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Two gorgeous picture books reveal Mono Lake and the Everglades

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SierraWingsCover-300Too, too often when preparing an article by a writer who also happens to be a gifted photographer, we find we have too little room for all the photos we want to publish. Choosing what to include and what to set aside can be painful.

We had to make especially hard choices two times recently: in our October 2012 issue, when we published “Forest without Trees” by Marie Read, and again in February 2013, when photo-editing “In Search of Pink Gold” by Mac Stone.

Read is the author of two previous books: Secret Lives of Common Birds: Enjoying Bird Behavior through the Seasons (2005) and Common Birds and Their Songs (1998), which she co-authored with recordist Lang Elliott. Her photos and writing have appeared in BirdWatching many times. In “Forest without Trees,” she described the extraordinary scenery and surprising birds at California’s Mono Lake, one of the oldest and most important lakes for wildlife in North America.

Everglades_300Stone, executive director of Naturaland Trust in Greenville, South Carolina, has done conservation work in Ecuador and Honduras and served as a research biologist with Audubon in Tavernier, Florida. In his article, he explained why the fate of the Everglades is tied to the fortunes of the finicky and beautiful Roseate Spoonbill.

Both authors sent us way more photos than we could hope to use in these pages, and both have important stories to tell. That’s why we’re delighted to see these gorgeous new books. Read includes essays by ornithologists David W. Winkler and Justin Hite, who describe the varied habitats put at risk by water diversions to nearby Los Angeles, while Stone, helped by knowledgeable writers from the Everglades Foundation, the Corps of Engineers, and Audubon Florida, makes clear that the Everglades, once thought to be nothing more than a soggy wasteland, richly deserves to be considered a national treasure.

Sierra Wings: Birds of Mono Lake Basin, by Marie Read, Graphic Arts Books, 124 pages, paperback, $29.95.


Everglades: America’s Wetland, by Mac Stone, University Press of Florida, 284 pages, hardcover, $45.

Publishers and authors:

If you’ve brought out a book that we should consider reviewing, send it here:


BirdWatching Magazine
Madavor Media, LLC.
25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404
Braintree, MA 02184
[email protected]

Originally Published

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Chuck Hagner

Chuck Hagner

Chuck Hagner is the director of Bird City Wisconsin, a program that recognizes municipalities in the Badger State for the conservation and education activities that they undertake to make their communities healthy for birds and people. He was the editor of BirdWatching from 2001 to 2017, and his articles have appeared in Nature Conservancy and Birding. He is also the author of two books about birds and the board chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Inc., located in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Chuck Hagner on social media