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One Wild Bird At A Time

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 054438640X
Size: 29.17 MB
Format: PDF
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The acclaimed scientist's encounters with individual wild birds, yielding “marvelous, mind-altering” (Los Angeles Times) insights and discoveries In his modern classics One Man’s Owl and Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich has written memorably about his relationships with wild ravens and a great horned owl. In One Wild Bird at a Time, Heinrich returns to his great love: close, day-to-day observations of individual wild birds. There are countless books on bird behavior, but Heinrich argues that some of the most amazing bird behaviors fall below the radar of what most birds do in aggregate. Heinrich’s “passionate observations [that] superbly mix memoir and science” (New York Times Book Review) lead to fascinating questions — and sometimes startling discoveries. A great crested flycatcher, while bringing food to the young in their nest, is attacked by the other flycatcher nearby. Why? A pair of Northern flickers hammering their nest-hole into the side of Heinrich’s cabin deliver the opportunity to observe the feeding competition between siblings, and to make a related discovery about nest-cleaning. One of a clutch of redstart warbler babies fledges out of the nest from twenty feet above the ground, and lands on the grass below. It can’t fly. What will happen next? Heinrich “looks closely, with his trademark ‘hands-and-knees science’ at its most engaging, [delivering] what can only be called psychological marvels of knowing” (Boston Globe). An eminent biologist shares the joys of bird-watching and how observing the anomalous behaviors of individual birds has guided his research. Heinrich (Emeritus, Biology/Univ. of Vermont; The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration, 2014, etc.) smoothly describes how studying the daily lives of birds in their natural environments allows him to experience their world vicariously. Now retired and living in a cabin in the Maine woods, he devotes himself to closely observing “his avian neighbors, visitors, and vagrants, and keep[ing] daily records throughout spring, summer, fall, and winter.” Every year, he welcomes a pair of broad-wing hawks who feast at a vernal pond populated by frogs, spring peepers, and salamanders while refurbishing their old nest. Unusually, they provide a fern cover on the nest, which they update on a daily basis after their chicks hatch. Heinrich also includes anecdotes from an earlier time when he still lived in Vermont. Awakened one morning by the loud drumming of a male woodpecker on a nearby apple tree, the author wondered if perhaps he was seeking to attract a female. Surprisingly, when a female was drawn to the sound, he stopped drumming and flew away. The same behavior was repeated the following day. The author’s observations led him to conclude that the bird's drumming was not part of a mating ritual but rather a noisy advertisement of his nest-building skills. Vireos nesting near his cabin allowed him to observe how they deliberately reduced the number of eggs they were hatching to accommodate the reduced food supply after an unseasonal freeze. Heinrich explains that bird-watching has been an important part of his life since he was a boy on his family's farm. When he was 6, they moved from Germany to Maine. Finding familiar birds nesting “immediately made this place our home,” he writes. An engaging memoir of the opportunities for doing scientific research without leaving one's own backyard. (Kirkus)

Mind Of The Raven

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061863939
Size: 75.10 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too. Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven follows an exotic journey—from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic—offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling to read, at once lyrical and scientific.

A Naturalist At Large

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544986873
Size: 48.45 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Some of the world’s greatest writings on ravens and other birds, insects, trees, elephants, and more, collected for the first time in book form showing why Bernd Heinrich is so beloved for his “passionate observations [that] superbly mix memoir and science” (New York Times) From one of the finest scientist/writers of our time comes an engaging record of a life spent in close observation of the natural world, one that has yielded “marvelous, mind-altering” (Los Angeles Times) insight and discoveries. In essays that span several decades, Heinrich finds himself at home in Maine, where he plays host to visitors from Europe (the cluster flies) and more welcome guests from Asia (ladybugs); and as far away as Botswana, where he unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of elephants’ bruising treatment of mopane trees. The many fascinating discoveries in Naturalist at Large include the maple sap harvesting habits of red squirrels, and the “instant” flower-opening in the yellow iris as a way of ensuring potent pollination. Heinrich turns to his great love, the ravens, some of them close companions for years, as he designs a unique experiment to tease out the fascinating parameters of raven intelligence. Finally, he asks “Where does a biologist find hope?” while delivering an answer that informs and inspires.

Baby Birds

Author: Julie Zickefoose
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544207777
Size: 75.39 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in bird nests, or what happens after a fledgling leaves the nest, come along on Julie’s sensitive exploration of often-uncharted ornithological ground. This beautiful book is as much an art book as it is a natural history, something readers have come to expect from Julie Zickefoose. More than 400 watercolor paintings show the breathtakingly swift development of seventeen different species of wild birds. Sixteen of those species nest on Julie's wildlife sanctuary, so she knows the birds intimately, and writes about them with authority. To create the bulk of this extraordinary work, Julie would borrow a wild nestling, draw it, then return it to its nest every day until it fledged. Some were orphans she raised by hand, giving the ultimate insider’s glimpse into their lives. In sparkling prose, Julie shares a lifetime of insight about bird breeding biology, growth, and cognition. As an artist and wildlife rehabilitator, Julie possesses a unique skill set that includes sketching and painting rapidly from life as well as handling delicate hatchlings. She is uniquely positioned to create such an opus, and in fact, nothing like it has ever been attempted. Julie has many fans, and she will gain many more with this unparalleled work.

The Nesting Season

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674056493
Size: 73.31 MB
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One of the world’s great naturalists and nature writers, Bernd Heinrich shows us how the sensual beauty of birds can open our eyes to a hidden evolutionary process.

