About the Author: Rebecca Minardi

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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