Chickens are great backyard pets for young and old - they're a natural extension for everyone with a vegie patch, and for those who like eggs but are concerned about the welfare of commercial hens. This book is the perfect reference, whether you're already keeping chickens or an absolute beginner thinking about getting a couple of chooks. Dave Ingham offers compulsively readable advice on how to start, housing and feeding, settling chickens in with other pets, troubleshooting, and the (minimal) commitment required to keep your backyard hens healthy and happy.
Enter ancient lands of wind and waves where the planet's greatest flyers battle for survival.
As the only creatures at home on land, at sea, and in the air, seabirds have evolved to thrive in the most demanding environment on Earth.
In The Seabird's Cry, Adam Nicolson travels ocean paths, fusing traditional knowledge with astonishing facts science has recently learned about these creatures: the way their bodies actually work, their dazzling navigational skills, their ability to smell their way to fish or home and to understand the discipline of the winds upon which they depend.
This book is a paean to the beauty of life on the wing, but, even as we are coming to understand the seabirds, a global tragedy is unfolding. Their numbers are in freefall, dropping by nearly 70 percent in the last sixty years, a billion fewer now than in 1950. Extinction stalks the ocean, and there is a danger that the hundred-million-year-old cries of a seabird colony, rolling around in the bays and headlands of high latitudes, will this century become but a memory.
On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.Two centuries later, starlings are reviled by even the most compassionate conservationists. A nonnative, invasive species, they invade sensitive habitats, outcompete local birds for nest sites and food, and decimate crops. A seasoned birder and naturalist, Lyanda Lynn Haupt is well versed in the difficult and often strained relationships these birds have with other species and the environment. But after rescuing a baby starling of her own, Haupt found herself enchanted by the same intelligence and playful spirit that had so charmed her favorite composer. In Mozart's Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history's most cherished composers and one of earth's most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart's beloved pet and Haupt's own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart's Starling is a tour de force that awakens a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.
This is a story of a scarcely credible abundance, of flocks of birds so vast they made the sky invisible. It is also a story of a collapse into extinction so startling as to provoke a mystery. In the fate of the North American passenger pigeon we can read much of the story of wild America--the astonishment that accompanied its discovery, the allure of its natural "productions" the ruthless exploitation of its "commodities" and the ultimate betrayal of its peculiar genius. And in the bird's fate can be read, too, the essential vulnerability of species, the unpredictable passage of life itself.
Penguins are among the world's most beloved birds. In this enchanting guide, Matt Sewell captures 50 species of penguins and other sea bird favorites like puffins and albatrosses. From the Little Penguin, who is only 13 inches tall, to the Fiordland Crested Penguin, who sports bushy yellow eyebrows, these charismatic birds are sure to delight both young and old.
A stunning collection of 200 bird species painted by the world-renowned wildlife painter.
"Robert Bateman's paintings and drawings... reveal a vision of the beautiful and stark possibilities of the natural world. They are compelling and haunting."
-- The Washington Post
At a time when bird species are disappearing rapidly, the poignant beauty of Robert Bateman's paintings is more urgent than ever. It reminds us why Bateman was compelled to study and paint his subjects and why we must work to secure their futures.
Bateman has sketched and painted bird life in every corner of the globe. His special relationship with some of the planet's most beautiful and fascinating creatures is captured here in an elegant volume that will appeal to bird lovers and art lovers alike.
The paintings are organized variously into 20 groups: At Home on Salt Spring Island; In the Pribilofs; Treeline and Tundra; Above Larch Valley; A Wenatchee Field Trip; Canyons and Deserts of Arizona; The Great Plains; Spring on the Great Lakes; Immigrants; Eastern Fields and Forests; On Inland Waters; The Atlantic Coast; In the Everglades; The Tropical Americas; The Gal pagos; Old Worlds; At the Taj Mahal; A Visit to Bharatpur; The African Savannah and To the Antarctic.
