Hot New Bird Book Releases - Fall, 2012

There are some exciting new bird books coming this fall!


By Roberta Olson, The NY Historical Society

A national treasure is celebrated in this landmark publication. The Birds of America is a monumental classic, but it has never been explored like this before. This important new volume presents all the dazzling watercolors that Audubon painted for these monumental engravings. We are familiar with the prints engraved by Robert Havell Jr., but Audubon’s Aviary illuminates the original masterpieces that were created by Audubon himself and tells the story behind their creation with fresh insights and engaging quotes from his writings. These powerful paintings—all newly photographed using state-of-the-art techniques—possess a startling immediacy, vibrancy, and fluidity that link natural history, art, and a respect for the environment.These watercolors transmit Audubon’s devotion to his craft with their inscriptions and layers of media wrought with a miniaturist’s attention to detail and their revolutionary compositions, which for the first time in history depicted all the birds life-size. Audubon is considered America’s first great watercolorist, introducing innovative approaches developed over a lifetime of study. Even judged alongside today’s technology, his dramatic tableaux remain some of the most spectacular natural history documents and visually arresting works of art ever produced.


By David Attenborough, Errol Fuller

Originally perceived and idolized by the natives of New Guinea and discovered by Europeans in the sixteenth century, birds of paradise have long enchanted observers with their extraordinary beauty. In Drawn from Paradise, world renowned BBC broadcaster David Attenborough and artist and author Errol Fuller share their passion for these breathtaking creatures, offering bird lovers and nature aficionados an enthralling collection of interesting facts and stunningly beautiful, very rare hand-painted images of some of the most exotic winged creatures in the world.

About the Author

 David Attenborough is one of the world's leading television broadcasters. His interest in the Birds of Paradise began at a very early age, leading to various expeditions to New Guinea to see them in the wild. The award-winning documentary Attenborough in Paradise fulfilled a dream to record in the wild the courtship display of these magnificent birds. Errol Fuller is well known for his books on extinction and extinct species, as well as an artist and collector of natural history material. He is passionate about the Birds of Paradise.


By Mariette Nowak

Go beyond bird feeders! Learn how to create outstanding bird habitats in your own yard with native plants that offer food, cover, and nesting sites for birds. This guide is packed with color photographs, sage advice, detailed instructions, and garden plans. It features nine different habitat gardens for hummingbirds, bluebirds, wintering birds, migrant birds, and birds that frequent prairies, wetlands, lakes, shrublands, and woodlands, along with advice about maintaining your plantings and augmenting them with nest boxes, birdbaths, misters, and perches. The information on recommended plant species includes their native ranges in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin; the birds they attract; their visual characteristics; and their cultivation. Mariette Nowak also describes how gardeners featured in this book have gone beyond their own garden gates to work for the protection and restoration of bird habitat in their neighborhoods and communities. Birdscaping in the Midwest provides many sources of further information, including publications, websites, organizations, and native plant nurseries.


By Pete Dunne, Clay Sutton, David Sibley

Among the world's most popular birds, hawks can be some of the most difficult birds to identify. They're most often seen flying high above and at a distance.

 In the first edition of Hawks in Flight, Pete Dunne, David Sibley, and Clay Sutton presented a holistic method of hawk identification, using general body shape, the way they move, and the places they are most likely to be seen.

 The new edition of the book that Roger Tory Peterson called a "landmark" integrates an array of carefully selected photographs, David Sibley's superb illustrations, and a clear, information-packed text and takes raptor identification to a higher level. This edition covers all of the raptors that breed in North America, including those with limited ranges in Florida, the Southwest, and Texas.

 Picking up where its predecessor ended by including two decades of raptor identification refinement, Hawks in Flight summarizes and places in users’ hands an identification skill set that used to take years to master. The unique alchemy of Dunne, Sibley, and Sutton—including their collective experience of more than one hundred years watching hawks—make this book a singular achievement and a must-have for anyone interested in hawks.


By Elizabeth Gehrman

The inspiring story of David Wingate, a living legend among birders, who brought the Bermuda petrel back from presumed extinction

 David Wingate is known in Bermuda as the birdman and in the international conservation community as a living legend for single-handedly bringing back the cahow, or Bermuda petrel—a seabird that flies up to 82,000 miles a year, drinking seawater and sleeping on the wing. For millennia, the birds came ashore every November to breed on this tiny North Atlantic island. But less than a decade after Bermuda’s 1612 settlement, the cahows had vanished. Or so it was thought until the early 1900s, when tantalizing hints of their continued existence began to emerge. In 1951, two scientists invited fifteen-year-old Wingate along on a bare-bones expedition to find the bird. The team stunned the world by locating seven nesting pairs, and Wingate knew his life had changed forever. He would spend the next fifty years battling natural and man-made disasters, bureaucracy, and personal tragedy with single-minded devotion and antiestablishment outspokenness. In April 2009, Wingate saw his dream fulfilled, as the birds returned to Nonsuch, an island habitat that he had hand-restored, plant-by-plant, giving the Bermuda petrels the chance they needed in their centuries-long fight for survival.


