rrminardi

About the Author: Rebecca Minardi

Extinction in the Anthropocene

By |June 16th, 2024|Book Reviews|

The metaphorical title of this somber book obviously refers to the biblical story of Eden, which provided an early lesson about ill-advised human boldness and overstepping. The South African author, Adam Welz, argues convincingly that human actions coupled with an alarming lack of attention...

Essays on Bearing Witness

By |May 22nd, 2024|Book Reviews|

Readers familiar with Margaret Renkl’s writing will face a dilemma with her latest publication, The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year. Should one read the book as a weekly nature devotional over the course of a year or...

The Fight to Protect the Birds

By |March 24th, 2024|Book Reviews|

We’re in trouble, and we know it. Bird numbers are decreasing at a scarily precipitous rate. Conservation, once as simple as convincing women not to wear feathers in their hats, has become a labyrinth of strategies for habitat restoration...

Fantastic Flycatchers

By |March 15th, 2024|Book Reviews|

“The identification of Empidonax flycatchers and pewees can be a daunting challenge.” So begins, on the inside cover, the text of the latest contribution to ABA Area bird-ID challenges from the inveterate duo of Cin-Ty Lee and Andrew Birch...

Outstanding Owls

By |January 14th, 2024|Book Reviews|

Owl fans, rejoice: Jennifer Ackerman’s latest book, What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds, is the ultimate guide to all things feathered and nocturnal. This popular science book sets out to...

Eight Birdy Books for Kids

By |November 11th, 2023|Book Reviews|

These eight new titles from both new and veteran authors will encourage and inspire little ones to find joy outdoors while looking for birds. The first book, Timothy Musso’s gorgeous Chasing the Sun (The Creative Company) follows Arctic Terns as they spend their life on the wing. Musso’s woodcut illustrations...

The Quest for 800

By |October 8th, 2023|Book Reviews|

One of my favorite parts of birding with other people is hearing their stories—as birders, we all have them. The time we spent an ungodly amount of time waiting for a rarity. The time we got our car stuck in the mud...

It’s Back

By |October 2nd, 2023|Book Reviews|

Because hope springs eternal, I spend an inordinate—and so far unrewarded—amount of time each summer looking for a Mediterranean Gull here in northern New Jersey. It’s bound to happen: As this species continues to rapidly increase in numbers and in range...

The World of Seabirds

By |September 24th, 2023|Book Reviews|

Seabird addiction for many of us began with Peter Harrison’s Seabirds: An Identification Guide back in the 1980s and 1990s. This niche has grown in the last 30 years with pelagic trips now available from ports all over the world! As more birders...

Unraveling the Secrets of Migration

By |September 17th, 2023|Book Reviews|

Consider Winged Migration, the 2001 documentary that is still available for streaming more than two decades later; A World on the Wing, Scott Weidensaul’s bestseller of two years ago; and Wingspan, the wildly fashionable board and video game. The popular appetite...

The Restorative Force of Birding

By |September 11th, 2023|Book Reviews|

Robert Bell spent 35 years as a successful mineral exploration geologist and as such traveled widely. Eventually Lyme disease made life so challenging that he had to, with much reluctance, retire early. Unsparingly and intensely personal...

Wonderful (Eastern) Warblers

By |September 3rd, 2023|Book Reviews|

Warblers of Eastern North America by Chris Earley is a welcome second edition to Warblers of the Great Lakes Region and Eastern North America, published 20 years ago, and is one book in a whole library of field guides by Firefly Books...

A Poignant and Refreshing Travelogue

By |July 24th, 2023|Book Reviews|

Much as with birds themselves, it is not uncommon for birders to feel a sense of Zugunruhe, or migratory restlessness. Birding is, in many ways, a travel-centric hobby, and it is natural to desire to see new birds in far-flung places. I’ll never forget...

Preventing Bird Strikes

By |July 1st, 2023|Book Reviews|

First off, let me be entirely clear: I am biased. I am extremely biased. In 2005, I attended a conference in Chicago where Dr. Klem gave a presentation to architects about bird mortality caused by windows. He was the frustrated voice...

An Intrepid Photographer’s Stunning Compilation

By |June 17th, 2023|Book Reviews|

Wildlife biologist, photographer, and filmmaker Tim Laman’s Bird Planet is a vibrant, richly detailed, highly captivating, and in-spirational photographic voyage through eight different geographic regions: Southeast Asia, Japan, North America, Africa, South America, New Guinea, Australia, and Antarctica...