The Homing Instinct

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547523637
Size: 69.64 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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“A noted naturalist explores the centrality of home in the lives of humans and other animals . . . A special treat for readers of natural history” (Kirkus Reviews). Every year, many species make the journey from one place to another, following the same paths and ending up in the same places. Every year since boyhood, the acclaimed scientist and author Bernd Heinrich has done the same, returning to a beloved patch of western Maine woods. Which led him to wonder: What is the biology in humans of this primal pull toward a particular place, and how is it related to animal homing? In The Homing Instinct, Heinrich explores the fascinating mysteries of animal migration: how geese imprint true visual landscape memory; how scent trails are used by many creatures to locate their homes with pinpoint accuracy; and how even the tiniest of songbirds are equipped for solar and magnetic orienteering over vast distances. And he reminds us that to discount our human emotions toward home is to ignore biology itself. “A graceful blend of science and memoir . . . [Heinrich’s] ability to linger and simply be there for the moment when, for instance, an elderly spider descends from a silken strand to take the insect he offers her is the heart of his appeal.” —Julie Zickefoose, The Wall Street Journal “Deep and insightful writing.” —David Gessner, The Washington Post

Life Everlasting

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547752695
Size: 23.36 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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An enlightening look at animal behavior and the cycle of life and death, from “one of the finest naturalists of our time” (Edward O. Wilson). When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, imparted by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning not dust to dust, but life to life. “If it has not been clear to readers by now, this book confirms that Bernd Heinrich is one of the finest naturalists of our time. Life Everlasting shines with the authenticity and originality that are unique to a life devoted to natural history in the field.” —Edward O. Wilson, author of The Meaning of Human Existence and The Social Conquest of Earth

Gifts Of The Crow

Author: John Marzluff
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439198748
Size: 60.23 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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A University of Washington professor of wildlife science taps the findings of his extraordinary research into crow intelligence to offer insight into their ability to make tools and respond to environmental challenges, explaining how they engage in human-like behaviors from giving gifts and seeking revenge to playing and experiencing dreams.

The Penguin Lessons

Author: Tom Michell
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 1101967420
Size: 61.11 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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A unique and moving real-life story of the extraordinary bond between a young teacher and a penguin, this book will delight readers who loved Marley & Me, Dewey the Library Cat, The Good Good Pig, and any book by Jon Katz. In 1975, twenty-three-year-old Englishman Tom Michell follows his wanderlust to Argentina, where he becomes assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. But Michell’s adventures really begin when, on a weekend in Uruguay, he rescues a penguin covered in oil from an ocean spill, cleans the bird up, and attempts to return him to the sea. The penguin refuses to leave his rescuer’s side. “That was the moment at which he became my penguin, and whatever the future held, we’d face it together,” says Michell in this charming memoir. Michell names the penguin Juan Salvador (“John Saved”), but Juan Salvador, as it turns out, is the one who saves Michell. After Michell smuggles the bird back to Argentina and into his campus apartment, word spreads about the young Englishman’s unusual roommate. Juan Salvador is suddenly the center of attention—as mascot of the rugby team, confidant to the dorm housekeeper, co-host of Michell’s parties, and an unprecedented swimming coach to a shy boy. Even through the collapse of the Perónist government and amid the country’s economic and political strife, Juan Salvador brings joy to everyone around him—especially Michell, who considers the affectionate animal a compadre and kindred spirit. Witty and heartwarming, The Penguin Lessons is a classic in the making, a story that is both absurd and wonderful, exactly like Juan Salvador. Praise for The Penguin Lessons “I loved this book, and you will, too! It’s as charming, heartwarming, and surprising as a penguin on a roof terrace. What’s more, The Penguin Lessons teaches an important truth: that a single act of compassion can be repaid a thousand-fold.”—Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig and the National Book Award finalist The Soul of an Octopus “[Tom Michell’s] tone suits the material perfectly. . . . You believe every word. . . . No fool, this penguin. No fools, these publishers, who have unleashed such a delightful and charming book just in time for Christmas.”—Daily Mail (U.K.) “Heart-warming is a wholly inadequate phrase to describe this captivating story that is pure delight from beginning to end.”—The Bookseller (U.K.) From the Hardcover edition.

The Rarest Bird In The World The Search For The Nechisar Nightjar

Author: Vernon R L Head
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681771063
Size: 26.96 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Part detective story, part love affair, and pure adventure storytelling at its best, a celebration of the thrill of exploration and the lure of wild places during the search for the elusive Nechisar Nightjar. In 1990, a group of Cambridge scientists arrived at the Plains of Nechisar in Ethiopia. On that expedition, they collected more than two dozen specimens, saw more than three hundred species of birds, and a plethora of rare butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, mammals, and plants. As they were gathering up their findings, a wing of an unidentified bird was packed into a brown paper bag. It was to become the most famous wing in the world. This wing would set the world of science aflutter. Experts were mystified. The wing was entirely unique. It was like nothing they had ever seem before. Could a new species be named based on just one wing? After much discussion, a new species was announced: Nechisar Nightjar, or Camprimulgus Solala, which means "only wing." And so birdwatchers like Vernon began to dream. Twenty-two years later, he joins an expedition of four to find this rarest bird in the world. In this gem of nature writing, Vernon captivates and enchants as he recounts the searches by spotlight through the Ethiopian plains, and allows the reader to mediate on nature, exploration, our need for wild places, and the human compulsion to name things. Rarest Bird is a celebration of a certain way of seeing the world, and will bring out the explorer in in everyone who reads it.