More than 900 species of birds are known from North America, an avifauna made up of native year-round residents and seasonal migrants, modestly enhanced by introduced exotics and neighbouring vagrants. Bird Is the Word is an unequalled compilation of the names of almost 800 of those birds and the record of how, when, where, and by whom those names were created and became parts of the history and science of North America's avifauna.
This book is made up of three parts. Part I provides an introduction to the discovery and recording of North American birds by Europeans and to the scope and structure of avian taxonomy. Part II, which consists of 26 chapters and makes up most of the book, is devoted to the names of the individual species and the historical and cultural context of those names. Part III includes three appendixes, the largest of which introduces more than a hundred naturalists and other persons who participated searching for, finding, recording, naming, describing, or illustrating the birds of North America.
Bird Is the Word is a rich, and readily accessible, collection of information about finding and naming the birds of North America. It is much more than a reference book; it is a journey of discovery that will enrich the reader's birding experience.
Gary H. Meiter is a life-long resident of northeastern Ohio who has held an appreciation of nature, and especially birds and insects, from his earliest days growing up on his grandparent's farm. A college degree in Biology from Mount Union College and an education-focused career working in agriculture and natural history allowed continuous involvement with the outdoor world. Ten years ago he started building a database that has now allowed completion of his first book Bird is the Word.