Birdbooker Report 334-5

25 August 2014 by GrrlScientist, posted in Birdbooker Report

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts.


“Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin.
Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.)

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

~ Arnold Lobel [1933-1987] author of many popular children's books.

Compiled by Ian "Birdbooker" Paulsen, the Birdbooker Report is a weekly report that has been published online for years, listing the wide variety of nature, natural history, ecology, animal behaviour, science and history books that have been newly released or republished in North America and in the UK. The books listed here were received by Ian during the previous week, courtesy of various publishing houses.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Bradshaw, John. Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. 2014. Basic Books. Paperback: 307 pages. Price: $16.99 U.S. [Amazon UK/audio download UK; Amazon US/kindle US/audible audio edition US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel the myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends. Tracing the cat's evolution from lone predator to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that although cats and humans have been living together for at least eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. Cats still have three out of four paws firmly planted in the wild, and within only a few generations can easily revert back to the independent way of life that was the exclusive preserve of their predecessors some 10,000 years ago. Cats are astonishingly flexible, and given the right environment they can adapt to a life of domesticity with their owners -- but to continue do so, they will increasingly need our help. If we're to live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks: understanding their body language, keeping their environments -- however small -- sufficiently interesting, and becoming more proactive in managing both their natural hunting instincts and their relationships with other cats.
    A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense offers humane, penetrating insights about the domestic cat that challenge our most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets' lives -- and ours.
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: Cat lovers should enjoy this book.
  2. Gorman, Gerard. Woodpeckers of the World: A Photographic Guide. 2014. Firefly Books. Hardbound: 528 pages. Price: $49.95 U.S. [Amazon UK; Amazon US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Woodpeckers of the World is the first definitive guide to all 239 species of woodpecker [Actually there are two other modern woodpecker monographs: Short (1982) and Winkler et al. (1995).]. Beautiful color photographs of male, female and juvenile woodpeckers taken in their natural habitat reveal the birds' coloring, markings, and sexual dimorphism.
    Detailed text looks at general woodpecker biology, followed by 239 detailed species accounts. Identification notes are followed by brief entries on food, voice, drumming, habitat, status, distribution, geographic variation and confusion species. Each entry features at least two, usually three, high-quality photographs showing an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile. In all, more than 700 carefully selected images highlight identification criteria. Each species entry also contains an accurate range map [although some of the range maps for North American species could use some work.] .
    Woodpeckers, an order that includes some of the oldest avian lineages, are one of the most popular families of birds, and they are certainly one of the more unusual. Their ability to excavate holes in wood is legendary. The family ranges from the tiny piculets of tropical forests to the mighty Imperial Woodpecker of Mexico, sadly now extinct. In between, there is a considerable variety of species inhabiting forests and woodlands on all continents except Australasia and Antarctica.
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with a serious interest in woodpeckers.

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

This is a guest piece written by Ian "Birdbooker" Paulsen. Ian is an avid book collector who is especially well-known to the publishing world. He collects newly-published books about nature, animals and birds, science, and history, and he also collects children's books on these topics. Ian writes brief synopses about these books on his website, The Birdbooker Report.

Leave a Reply


one × 4 =