Birding a Little Closer to Home

By |April 18th, 2023|Book Reviews|

“Travel is inherently harmful,” he declared. It was 2017, and I was sitting in a lively graduate class in the Community Sustainability program at Michigan State when a classmate made this wild statement. The rest of us were flabbergasted. “What about our research trips?” my friend retorted. “Traveling is how...

Why Birds Do What They Do

By |March 27th, 2023|Book Reviews|

One of the best parts of watching birds is observing their behavior. Birds are rarely boring. They fly, forage, interact with each other and with their environment, court, raise young, deal with danger, and undertake mind blowing migrations, just to name a few of the fascinating things birds do...

From Board Game to Beautiful Book

By |March 16th, 2023|Book Reviews|

You’ll be celebrating more than birds when you pick up a copy of Celebrating Birds: An Interactive Field Guide Featuring Art from Wingspan, by Natalia Rojas and Ana María Martínez. This illustrated, introductory guide to North American birds is the outcome of two innovative women-led projects within two distinct industries...

What Birds Mean to Us

By |March 13th, 2023|Book Reviews|

I have to admit, my first impression of Richard Pope’s Flight from Grace: A Cultural History of Humans and Birds was of its size: This is a hefty, almost textbook-sized tome, not a book suited to light bedtime reading. But as I flipped through it, admiring the full-color illustrations on each page...

Hints and Hot Spots for New Mexican Birds

By |February 6th, 2023|Book Reviews|

I have had spectacular fails birding in New Mexico. They have often resulted because I simply couldn’t find where the bird was supposed to be. The remoteness of many parts of the state, the inadequacy of various maps, and my predilection to figure out things along the way have all...

The Inspiration of Birds Throughout History

By |January 23rd, 2023|Book Reviews|

When I first hefted Bird: Exploring the Winged World, all 11 square inches and six pounds of it, I deemed it a coffee table book and braced myself for the kind of tome that is gorgeously illustrated but whose covers are rarely cracked. I was wrong. Bird is many things...

The Curious and Striking Belted Kingfisher

By |January 16th, 2023|Book Reviews|

Like any great story, the scene is set early in the book. Marina Richie first spots the pair of Belted Kingfishers she grows to love while im-mersing the reader in her experience at Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, Montana. “To visualize the watershed,” she writes, “cup two hands together. Rattlesnake Creek...

The Many Values of Community Science

By |December 13th, 2022|Book Reviews|

Have you ever had the experience of being absorbed in observing a bird and having a stranger ask, “What are you doing?” and “What do you see?” How to answer such questions? Famed Louisiana ornithologist Van Remsen counsels birders to treat birding as a “serious pursuit”; he suggests we describe...

A Modern Birdwatcher’s Guide to Everything

By |December 5th, 2022|Book Reviews|

Compared to Christopher W. Leahy’s earlier encyclopedic tome of 917 pages, the Birdwatcher’s Companion to North American Birdlife (first published in 1982), Birdpedia is indeed a brief compendium. But don’t let its small size and number of pages fool you. This book packs an astonishing amount of information into 272...

The Excellent, Exceptional, Elegant Estrildids

By |November 29th, 2022|Book Reviews|

The title of this book might not immediately grab the attention of those who don’t delve much into taxonomy, but the cover image will. Indeed, the photograph of a Zebra Waxbill represents the indisputable visual appeal that many members of the family of estrildid finches hold. It is that beauty...

Words, and Birds, In the Air

By |October 11th, 2022|Book Reviews|

The first hint for many of us that something was going on was a throwaway line in Chandler S. Robbins’s Golden Guide, “Watch for them [migrating parulids] flying within 500 feet of the treetops in early morning.” Watching, I found, was easy—but actually identifying passerines in the air posed…

Arrival of the Long-awaited Argentina Field Guide

By |October 4th, 2022|Book Reviews|

If field guides had gestation periods, then the long-awaited Birds of Argentina and the South–west Atlantic’s was elephantine. Since Mark Pearman and Juan Ignacio Areta started work on it almost two decades ago, rumors of the mythical guide circled like vultures on the now quiescent Birdforum. Yet it survived...

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