Duck Duck Book

27 – nests, eggs
12.15.2005, 4:30 pm
Filed under: science

Nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American birds / Paul J. Baicich and Colin J.O. Harrison ; illustrations by Andrew Burton, Philip Burton and Terry O’Nele ; egg photographs by F. Greenaway and Clark Sumida. 
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 2005, c1997.
[MCL call number: 598.1564 B152n 2005; 18 copies, no holds]

Field guides are terribly practical when you’re out there in “the field,” trying to figure out what you’re looking at.  They’re also extremely useful for people like me who were raised in cities and who habitually pay little attention to the natural environment even here in the urban space. 

But it’s also true that they’re just interesting to look at and read.  This field guide is especially fascinating because it contains lots of information about small stuff you don’t usually see unless you’re looking for it — nests, eggs, and nestlings.  Yup, baby birds.  Gosh, they’re cute!

After some firm words to readers about the importance of respecting the autonomy and privacy of young birds and their habitat, an extensive general introduction, and a helpful key to identifying eggs, nests, nestlings and chicks, the main text of Nest, Eggs, and Nestlings provides detailed information about almost 700 bird species of North America (for the purposes of this book, “North America” means Canada, Alaska, Greenland and the continental United States).  The birds’ scientific and common names, habitat, nests and the methods they use to make them, notes on their breeding season, eggs, incubation methods and period, and descriptions of the nestlings and their habits are all included.  The book has 16 color plates of wee nestlings, and 48 of eggs, as well as hundreds of clear black-and-white drawings interspersed through the text.  A bibliography is included in the endmatter, as is an index to common and scientific names.


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