Birdlife invites readers into the lives of birds we often meet in the southeastern United States. Writer, scientist, and illustrator Todd Ballantine presents the habits and habitats, colourings, migratory paths, and songs of nearly one hundred birds of the Southeast that he has come to know so well. He wings us across diverse landscapes, along the coasts of states from Virginia to Texas, and in elds and forests in between, providing keen insights and tips for recognizing birds on the branch, on the beach, or in the air.
Along the coast and estuaries, you will meet the double-crested cormorant and the herring gull; near marshes and wetlands, the American coot and the great blue heron; in elds and open areas, the killdeer and the savannah sparrow. In the brush and at the wood's edge, you will encounter the dark-eyed junco and the white-eyed vireo, and in the forest – if you are lucky – you might hear the evocative call of the nocturnal Chuckwill's-widow.
Birdlife delights with Ballantine's own artistic and precise illustrations, hand-lettered text, easy-to-follow presentations, and memorable descriptions. His black-and-white bird renderings provide easy identification of shape and form. A unique book to enjoy in nature's habitats, high and low, Birdlife is a must-have companion for birding enthusiasts and anyone intrigued by the lives of birds.
Todd Ballantine is a nationally recognized environmental scientist, writer, educator, and artist. The recipient of the Harry Hampton Award for natural resource reporting from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, he is the author and illustrator of Tideland Treasure: The Naturalist's Guide to the Beaches and Salt Marshes of Hilton Head Island and the Atlantic Coast (University of South Carolina Press) and Woodland Walks: Everyman's Guide to the Forestscapes of Hilton Head Island.
"Birdlife is unique among other guides. Ballantine's artistry perfectly depicts clear and definable details of bird shapes and plumage. Skillfully presented calligraphy connects these images to informative stories for each bird species. Ballantine provides lucky holders of this book with a personal bond to these wonderful avian creatures."
– Bob Gale, ecologist and natural sciences author
"Todd Ballantine's Tideland Treasure provided indispensable introductions to the natural residents of beach and marsh ecosystems, and Todd is an unparalleled ambassador for nature. Birdlife continues that tradition, with beautiful renderings of selected species accompanied by enchanting vignettes of their habits and histories."
– Dana Beach, founder and director emeritus, Coastal Conservation League
"Birdlife captures the allure of birds of the Southeast. To see the world through Todd Ballantine's eyes is mesmerizing. This naturalist guide invites us to appreciate ornithology, to treasure how birds inspire, and to remember that sensitively managing the habitat around them is critical. The book will draw you to the Southeast, and likely make you want to stay."
– Angela C. Halfacre, professor emeritus, Furman University