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When the second edition of the “Big Sibley” was published last year, you knew it was just a matter of time before the smaller Eastern and Western regional guides were revised as well. And now, thanks to Amazon, we have a potential date: March 29, 2016.

There are no additional details, other than page count, at this time. But you can go ahead and place a pre-order:

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Revised Edition

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America: Revised Edition

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the MidwestKaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest
by Kenn Kaufman, Kimberly Kaufman, and Jeff Sayre

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

The only field guide to bring along to identify the birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, rocks, and sky of the Midwest.

Even if we focus on certain things in the outdoors, most of us are curious about everything else that might turn up. Serious birders, botanists, and entomologists all have their specialized guides, but this book is the guide to “everything else”—the one guide to take when you go out for a walk. Wow, that’s a cool-looking mushroom. Wonder what it is. Hey, look at that weird insect.

Birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, grasses, even constellations overhead and rocks underfoot—it’s all here. With authoritative yet broad coverage, nontechnical language, and more than two thousand color photographs, this book is an essential reference for nature lovers living in or visiting Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

 

If you live in one of the states covered, or will be visiting and spending significant time outdoors, I would highly recommend having this guide close by. “Combo guides” such as this can be really valuable if done well, and this series is done very well.

 

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest
by Kenn Kaufman, Kimberly Kaufman, and Jeff Sayre
Flexicover; 416 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; May 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0618456949
$20.00

by Dominic Couzens

A fun look at 40 incredible bird species and families.

Read the full review »

Bird Ringing Station ManualBird Ringing Station Manual
by Przemysław Busse and Włodzimierz Meissner

From De Gruyter:

In an attempt to standardise elements of the station routine, Bird Ringing Station Manual describes the procedures used in passerine and wader ringing stations. It offers a comparative analysis of versatile evaluation techniques such as measurements, orientation experiments and monitoring. The authors meticulously analyse different methods used to track birds, including catching passerines with mist-nets in land and wetland habitat, as well as the use of the Heligoland trap. Bird Ringing Station Manual, as a successful bid to establish a bird station routine that is favourable to both birds and ringers, will benefit all professional and amateur ringers.

 

Anyone involved in bird banding (ringing) should check this out. The hardcover book is expensive, but the eBook (either PDF or ePub format) is available for FREE from the publisher.

 

Bird Ringing Station Manual
by Przemysław Busse and Włodzimierz Meissner
Hardcover; 211 pages
De Gruyter; March, 2015
ISBN: 978-83-7656-053-3
$140.00

Here are the bird book reviews that I found around the net last month.

Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North AmericaPeterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America
by Vladimir Dinets

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

To see a fog shrew, should you go to Muir Woods National Monument? If you’re planning to visit Yellowstone National Park, what animals can you expect to see? When should a photographer visit to get a shot of a gray fox?

A mammal finder’s guide (rather than an identification guide), this book tells you how to look, where to go, and what you are likely to find there. Two main sections provide a choice of looking up information by place or by species: The first includes regions of North America, highlighting the best places to look for mammals. The species-finding guide has accounts of more than four hundred species of mammals, including detailed directions to specific parks, refuges, and other locations; the best times of day (or night) to look; and much more information specific to each mammal.

 

A guide such as this was LONG overdue. This should prove useful both to those looking for specific mammals and those who want to know what to look for on their travels. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to get a lot of use out of this new guide.

 

Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America
by Vladimir Dinets
Paperback; 368 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; May 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0544373273
$19.95

by Christine Goff

A murder mystery novel centered around a missing birder.

Read the full review »

Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce, and ConservationFeeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce, and Conservation
by Paul J. Baicich, Margaret A. Barker, and Carrol L. Henderson

From Texas A&M University Press:

Today, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, more than fifty million Americans feed birds around their homes, and over the last sixty years, billions of pounds of birdseed have filled millions of feeders in backyards everywhere. Feeding Wild Birds in America tells why and how a modest act of provision has become such a pervasive, popular, and often passionate aspect of people’s lives.

Each chapter provides details on one or more bird-feeding development or trend including the “discovery” of seeds, the invention of different kinds of feeders, and the creation of new companies. Also woven into the book are the worlds of education, publishing, commerce, professional ornithology, and citizen science, all of which have embraced bird feeding at different times and from different perspectives.

The authors take a decade-by-decade approach starting in the late nineteenth century, providing a historical overview in each chapter before covering topical developments (such as hummingbird feeding and birdbaths). On the one hand, they show that the story of bird feeding is one of entrepreneurial invention; on the other hand, they reveal how Americans, through a seemingly simple practice, have come to value the natural world.

 

A history of bird-feeding? Yes, and it’s actually interesting.

 

Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce, and Conservation
by Paul J. Baicich, Margaret A. Barker, and Carrol L. Henderson
Flexicover; 319 pages
Texas A&M University Press; March 30, 2015
ISBN: 978-1623492113
$27.95

by Bill Oddie

A collection of articles from a British author that deserves to be more well-known in America.

Read the full review »

The House of OwlsThe House of Owls
by Tony Angell

From Yale University Press:

For a quarter of a century, Tony Angell and his family shared the remarkable experience of closely observing pairs of western screech owls that occupied a nesting box outside the window of their forest home. The journals in which the author recorded his observations, and the captivating drawings he created, form the heart of this compelling book—a personal account of an artist-naturalist’s life with owls. Angell’s extensive illustrations show owls engaged in what owls do—hunting, courting, raising families, and exercising their inquisitive natures—and reveal his immeasurable respect for their secret lives and daunting challenges.

Angell discusses the unique characteristics that distinguish owls from other bird species and provides a fascinating overview of the impact owls have had on human culture and thought. He also offers detailed scientific descriptions of the nineteen species of owls found in North America, as well as their close relatives elsewhere. Always emphasizing the interaction of humans and owls, the author affirms by his own example the power of these birds both to beguile and to inspire.

 

Yes, another book about owls. But from what I understand, this is a good one.

 

The House of Owls
by Tony Angell
Hardcover; 224 pages
Yale University Press; April 28, 2015
ISBN: 978-0300203448
$30.00