By Pete Dunne

  • How to get good, then better, then even better at identifying birds in the field-and have fun doing it 
  • A straightforward approach from Pete Dunne, one of the country's top birders and birding instructors, written in his distinctive style 
  • Includes descriptive information for 75 bird groups to help get the ID process off on the right foot 
  • Practical, expert advice and entertaining in-the-field examples of birding successes and common mistakes

By Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash, Robert Still


This illustrated book vividly depicts the most endangered birds in the world and provides the latest information on the threats each species faces and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 571 bird species are classified as critically endangered or endangered, and a further four now exist only in captivity. This landmark book features stunning photographs of 500 of these species--the results of a prestigious international photographic competition organized specifically for this book. It also showcases paintings by acclaimed wildlife artist Tomasz Cofta of the 75 species for which no photos are known to exist. 

The World's Rarest Birds has introductory chapters that explain the threats to birds, the ways threat categories are applied, and the distinction between threat and rarity. The book is divided into seven regional sections--Europe and the Middle East; Africa and Madagascar; Asia; Australasia; Oceanic Islands; North America, Central America, and the Caribbean; and South America. Each section includes an illustrated directory to the bird species under threat there, and gives a concise description of distribution, status, population, key threats, and conservation needs. This one-of-a-kind book also provides coverage of 62 data-deficient species.


By Kathleen Kaska

Millions of people know a little bit about efforts to save the whooping crane, thanks to the movie Fly Away Home and annual news stories about ultralight planes leading migratory flocks. But few realize that in the spring of 1941, the population of these magnificent birds—pure white with black wingtips, standing five feet tall with a seven-foot wingspan—had reached an all-time low of fifteen. Written off as a species destined for extinction, the whooping crane has made a slow but unbelievable comeback over the last seven decades.
          This recovery would have been impossible if not for the efforts of Robert Porter Allen, an ornithologist with the National Audubon Society, whose courageous eight-year crusade to find the only remaining whooping crane nesting site in North America garnered nationwide media coverage. His search and his impassioned lectures about overdevelopment, habitat loss, and unregulated hunting triggered a media blitz that had thousands of citizens on the lookout for the birds during their migratory trips.
          Allen’s tireless efforts changed the course of U.S. environmental history and helped lead to the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973. Though few people remember him today, his life reads like an Indiana Jones story, full of danger and adventure, failure and success. His amazing story deserves to be told.


From National Geographic

A lighthearted and broadly cultural and visual approach to learning everything there is to know about birds, bird-watching, birds in history and the arts, and life on the wing. Short narrative pieces are interspersed with sidebars, quotes, top-ten lists, and how-to instructions. Illustrated with photographs, contemporary and archival art, maps, and diagrams, the book has lots of cross-references and riches to find on every page.

Chapters include:

I. The Birds in your World
A lively introduction featuring the joys of birds and bird-watching, how birds are everywhere you look, why people enjoy and appreciate them, why they are so amazing and so beloved, and why they have been important to every culture throughout history.

II. The Anatomy of a Bird
A lyrical dissection of the parts of a bird, including digressions on feathers, color, beaks, wings, talons. Size and shape variations and how they respond to environment and evolution. What birds eat and how they eat it.

III. Birds Through the Ages
Birds in ancient and native cultures. Bird myths, legends, and superstitions. Bird gods and goddesses. Famous birds in history such as Caesar's death foretold, St. Francis's Sermon to the Birds, Poe's Raven, Mao Tse Tung's sparrow campaign. Birds as pets, birds as hunting aids, birds as food.

IV. The Life of a Bird
The life cycle of birds, starting with mating behaviors of all sorts of species. Nesting behaviors. Varieties of nests, varieties of eggs.

V. Science Discovers the Bird
Early ornithologists. Catesby, Darwin, Audubon, Peterson. Famous bird artists. Famous bird quests. Bird evolution: birds and dinosaurs.

VI. Birds on the Wing
Flight and how it works. Migration -- how, why, when, where. Maps and amazing facts about bird migrations.

VII. To Be a Birder
Basics including bird-watching, bird taxonomy, how to use a field guide. Simple bird-watching rules of thumb. Where to go, when to go. Equipment needed. Keeping a life list.

VIII. Bringing the Birds Back Home
Attraction and conservation. Birdhouses, bird feeders, bird baths, bird seed choices, protecting birds from predator animals in your neighborhood. National and international conservation efforts. The future of birds.



John James Audubon  (Author), Joel Oppenheimer (Author)

A never-before-published edition of the rare chromolithographic Audubon prints of American birds.
John James Audubon is arguably America’s most widely recognized and collected artist. His Birds of America has been reproduced often, beginning with the double elephant folio printed by Havell in England, followed by a much smaller “Octavo” edition printed in Philadelphia and sold by subscription. After Audubon’s death, his family arranged with the New York printer Julius Bien to produce another elephant folio edition, this time by the new chromolithographic process. It too would be sold by subscription, but the venture, begun in 1858, was brought to an abrupt end by the Civil War. Only 150 plates were produced, and the number remaining today is slight; they are among the rarest and most sought after Audubon prints. 

 Bound in cloth with a full cloth slipcase, this beautifully produced book is the first complete reproduction of Bien chromolithographs and will become the centerpiece of any bird lover’s library. 150 color illustrations.


By Seton Gordon

Reprint of classic text from 100 years ago.


By Paul Hackney


Story of reintroduction in areas that suffered catastrophic decline in numbers.



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