Our top 5 books on wildlife and the environment

Our top 5 books on wildlife and the environment

There’s still a few weeks of summer left. If you are looking for some wildlife/environment friendly page turners, we recommend the following:

 

Wild Horse Country 

Here’s what the publisher explained about this narrative:

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s history of wild horses in America—and an eye-opening story of their treatment in our own time.

The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation. From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse—popularly known as the mustang—is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question. In Wild Horse Country, New York Times reporter David Philipps traces the rich history of wild horses in America and investigates the shocking dilemma they face in our own time.

Read more. 

 

Raptors: Portraits of Birds of Prey

Reviewed by Priscilla Feral 

Returning from a late afternoon walk, I stopped in our driveway, startled to see a motionless medium-sized Cooper’s hawk staring at me among a pile of white feathers before she flew away with a rock dove. I found it both alarming and humbling. It’s nature at its most efficient and violent, yet I’m unable to judge the process.

Like Peregrine falcons, ancient birds who almost didn’t survive the 20th century, Cooper’s hawks declined due to the effects of DDT and other pesticides. Following a DDT ban, recovery for peregrines and some hawks has been underway.

In 2017, author Traer Scott, who defines herself as an animal person, released her eighth photography book, Raptors: Portraits of Birds of Prey —a gorgeous, fascinating collection of birds—to inform and help identify 25 different species of hawks, owls, falcons, a bald eagle, kestrels, a Mississippi kite, a turkey vulture, and more. Scott regards raptors as “uniquely graceful, intelligent, fluid and fierce.” It’s impossible to disagree.

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Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History

Reviewed by Nicole Rivard 

As a child I was enthralled by the nature TV show “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” and my hero was host Jim Fowler, who I recently got to meet since he lives in the same Connecticut town where Friends of Animals is headquartered.

The series covered a diverse range of topics from the lives of specific animals to their relationship with other animals—both friendly and predatory. Many of the shows were filmed in the animals’ natural habitat—frequently Africa and South America—and to this day I still have a longing to visit Africa.

Because the show brought the world’s wildest places and creatures into my living room, a seed of respect and admiration for them was planted in me, ready to sprout in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

Now author Dan Flores has managed to make me revere an animal much closer to home—the coyote.

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Book Review: Water Babies: The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds

Reviewed by Priscilla Feral 

You’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t enjoy watching videos or see photographs of kittens on social media, a perfect distraction from a hectic work day or bad news overload. They are cute, mysterious and get themselves into all kinds of amusing predicaments providing material just begging to be shared.

But for photographer, naturalist and Connecticut resident William Burt, it’s wild places and baby birds that put a smile on his face, and he hopes his book Water Babies: The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds, will have the same effect on audiences.

It does! And you don’t have to be a bird watcher to appreciate the 43 species of baby wetland birds that bring the pages of the book to life—Burt captured their darling personalities as they swim, eat, play and follow their parents. The book also brings attention to the variety of wetlands these creatures inhabit, and how essential it is that these areas remain undeveloped.

Read more. 

 

A Wolf Called Romeo

Reviewed by Nicole Rivard 

Nick Jans wrote A Wolf Called Romeo because he wanted others to experience his six-year friendship with a lone black wolf. And because of Jans’ compelling voice, the reader is transported from wherever they are to Mendenhall Lake outside of Juneau, Alaska, skiing and trekking through the wilderness alongside Romeo, trying to understand his wildness as well as his desire to bond with humans and their pets in this Alaskan community.

Despite the dark side of human nature—which haunts this tale—and a world that allows fewer and fewer spaces for the wild to exist, Jans weaves a story of hope. Because if the city of Juneau, Alaska and a lone black wolf can set an unprecedented standard for coexistence between two species as conflicted as any on earth, then we all can.

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