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In BirdWatching magazine, we regularly highlight new books about birds, birders, conservation, and the natural world. The reviews below were published in our July/August 2018 issue.
Celebrating the Year of the Bird
Birds of the Photo Ark Photography by Joel Sartore, text by Noah Strycker. National Geographic Books, 2018, hardcover, 240 pages.
This stunning book is one of the ways National Geographic is celebrating the Year of the Bird, the 2018 effort to draw the public’s attention to birds. The book features photos by famed photographer Joel Sartore. He founded the National Geographic Photo Ark, a documentary project in which he travels the globe to photograph every animal species under human care. His subjects are captive, of course, and are photographed in controlled conditions, usually in front of white or black backdrops.
The photos shown in the book cover a wide range of hundreds of birds: Great Blue Turaco, Scarlet Ibis, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Capuchinbird, California Condor, the Himalayan Monal on the book’s cover, and the Northern Bald Ibis shown above.
The book is organized into seven chapters, including “What’s in a Bird?,” “First Impressions,” and “Bird Brains.” Our good friend and contributor Noah Strycker wrote the informative, vibrant text that accompanies the images. Together, Sartore and Strycker have created a bird book for the ages.
Delightful comics about nature
Birding Is My Favorite Video Game: Cartoons about the Natural World from Bird and Moon By Rosemary Mosco, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2018, paperback, 112 pages, $12.99.
This book is unlike nearly every other bird book on my bookcase: It’s really funny! The author, Rosemary Mosco, is a science writer and artist who created the popular web comic Bird and Moon. Here she offers delightfully amusing comics about nature, including animal dating profiles, wildlife wine pairings, and the threat displays of completely non-threatening animals. Mosco has a wry sense of humor. More importantly, she is the rare humorist who understands nature and biology well enough to make even the most cranky birder crack a smile. — Matt Mendenhall
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