The Love Lives of Birds

Where's this book been?
by Laura Erickson | Outdoors & Nature |
ISBN: 9781635862751 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/18/2021
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, January 18, 2021
I got this handsome hardcover at Toadstool Books in Nashua. It contains snippets of natural history about birds and their behaviors - especially courting behaviors, as per the title - and has stunning illustrations by Veronica B. Lilja.

The essays include references to the specific birds' appearances in myth, pop culture, and elsewhere. The illustrations highlight each species - and are presented with a frame embellished with something iconic from their normal habitat: the Adélie penguin gets snowflakes, the crow some pine boughs, the kingfisher some berries and a crayfish, etc.

I learned a few surprising things, too - including the ways in which loons battle for nesting territory. It seems they can be both vicious and stealthy, using their aquatic abilities to dive beneath their rivals and stab them with their sharp beaks. [The whole birds-evolved-from-dinosaurs thing makes a lot of sense when you see how brutal they can be!] I also learned that their iconic red eyes only appear bright red during peak spring mating season, fading during the winter.

I also learned about "assortative mating" based on age; apparently, Eastern screech-owls (the ones I sometimes hear whinnying in the woods at night) select mates that are close in age to themselves, so if an older bird loses a mate it seeks another older bird rather than a young one. Not sure how consistent this pattern is, but it's an intriguing factoid!

Another fun entry was for Great Horned Owls, a species that is fairly common in my area. I've heard their calls at night - especially in summer when the windows are open, but even in mid-winter. And I learned that their mating season begins in mid-February, so there may be some great big owls out there celebrating Valentine's Day in their own fashion!

Another entry highlighted the Red Knot, a shorebird that feeds on - ready? - horseshoe crab eggs, during the crabs' annual egg-laying barrage in Delaware Bay. Since horseshoe crabs are among the more archaic of the arthropods, it suggests a scene that may have played out since tiny dinosaurs stalked the beaches...

Wild turkeys, trumpeter swans, bower birds, limpkins, mockingbirds, and more - a really lovely and interesting book!

Released 4 mos ago (2/12/2021 UTC) at Little Free Library, New Searles Rd [OBCZ] in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in my Little Free Library on this bright, chilly day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2021 Valentine challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count challenge (see www.birdcount.org to join the count). ***

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, May 11, 2021
I'm reclaiming this from my Little Free Library as it's gone a while without being taken; will release it elsewhere soon.

Released 1 mo ago (5/13/2021 UTC) at Little Free Library, Lamprey River Elementary School in Raymond, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library outside the school; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2021 April Showers/May Flowers challenge, for the coneflowers on the cover. ***

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