Originally published in 1995 as Notes from the Shore, this is the revised and reissued edition of Ackerman's beloved book of essays describing her forays along the Delaware shore
For three years, Jennifer Ackerman lived in the small coastal town of Lewes, Delaware, in the sort of blue-water, white-sand landscape that draws summer crowds up and down the eastern seaboard. Birds by the Shore is a book about discovering the natural life at the ocean's edge: the habits of shorebirds and seabirds, the movement of sand and water, the wealth of creatures that survive amid storm and surf. Against this landscape's rhythms, Ackerman revisits her own history – her mother's death, her father's illness and her hopes to have children of her own.
This portrait of life at the ocean's edge will be relished by anyone who has walked a beach at sunset, or watched a hawk hover over a winter marsh, and felt part of the natural world. With a quiet passion and friendly, generous intelligence, it explores the way that landscape shapes our thoughts and perceptions and shows that home ground is often where we feel the deepest response to the planet.
Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science, nature, and human biology for almost three decades. Her most recent books include The Genius of Birds, Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body; Ah-Choo: The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold; Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity; and Notes from the Shore. A contributor to Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, Ackerman is the recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
"Arresting and provocative [...] A joy to read"
– The Washington Post
"Ackerman's glimpses of the Delaware shore are full of the kind of fascinating detail that makes good nature writing as engaging as any fiction."
– Smithsonian Magazine
"Like walking along an ocean beach with a knowledgeable, articulate friend, reading this personalized natural history is a restorative experience."
– Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"A lyrical meditation on the scientific and philosophical meaning to be found in one short stretch of Delaware coastline [...] Poetic, precise, intelligent, thoughtful. A lovely book."
"Serene and loving, Ackerman's deeply personal take on the world around her constitutes nature writing at its best."
– The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A celebration of finding a home, wherever that may be."