Bateman's magnificent works celebrate the breathtaking range of bird life on Earth -- from the spectacular plumage of the fiery rainforest quetzel to the threatening glare of the golden eagle. And through his notes, informative diary entries and detailed sketches and studies, he shares with the reader a wealth of observations about the birds' behavior and his keen appreciation of their beauty. As the great Roger Tory Peterson said, "If I could paint like another wildlife artist, it would be Robert Bateman."
Robert Bateman began his lifelong education as an artist, naturalist and birder in the tree-filled ravine behind his boyhood home in Toronto. There he would study and sketch the birds he saw, adding them to the life list he keeps to this day. Robert has an enormous following, and his original artwork and limited edition prints are sought by collectors the world over. In 2003, the Robert Bateman Centre museum opened in Victoria, B.C. Today he lives with his wife, Birgit, and his family on one of the Gulf Islands off Canada's western coast.
This extraordinary, poetic portrait of two peregrine falcons is one of the most beloved works of nature writing ever published.From fall to spring, J.A. Baker set out to track the daily comings and goings of a pair of peregrine falcons across the flat fen lands of eastern England. He followed the birds obsessively, observing them in the air and on the ground, in pursuit of their prey, making a kill, eating, and at rest, activities he describes with an extraordinary fusion of precision and poetry. And as he continued his mysterious private quest, his sense of human self slowly dissolved, to be replaced with the alien and implacable consciousness of a hawk.
It is this extraordinary metamorphosis, magical and terrifying, that these beautifully written pages record.
A bold expression of a fledgling republic's aspirations and bravado, the American bald eagle has been designed, drawn, illustrated, stamped, engraved, painted, sculpted, carved, photographed, and etched by thousands of artists and artisans since 1782, when it first appeared as the central figure on the Great Seal of the United States. As America's most versatile emblem, the eagle emanates confidence during peace and prosperity, and strength during crisis and war; as a North American native species it exemplifies nature's grandeur and the advance of conservation. In all, the bald eagle is a stirring national symbol made all the more vibrant by its indisputable dominion in the sky. American Eagle: A Visual History of Our National Emblem is a visual survey that explores the eagle in American life. A remarkable book that represents American culture, politics, and history, American Eagle will be the definitive source of this national icon for generations to come.
- This stunning anthology of wildlife photographs captures emperor penguins in their natural habitat in the Antarctic - Incredible pictures reveal both the harshness of the environment and the day-to-day life of the colony - Narrates the penguins' long journey across the sea ice and the immense effort it takes for human photographers to follow them - Foreword by Michael Palin, who accompanied the author on one of her Antarctic expeditions "Sue Flood is one of the elite wildlife photographers working today. Just turn over a few pages of this breath-taking book and you will see what I mean." - Michael Palin Emperor: The Perfect Penguin is a celebration of one of the world's most charismatic creatures. In temperatures that can reach -50 C with 150km/h winds, the emperor penguins' ability to survive and thrive is nothing short of astounding. Over the past nine years, award-winning photographer Sue Flood has journeyed to remote Antarctic penguin colonies to capture the birds in their native home. Sue Flood's respect for her subjects emanates from every page. From the poignant sight of an egg abandoned on the sea ice, to majestic shots of emperor penguins returning from the sea and heart-warming photos of chicks clustering together for warmth, every shot explores a new angle of life in this remote and ice-crusted world. As well as following the difficult journey of the penguins across the sea ice, Emperor: The Perfect Penguin narrates the hardships that must be endured to catch the perfect photograph. Sue's behind-the-scenes experiences prove that it is only with patience, endurance, and several thermal layers that one can capture magical moments on Earth's most inhospitable continent.
Identifying birds can be overwhelming. Where and how do you start? The good news is that most people already know more than they realize about birds, which can greatly simplify the identification process.
Written in a helpful, conversational style and illustrated with numerous photos, this "12-step program" starts with the basics and builds logically into a manageable framework that enables anyone to get into, or get more out of, the world of watching, identifying, and enjoying birds.
STEVE N. G. HOWELL is an international bird tour leader with WINGS, a popular speaker and trip leader at birding festivals, and author of numerous books and articles. He lives in California. BRIAN SULLIVAN works on eBird and digital publications at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He lives in California.