Book Review: The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

In The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes traces the history of birds—as well as humans’ relationships and interactions with them—over several millennia and across multiple continents. Barnes is a UK-based nature writer, so North American readers will enjoy an opportunity to become more familiar with Britain’s backyard birds, such as the wood pigeon, the Scottish …

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Picture Book Review: A Garden to Save the Birds by Wendy McClure; illustrated by Beatriz Mayumi

Beautifully illustrated, the heartwarming story of A Garden to Save the Birds begins with the “BAP!” of a bird flying into a window. Young Callum and his sister Emmy run outside to see the bird flying away. At first, Callum and Emmy are confused: why did the bird fly into their window? Realizing the window’s reflection of …

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2/3 for the birds

We’re losing birds, by the billions. Which is why I wanted to mention a movement in which you devote 2/3 of your land to native species of plants. If we could plant even half of our 40 million acres of lawn in 2/3 native plants, and keep them pesticide free, we could turn the bird …

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Bird by Word: Two reviews of American Birds: A Literary Companion

As I finished reading American Birds: A Literary Companion I realized that there were two reviews I could write: the “typical American birder” review and the “atypical vegan birder” review. And that, in the end, I needed to write both reviews. Let’s begin with the “typical American birder” review. In this review, I admire the …

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Review: Edge of Awe: Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country

Funny how a word can change on you. When I moved to Oregon nearly a decade ago, I first heard about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about the Steens mountain range, and the diversity of bird species that migrate through this region. Back then, Malheur meant wilderness. But in 2016, after group of armed men …

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Where Song Began

What I most missed after a trip to Australia last year wasn’t the beaches or the local accents. It was the sounds of the birds. The plaintive cries of the Australian ravens, the laughing kookaburras, and the screeching cockatoos. I realized after I returned home that I never had associated Australia with exotic birds. This …

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BirdNote: Chirp-sized bird stories from the popular radio show

Here in Ashland, Oregon, I listen to our local radio station KSKQ. And for the past several years I’ve enjoyed the weekly, two-minute BirdNote programs. So I was excited to find that there is now a BirdNote book. What the book lacks in audio, it makes up for in very high print production values; it is …

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Holy Mōlī: Albatross and Other Ancestors

The Laysan albatross is known as Mōlī in Hawaiian. It is difficult not to speak in superlatives when describing the albatross. The bird has a wingspan longer than most humans are tall. Albatross far outlive most other birds — with one active albatross now 64 years old. They spend most of their lives  at sea, gliding just a few inches above …

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