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Books > History > Americas > United States > State & Local > 0544387635
  1. One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives
    One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives
    One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives
    One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives
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  2. One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (25 reviews)
    Price R585.00

Additional Information

The acclaimed scientist's encounters with individual wild birds, yielding “marvelous, mind-altering” (Los Angeles Times) insights and discoveries

In his modern classics One Man’s Owl and Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich has written memorably about his relationships with wild ravens and a great horned owl. 
In One Wild Bird at a Time, Heinrich returns to his great love: close, day-to-day observations of individual wild birds. There are countless books on bird behavior, but Heinrich argues that some of the most amazing bird behaviors fall below the radar of what most birds do in aggregate. Heinrich’s “passionate observations [that] superbly mix memoir and science” (New York Times Book Review) lead to fascinating questions — and sometimes startling discoveries. A great crested flycatcher, while bringing food to the young in their nest, is attacked by the other flycatcher nearby. Why? A pair of Northern flickers hammering their nest-hole into the side of Heinrich’s cabin deliver the opportunity to observe the feeding competition between siblings, and to make a related discovery about nest-cleaning. One of a clutch of redstart warbler babies fledges out of the nest from twenty feet above the ground, and lands on the grass below. It can’t fly. What will happen next? 
Heinrich “looks closely, with his trademark ‘hands-and-knees science’ at its most engaging, [delivering] what can only be called psychological marvels of knowing” (Boston Globe). 
An eminent biologist shares the joys of bird-watching and how observing the anomalous behaviors of individual birds has guided his research.
Heinrich (Emeritus, Biology/Univ. of Vermont; The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration, 2014, etc.) smoothly describes how studying the daily lives of birds in their natural environments allows him to experience their world vicariously. Now retired and living in a cabin in the Maine woods, he devotes himself to closely observing “his avian neighbors, visitors, and vagrants, and keep[ing] daily records throughout spring, summer, fall, and winter.” Every year, he welcomes a pair of broad-wing hawks who feast at a vernal pond populated by frogs, spring peepers, and salamanders while refurbishing their old nest. Unusually, they provide a fern cover on the nest, which they update on a daily basis after their chicks hatch. Heinrich also includes anecdotes from an earlier time when he still lived in Vermont. Awakened one morning by the loud drumming of a male woodpecker on a nearby apple tree, the author wondered if perhaps he was seeking to attract a female. Surprisingly, when a female was drawn to the sound, he stopped drumming and flew away. The same behavior was repeated the following day. The author’s observations led him to conclude that the bird's drumming was not part of a mating ritual but rather a noisy advertisement of his nest-building skills. Vireos nesting near his cabin allowed him to observe how they deliberately reduced the number of eggs they were hatching to accommodate the reduced food supply after an unseasonal freeze. Heinrich explains that bird-watching has been an important part of his life since he was a boy on his family's farm. When he was 6, they moved from Germany to Maine. Finding familiar birds nesting “immediately made this place our home,” he writes.
An engaging memoir of the opportunities for doing scientific research without leaving one's own backyard. (Kirkus)

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Bernd Heinrich
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) This book was a delight. For numerous reasons, as I'll explain. First, it's not a bird guide ala Sibley or Peterson. And it has none of the (probably necessary) savagery of Audubon's early research methods. It' simply about the lives of common birds, yard birds. Not ones that people travel to other continents to add to their list. Nope, these could be seen out the kitchen window.

My first attraction to it was out of curiosity, as my favorite memoir of all time is called "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. That's what caught my eye, and it took only seconds to find out that was not even close. Rather, Bernd tells a different life story. Equally fascinating and full of complex theory and some belly laughs.

So, I live out in the sticks and birds are a big part of what we've created for our home area on a few acres. We have hummingbirds with names (Zip and Harley), and we've also named the red-tail hawks that breed across the valley (Spark, Cinder, and... Read more
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) Bernd Heinrich's "One Wild Bird At A Time" is one of the best books I've read in a long time and it's been on my mind for more than a week since I finished it. The author, a biologist, lives in an off-grid cabin in Maine, where he spends his days watching the local birds and taking notes. Part scientific field notes and part reminisces of birds he's known, the author describes the coloration, social behavior, mating rituals, nesting site preferences, diet, and migratory patterns of seventeen different species of birds native to New England. He solves a few mysteries about unusual bird behavior by painstakingly watching and researching until he finds the answer. I learned several things about birds that I didn't know before reading the book.

Adding to the charm of this book are black-and-white sketches of birds, drawn by the author. I spent a long time poring over these drawings, as I also love wild birds but have no talent for drawing.

The author's... Read more
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) I ordered this booking looking for something different and interesting to read, and I was not disappointed. Unlike most of the other reviewers, this is the first book I have read by this author; and the first book I have read that was about birds.

We live in a very rural area and often enjoy a variety of birds, but I have never given them a lot of thought. The robins have returned to Michigan and I saw a blue jay recently. My husband saw the bald eagles again, but I have yet to see them. Reading this book was very relaxing, and yet I don't think I am capable of spending the endless hours observing birds that Heinrich does, so I am very grateful for his book. We vacationed in Maine for the first time last year, and I could easily imagine the area he described.

The story I enjoyed the most, and found the most incredible was the story of the barred owl. When we see owls, we generally stay away from them , and yet the author fed the owl. He eventually spent... Read more
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