What is the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the U.S.? Snowboarding? Mountain biking? No. It's bird watching There are currently 51.3 million dedicated birders in the U.S. with their binoculars focused on the skies. Sure to appeal to this growing flock, 100 Birds to See Before You Die is the ultimate birdwatcher's book.
- Selected by two world-renowned birding authors, the top 100 birds include avian species that are endangered, exceptional common species, and others that have achieved legendary status.
- You won't need binoculars to spot the huge and powerful, endangered Philippine Eagle or the brightly plumed Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. Each of the 100 featured species is captured in remarkable full-color photographs in their natural habitat.
- This fascinating book combines hard-working detail with more unusual facts and mythological anecdotes, making it much more than a typical bird watching book.
- Detailed entries describe the natural history of each bird, including size, distribution, habitat, classification, population and conservation status.
Bird-loving Americans share a common problem: squirrels These fast, greedy, incredibly crafty, fluffy-tailed rodents pillage birdfeeders before owners' very eyes. For 25 years, Outwitting Squirrels has been leading the charge to help bird lovers defend their feeders. This classic defense manual for the besieged birder has been fully updated to deal with the more tech-savvy twenty-first-century squirrel. It provides 101 cunning strategies, both serious and hilarious, for outsmarting these furry, but not so cute, creatures. Adler discusses the different bird personalities and the best seed to attract them. He rates birdfeeders based upon how squirrel-proof, or squirrel-vexing, they are and discusses creative antisquirrel structures and devices. Spooker poles, Perrier bottles, baffled fishing line, Teflon spray, Vaseline, water bombs, cayenne pepper, and Nixalite--the author has tried them all, and here he regales intrepid bird feeders with his squirrel-thwarting adventures and misadventures.
"For the nature lover with a sense of humor."
--FORBES "Eli J. Knapp has done a marvelous job capturing a balance of science and humor in his latest collection of essays. The Delightful Horror of Family Birding eminently burnishes birding's reputation, making the science accessible... Knapp gives the reader plenty of detail to appreciate precisely what the clever book title promises."
--THE UTAH REVIEW "Knapp pays attention, not just to birds, the landscape, and the sights and sounds around him, but also to people's responses to those things, including his own, and to human interactions with each other and to nature. His is an astute perspective, a perpetual student of life, humans, and nature, and his stories are consistently fun and thought-provoking."
--BIRD WATCHER'S DIGEST "Pithy, funny, and wise essays about forays into nature...Knapp writes wittily of nature's nuances. Tales of field trips with students, birding with family, or the fun of leading bird walks ('Look Butterbutts ') all contribute to the cheerful wonder Knapp evokes."
--BOOKLIST "A firsthand account for those interested in a blend of natural history, education, and conservation and how they can be shared family passions."
--LIBRARY JOURNAL "Eli J. Knapp's The Delightful Horror of Family Birding trots the globe with humor, insight, and deep-seated appreciation for nature and bird-watching...focuses on its subject with wit, erudition, and passion as vast as a great flock darkening the daytime sky."
--FOREWORD REVIEWS "Eli J. Knapp lets nature lead him and thereby--in this important collection of essays--he leads us to deeper perceptions of the bounty of nature. Humorous, a little irreverent. You learn about birds without even knowing."
--PETER KAHN, author of The Human Relationship with Nature "I have a secret crush on Eli Knapp. He is a masterful storyteller--self-deprecating, witty, and always eager to learn life lessons from his experiences. His stories are fun, funny, moving, clever, and always full of birds " --DAWN HEWITT, managing editor of Bird Watcher's Digest "Eli Knapp's essays capture the special, quirky, inquisitive nature of bird watchers. Whether he's teaching his sometimes-receptive college students about birds or mixing birds and nature into a family outing, he weaves engaging tales of these experiences, leaving the reader wanting more of his well-told stories. He's at the head of the class among the new generation of nature writers."
--BILL THOMPSON III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest "An engaging and witty self-portrait of one man's amiable obsession--and an honest exploration of how he attempts to transmit this passion to his children and his students. A very fun read--and you'll learn a good deal of bird biology along the way." --THOMAS LOWE FLEISCHNER, editor of Nature, Love, Medicine: Essays on Wildness and Wellness Eli Knapp takes readers from a leaky dugout canoe in Tanzania and the mating grounds of Ecuador's cock-of-the-rock to a juniper titmouse's perch at the Grand Canyon and the migration of hooded mergansers in a New York swamp, exploring life's deepest questions all along the way. In this collection of essays, Knapp intentionally flies away from the flock, reveling in insights gleaned from birds, his students, and the wide-eyed wonder his children experience.
