Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

This Downy Woodpecker visited my feeders earlier this week,


More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

eBook Review: The World’s Rarest Birds

[This is a cross-post from my guest post at Nemesis Bird on Monday]

The World’s Rarest Birds by Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash, and Robert Still; published by Princeton University Press (April 2013). TheWorld'sRarestBirds

*  *  *  *

The World’s Rarest Birds began as an international photo competition held by BirdLife International, to assemble a collection of photographs and to document birds around the globe listed as Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct in the Wild, and Data Deficient on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The World’s Rarest Birds is a wonderful book, though it’s unfortunate we live in a world where such a book is necessary.

Princeton University Press recently released the title as an eBook on iTunes, and I’m delighted to be reviewing it after receiving a copy from Drew at Nemesis Bird. Thank you to Drew for the code, and a reminder that the following opinions are my own.

There are 590 bird species in the world classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered by BirdLife International. This book features beautiful photographs of 515 of them and is the first time images of certain species have been published. For the 75 remaining species, which are either extinct or no photos are known to exist, artist Tomasz Cofta has created very helpful illustrations.


The beginning chapters assess the threats facing birds, from hunting, climate change, and agriculture, to geological events. Each threat is summarised globally with examples of species particularly affected by that particular threat. Additional chapters are devoted to extinct species, globally threatened bird families, and to data deficient species. Many species around the world face multiple major threats to their populations and we can only hope that with more awareness and some human help, bird species can rebound so they don’t fade into history.

The body of the book is the species accounts. This part is divided into seven regional sections: Europe & the Middle East, Africa & Madagascar, Asia, Australasia, Oceanic Islands, the Caribbean, North & Central America, and South America. Each regional section highlights main conservation challenges and threatened bird hotspots, followed by an illustrated directory of the most threatened or endangered birds in the region.


Each species description includes a photograph or illustration, the IUCN Red List category, population size and trends, the key threats, a distribution map, and a QR code (quick response bar code) with a direct link to the factsheet of the species on the Birdlife International website.


This may look like a coffee table book, but it is a comprehensive catalogue of endangered bird life around the world, and an important tool in creating awareness about the threats facing bird species. The eBook format also makes it very useful for travellers and twitchers, since the print version is quite large and heavy. For anyone interested in bird conservation, The World’s Rarest Birds is a must have. It’s incredibly well-designed, with well-written and informative text, and all the photos bring each species to life. This book deserves a special place on the shelf or, in this case, iDevice, whether you’re a birder, a naturalist, or conservationist.

Birding News #57

:: The Nature Conservancy has asked rice farmers in California to leave water on their fields as a place for migrating waterfowl to rest and eat in the midst of the state’s drought

:: Birders in Nagpur, India, are trying to come up with new ways to interest the public in bird watching

:: A fascinating article about Dark-eyed Juncos by Bob Duchesne who is a Maine Audubon trustee and vice president of its Penobscot Valley Chapter

:: Birds & Blooms magazine is holding a contest to win a trip to The Biggest Week in American Birding in May. Go to the website to find out how you can enter the contest.

:: Scientists have attached a GPS tracking device to a Great Indian Bustard to help learn more about the critically endangered species.

:: An on-board aircraft camera caught video of a bird crashing into a window of a Piper Saratoga plane

:: Paul Riss’s the Punk Rock Big Year Birder Apparel online store is now open

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Sarah at The EyrieBirding in Wilderness

:: From Erik at the Nutty BirderHarlequin Duck Photography at Barnegat

:: From Dawn at Dawns Bloggy BlogThe Wren or not the Wren? Sinaloa

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Owl Prowl (Part 1)

:: From Julie Zickefoose’s blogDuck Duck Goose… Swan!

:: From Dan at Bird CanadaA fond farewell to Alberta’s Winter Birds

:: From David Sibley’s blogQuiz on Belizean Birds and Greater Coverts

Birding eBook Winners!

Congratulation to Therese S. and Megan M., the winners of this month’s eBook giveaway of recent The Unfeathered Bird and the new Ten Thousand Birds. Thank you to everyone who entered, and especially to Jessica Pellien from Princeton University Press for making the giveaway possible.

TheUnfeatheredBird TenThousandBirds

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

A Marsh Wren sketch from last fall,


More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Josiah at Birding in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

Birding eBooks Giveaway Reminder!

There are still several days left to enter my giveaway for copies of the eBook editions of Ten Thousand Birds and The Unfeathered Bird!

To enter the contest, just leave a comment in this post (or my previous one) with the name of which of the two ebooks you’d prefer. For a second entry, head over to my Facebook page and “Like” it. Please mention below in your comment that you’ve done so. After two random draws, I’ll announce the winners on February 22nd.

Good luck to everyone!

TenThousandBirds TheUnfeatheredBird