Wayne's 2010 Christmas List: Gifts For Birders

Wayne's 2010 Christmas List: Gifts For Birders

Wayne Mones
Published: 12/12/2010
Christmas Picks for 2010
Great Gifts for Birders
 
Since you are reading this I assume that you or someone in your life loves birds. May I also assume, dear reader, that you are in a quandary about what to buy this holiday season for your birding friends.  Panic no more. Here are my suggestions for books, optics, and even a flashlight. A gift from this list will delight any birder.
 
My Favorite Books of 2010:
 
A Spicing of Birds: Poems By Emily Dickinson, Illustrations By Early Masters of Bird Art (Wesleyan Universtity Press, 2010) Emily Dickinson was one of America’s best poets.  Her poems straddle classicism, romanticism, and modernism. Her idiosynchratic word order and grammar add layers of meaning and delight which make us want to read her poems over and over. Of the 1775 poems penned by Dickinson, over 200 are about birds. The editors of this collection have selected a number of Dickinson’s bird poems and paired them with paintings by a  masters of bird art such as John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson, Louis Agisiz Fuertes, Allan Brooks, and Thomas Nuttall.  The book is beautifully designed.  A great gift!
 
The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, And The Invention of Monogamy, Bernd Heinrich, (The Belknap Press at Harvard University Press, 2010) Perhaps the best natural history book of the year!. Heinrich illuminates one of the hottest topics in contemporary biology in a very accessible way. A great read. See the full review on this blog.
 
Bird Coloration: Geoffrey E. Hill (National Geographic, 2010) Although feathers are the most visible characteristic of birds most of us don’t give them much thought. Feathers are necessary for flight, for shape, and for insulation. They are also a basis of sexual attraction. They are marvels of engineering. Hill explores, in depth, this subject which, until recently, has been locked in the realm of academic ornithology. The text is engaging and thorough. The illustrations are beautiful. See the full review on this blog.

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