Date: 2/24/17 10:06 am
From: photobill9 (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: RE: Armchair birding through books
Although not exclusively about birding, Edwin Way Teals’ four books about traveling in each season through the United States are great reads. He, and his wife, saw all of nature (including much about birds), had a great style of writing and knew and also quoted when relevant the great naturalists that came before. Also much history about populations of birds in the U.S., migration, etc. as well as everything from insects to mammals. Human interest also – for example, about the lady in south Texas (the name escapes me) who took up birding relatively late and was reporting birds that the experts didn’t think were there – until they came down and drove around with her (and her small dog)!

Bill Haddad
Spruce Pine, N.C.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Doug Pratt
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:58 PM
To: Listserve Carolinabirds
Subject: Armchair birding through books

In response to Merrill Lynch's recommendation, I would also recommend Phoebe Snetsinger's first-hand account "Birding on Borrowed Time", available through ABA Sales. It is equally tragic and truthful, and will give you a challenge keeping up with all the world birds mentioned. But it's a good read even if you don't know one bird from another. My mother passed it around her retirement home and it got rave reviews. She said you just have to treat those long lists of birds like the biblical "begats". The book is more a chronicle of obsession than a birding report. Full disclosure: I illustrated this book and am mentioned in it, but receive no money from sales.

While we're on the subject, I want to also recommend a book even older than "Kingbird Highway" (which I agree is a must-read), Peterson and Fisher's "Wild America", which chronicles a birding journey by car across North America in the early 1950s by Roger Tory Peterson and his British friend. It was before interstate highways and mass air travel. At the time, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and Bachman's Warblers were still a reasonable possibility. This book in many ways made me who I am today. It's still a great read, and brings back a long-lost era that nevertheless existed within many of our lifetimes.

Doug Pratt
Cary, NC

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