Birdbooker Report 33

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“One cannot have too many good bird books”
–Ralph Hoffmann, Birds of the Pacific States (1927).

The Birdbooker Report is a special weekly report of wide variety of science, nature and behavior books that are or soon will be available for purchase. This report is written by one of my Seattle bird pals, Ian “Birdbooker” Paulsen, and is published here for your enjoyment. Here’s this week’s issue of the Birdbooker Report by which lists ecology, environment, natural history and bird books that are (or will soon be) available for purchase.


  1. Pyle, Peter. Identification Guide to North American Birds: Part II. 2008. Slate Creek Press. Paperback: 835 pages. Price: $49.50 U.S. (Available through Slate Creek Press and Buteo Books.) SUMMARY: Although designed for banders, birders will find this book very useful! Part 2 covers the waterfowl through the alcids. GrrlScientist comment: I really really want this book! I have part one, and have waited eleven years for part two to be completed.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Drayson, Nicholas. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. 2008. Houghton Mifflin. Hardbound: 202 pages. Price: $22.00 U.S. [Amazon: $14.96]. SUMMARY: This novel is centered around a love triangle and birding in Kenya.
  2. Soennichsen, John. Bretz’s Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World’s Greatest Flood. 2008. Sasquatch Books. Hardbound: 290 pages. Price: $23.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.29]. SUMMARY: Follows the life and career of geologist J Harlen Bretz (1882-1981) and his discovery on how the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington (State) were formed.
  3. Todd, Kim. Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis. 2007. Harcourt. Paperback: 330 pages. Price: $15.00 U.S. [Amazon: $10.20]. SUMMARY: This book profiles Maria Sibylia Merian (1647-1717) and her early research on insect metamorphosis. GrrlScientist comment: I saw a bunch of Maria Sibylla Merian’s artwork when I was in London when I visited Buckingham Palace, and it is gorgeous! This book (which I peeked at while visiting the University Bookstore in Seattle), looks wonderful.
  4. Tweti, Mira. Of Parrots and People: The Sometimes Funny, Always Fascinating, Often Catastrophic Collision of Two Intelligent Species. 2008. Viking. Hardbound: 317 pages. Price: $25.95 U.S. [Amazon: $17.13]. SUMMARY: A detailed look at parrots and the parrot trade. GrrlScientist comment: I have a copy of this book and I have strong reservations about this book because Tweti is a journalist with a casual relationship with the truth when it comes to keeping birds as pets. My review of this title is upcoming, so stay tuned for it!

About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Birdbooker Report 33

  1. RM says:

    Bretz’s Flood should be an interesting book. The glacial Lake Missoula flood is a great ice age story.