Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bird News

The Christian Science Monitor reviews two books on birding. The first is William Souder's Under a Wild Sky, a book about John James Audubon and the beginning of American ornithology. The second is Tim Gallagher's The Grail Bird, an account of his chase after the ivory-billed woodpecker, a chase that he claims was ultimately successful when he and Bobby Harrison saw the bird from a canoe. The reviewer claims that the authors are better at portraying the strange people that their subjects encounter than the birds themselves. One ought to consider the intended subjects of the books before seeing this as criticism. Meanwhile, the Macon Telegraph has a list of the books concerning the ivory-billed woodpecker.

This space has perhaps been unduly concerned with piping plovers and least terns. Well, there is room for at least one more article. The Billings Gazette reports that in North Dakota, at least, piping plovers and least terns are doing well, with the former at 1756 individuals and the latter at 904, both record numbers.

The South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society in Indiana is looking for information about bird observations in local parks. The society wants to nominate Potato Creek, Boot Lake, and Bendix Meadows as important bird areas, and needs further data regarding observations - both species seen and number of individuals, if possible. Even though this is in Indiana, and not the D.C. area, I post it because it is an example of how layman birders can contribute to conservation through their hobby. Some other examples are listed here.