Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Books

I got myself 3 new bird-related books this past week:

Fifty Uncommon Birds of the Upper Midwest by Nancy Overcott (with watercolor illustrations by Dana Gardner). Nancy is a really nice lady and very knowledgeable about birds. I met and talked with her several times while I was working at Wild Birds Unlimited. The other neat thing about her books is that she lives in SE Minnesota and most of her stories reflect her birding experiences in the Fillmore County area where I also grew up. It's neat to read her stories about places and people I know. I haven't had a chance to sit down and read this book yet, but in glancing through it I saw she wrote about birding with John Hockema.

I know John, in fact, John and his brother Chris were the guys who helped positively ID the rare Clay-Colored Sparrow in my yard last winter. John is a really good birder and he's also the person who recommended A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors (another new book shown above). I've been using Hawks & Owls of the Great Lakes Region & Eastern North America (which is still a very good field guide, in my opinion), but the "Raptors" is much more comprehensive and has lots of photos of raptors: perched, flying, front & back, etc. to give me better chances at a positive ID.

My last book is Owls of the North by David Benson. This is a really neat little book featuring some of the most amazing pictures of owls you've ever seen. The other reason I got this book is that David Benson is the Friday night speaker at the Sax-Zim Bog Festival of the Birds that I'm registered for in February, and I'm taking this book along so I can have David sign it for me.

In fact, all of these new books are going along with me on the trip.....I think Lynne will enjoy reading them too (and Mom, I'll bring them down to your house after we get back from the trip!)


Anonymous said...

WOW, I'm honored you're going to loan me some more books to look at and read, after Sax-Zim, I can hardly wait. It sounds like you two are going to have a good time.

Mary said...

I'm so impressed with your birding contacts! Woo Hoo! Good books, if you have time to read them (wink).

Tired tonight, but this is a must-see.


Anonymous said...

John and Chris are two of my favorite birders. They are fun to be with and so very gifted birders! Great guys. If you ever have a question about anything, just give them a call. Vern and I have known them for years.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It looks like you have some good books. I wish I lived close enough to borrow them. :) We actually have the hawks book. It is a good reference.

Ruth said...

Nice to have some personal contact with the authors. It does make a book more special. I buy books faster than I can read them!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
Most of the books I buy are with the intention of sharing them and fortunately we both enjoy the same kinds of books, so it works out great!

Hi Mare,
I'm finding out that it's a small "birding" world after all! John told me on the phone last week that it sometimes gets a little competitive among the more expert birders, but fortunately he's not that way and always willing to help out other less skilled birders (like me). It's nice to have someone who's willing to share their knowledge in a nice way.

Hi Cindy,
Sounds like John and Chris really get around! It was nice to have them visit our house and after meeting them my spousal unit was convinced that birders aren't as "nerdy" as he always thought!
P.S. Will I get to meet you at Sax-Zim Festival?

Hi Lisa,
I'd be happy to loan you those books after we get done with them!

Hi Ruth,
You've got a new picture!! (I didn't recognize you at first).
I know what you mean about too many books. With these 3 I'm behind again, but I treat myself to a chapter a day when I have time and it helps to spread out the reading enjoyment.

KGMom said...

Books are the best gifts ever. I love to get them, and love to buy them (for myself or for others).
Happy reading.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

You must have an impressive birding bookshelf! I keep adding to mine, particularly books that don't duplicate what I have. These look like good ones!

--Robin (Bumblebee)