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Birds of a Feather: Seasonal Change on Both Sides of the Atlantic

By: Colin Rees (Author), Derek Thomas (Author)

colour illustrations

Troubador Publishing

Paperback | May 2014 | #213427 | ISBN-13: 9781783064090
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £12.99 $16/€15 approx

About this book

In the context of their gardens, neighborhoods and sometimes beyond, the authors of Birds of a Feather provide a month-by-month account of their birding year, commenting upon what they saw and heard, shared with others, and how our world is radically changing bird life and the fabric of our lives.

"The joys of the seasons are deep in our souls. Gilbert White's classic The Natural History of Selborne shared his astute diaries of nature's calendar. Edwin Way Teale's acclaimed books on The American Seasons inspired a generation of naturalists on this side of the pond. Birds of a Feather now engages us in much the same way through the superior powers of observation and charming prose of two pals, here and there."
- Frank Gill, formerly Philadelphia Academy of Sciences and Vice-President, Science, National Audubon Society.

"The annual rhythms of nature provide a ceaseless flow of variety and change to our environment that stimulate and inspire us, wherever we live. Observing birds is surely one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the year's natural cycle, with bird migrations each spring and autumn delivering the color and sounds of the tropics and the Arctic directly to us. Birds of a Feather takes us, via delightful personal accounts, through the ornithological year on both sides of the Atlantic, juxtaposing the rich coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay with the rocky coast, plains and mountains of South Wales. Along the way are valuable reminders that birds in both regions, and across the globe, are at risk from a similar array of threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and climate change."
- David Curson, Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Maryland-DC.

"'This delightful dialogue, back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, demonstrates that wildlife is a shared pleasure wherever we live."
- Mark Avery, former Head of Conservation at RSPB, now a freelance environmental consultant and journalist.

"Birds of a Feather is a poignant and moving reminder of how experiences of wildlife can grip the human soul and linger in our memories. Two friends thousands of miles apart share with us moments they will never forget. Their consciousness of, and love for, the natural world brings even the most unexpected places to life."
- Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive The Wildlife Trusts.

"The annual rhythms of nature provide a ceaseless flow of variety and change to our environment that stimulate and inspire us, wherever we live. Observing birds is surely one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the year's natural cycle, with bird migrations each spring and autumn delivering the color and sounds of the tropics and the Arctic directly to us. Birds of a Feather takes us, via delightful personal accounts, through the ornithological year on both sides of the Atlantic, juxtaposing the rich coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay with the rocky coast, plains and mountains of South Wales. Along the way are valuable reminders that birds in both regions, and across the globe, are at risk from a similar array of threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and climate change."
- David Curson, Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Maryland-DC.

"This book will be a great read for birders from either side of the Atlantic who normally experience the birds of the "other side" through short trips during peak seasons. The book provides a flavor of the year-round diversity of species and habitats through the eyes of two experienced birders who understand how seasonal change drives the bird movements that make birding so much fun. The trans-Atlantic comparisons of two amazing birding locations throughout the year make this an even more compelling read."
- Mike Parr, Vice President for Program Development, American Bird Conservancy
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"Having experienced seasonal change and migration on both sides of the pond I was eager to get my hands on a copy of this engaging book and I have to say that I’m very much glad that I did. Birds of a Feather is a poetic and frequently evocative account of the yearly cycle on either side of the Atlantic. Colin Rees, a long-serving and dedicated conservationist, provides lyrical and reflective observations of seasonal change as it ebbs and flows around his Maryland home on the Chesapeake Bay. Derek Thomas, an academic, lifelong naturalist and former chairman of the Wildlife Trusts in Wales echoes Colin’s new world narrative with his own experience of wonder as the first spring migrants arrive and the seasons unfold across the rocky Gower peninsula where he lives in South Wales.

These vivid monthly records of spring flowers, the dawn chorus, fall warblers and the first snow; are also full of insights into the impact that our changing world and climate is having on these natural phenomena. The reader is carried up to dramatic Welsh cliff top vistas replete with Choughs and Stonechats, and then led through marshes buzzing with the harsh song of Red-winged Blackbirds as Ospreys raise their young on the American east coast.

These transatlantic friends document the passing seasons in all their exuberance. Poignant prose illuminates the soul with the honest joys of the small things in life; the beautiful song of the Carolina Wren and the first Robin nest of the year amongst many others; but the seriousness of our impact upon the natural world is never lost amid the personal delight in natural rhythms that bring with them a breath-taking tide of migration through our lives each year. This wonderfully illustrated title will appeal to those deeply rooted in the natural world as well as ornithologists and birders from both continents."

- Justin Walker, BTO book reviews


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