The Delightful Horror of Family Birding navigates the world in hopes that appreciation of nature will burn intensely for generations to come, not peter out in merely a flicker. Whether traveling solo or with his students or children, Knapp levels his gaze on the birds that share our skies, showing that birds can be a portal to deeper relationships, ecological understanding, and newfound joy.
Eli J. Knapp, PhD, is professor of intercultural studies and biology at Houghton College and director of the Houghton in Tanzania program. Knapp is a regular contributor to Bird Watcher's Digest, New York State Conservationist, and other publications. An avid birdwatcher, hiker, and kayaker, he lives in Fillmore, New York, with his wife and children.
" A] delightfully literary and eclectic memoir about the manifold joys of birding...Cashwell is a storyteller. A very literate, observant, insightful storyteller."--The Bloomsbury Review
"Reading this book was the next best thing to wandering in the woods with Peter Cashwell hoping to add a rufous-capped warbler to my life list. No, it was better--I could laugh out loud in delight as I turned the pages without fear of scaring the birds."--Katharine Weber, author of The Music Lesson
"An entertaining and witty meditation on birding."--Library Journal
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. Part memoir, part natural history, part apology, The Verb 'To Bird' will enlighten and entertain anyone who's ever wandered around wet fields at the crack of dawn with dog-eared field guides crushed against the granola bars in their pockets. But you don't have to know the field marks of an indigo bunting to appreciate Cashwell's experiences with non-lending libraries, venomous insects, sports marketing, and animated Christmas specials.
"Birders as well as all others interested in birds will enjoy this witty and informative meditation. Declaring himself a victim of birding compulsive disorder, Cashwell, an English teacher in Virginia, does an excellent job of describing his fascination with observing and listening to birds."--Publishers Weekly
"Peter Cashwell possesses one of the rarest of all qualities in a nature writer: an intelligent wit."--Robert Finch, co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing
"A fine literary ramble and a good laugh to boot--no mean feat in a genre that perhaps takes itself to seriously."--John Hanson Mitchell, Editor of Sanctuary, Journal of the Massachusetts Audubon Society
"Writing with humor and gentle environmental rants, Cashwell does for his beloved birds what Bill Bryson did for the Appalachian Trail in his best-selling A Walk in the Woods."--Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star
" Cashwell] does not stint on the details that matter to birders, but it's his ability to translate the joy of the experience for the non-birder that extends the book's appeal beyond the Nature/Ornithology shelves."--The Charlotte Observer
"Cashwell plays with the language as joyfully and skillfully as a musician coaxes melodies from his instrument."--Rocky Mount Telegram
Birds first captured Peter Cashwell's attention when his mother hung an avian mobile over his crib. He was born in Raleigh, N.C., grew up in Chapel Hill, and graduated from the University of North Carolina, where he took every creative writing course permitted by the English department (and one that wasn't). Cashwell has worked at lots of different jobs--radio announcer, rock musician, comic-book critic, improv comedy accompanist. Now he teaches English and speech at Woodberry Forest School in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.
The man the Wall Street Journal calls the bard of birding has gathered together in one book all the skills and tools available to enhance one's bird-watching experience. 100 photos.
Illustrates and explains a series of strategems to keep squirrels from eating and ruining yards and gardens when more traditional tactics fail.
Copiously illustrated with line drawings and full-color photographs, this large format paperback book contains the essential information that backyard nature enthusiasts want and need -- to build and seek out birdhouses, including the right birdhouse for many popular species .
Two of the best-known names in birding--Peterson and Bird Watcher's Digest--team up to provide reliable, expert advice on how to attract the birds you want into your yard.Which birds use nest boxes? What's required to maintain a birdhouse? What kind of habitat will attract which birds? What does it take to be a bluebird trail operator? What does it mean if baby birds or eggs disappear from their nest? Bill Thompson III answers all of these questions and more, helping readers to create yards and gardens where birds will make their homes and raise their young. It's easy enough to hang a birdfeeder. But there are plenty of other things that can attract birds to a landscape--and, in fact, birds need four essentials: food, water, shelter, and a place to nest. The more of these elements a yard has, the more attractive it is to birds. A lavishly illustrated chapter provides ideas and inspiration for creating bird havens by profiling "Birdy Backyard All-Stars," fifteen homeowners from around the country who have actively worked to create bird-friendly habitats.