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Picture book shows what we most want to know about nesting birds

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Into the Nest_300x262If we were to choose the one person we’d like to give us a tour of our neighborhood park or our own backyard, it would be Laura Erickson. And if we were to choose a photographer to record the birds, behaviors, nests, and nestlings that Laura would surely show us, it would be Marie Read.

Erickson, of course, is one of our contributing editors, the writer of Attracting Birds, our popular regular column about feeding, sheltering, and understanding birds in your backyard. She’s also the author of seven good books about birds, including National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America (2013) and The Bird Watching Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond (Storey, 2009).

Read should be just as familiar. Her writing and photographs have appeared in BirdWatching for years, and she is the author of three books, all of them beautiful. We reviewed the most recent, Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin (Graphic Arts Books, 2014), in our December 2014 issue.

In this heavily illustrated new book, Erickson and Read team up to reveal the family lives of almost 50 common North American land birds. Erickson, as she does in her column, serves up copious information without ever speaking down — about courtship, mating, nest construction, egg-laying, hatching, fledging, and surviving — while Read, through her expert photos, shows not only what different birds’ nests look like, but also what sort of behaviors you should watch for near them and how to recognize the chicks that, fingers crossed, will soon fly from them.

Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting and Family Lives of Birds, by Laura Erickson and Marie Read, Storey Publishing, 208 pages, paperback, $16.95.


Attracting Birds by Laura Erickson.
Read Marie Read’s feature story about Mono Lake in California.

Read more reviews from our June 2015 issue

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A field guide to five boroughs of feathered New Yorkers.

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A guide to Minnesota’s bird-rich state parks.


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