The Creative Lives of Animals: Understanding the artists around us

Creativity is something that is easier to identify than to explain. And one person’s definition of creativity may vary from your definition. For proof, you need only enter the modern art wing of a museum to hear “Why is that art?” uttered. But though creativity may be in the eye of the beholder, nobody would …

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Halcyon Journey: Searching for Kingfishers

Kingfishers are birds more often heard than seen. Walk next to Bear Creek here in the Rogue Valley and you will probably hear them, though seeing them is not so easy. Fortunately, we have a new book about the kingfisher by Marina Richie to shed light on this fascinating bird. Marina takes us along with …

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Book Review: The Insect Crisis

The subtitle of the must-read book The Insect Crisis by Oliver Milman is The Fall of the Tiny Empires that Run the World. Tiny empires indeed. Consider the following: Three out of four species on this planet are insects. There are more species of assassin fly on this planet (7,500+) than the entire world of …

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Book review: A Most Remarkable Creature

In A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Bird of Prey Jonathan Meiburg has crafted an epic ode to the caracara, a long-overlooked (and often derided) group of birds who deserves more attention and more protection. There are about ten species of caracara and Meiburg takes us around …

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Book Review: The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

In The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes traces the history of birds—as well as humans’ relationships and interactions with them—over several millennia and across multiple continents. Barnes is a UK-based nature writer, so North American readers will enjoy an opportunity to become more familiar with Britain’s backyard birds, such as the wood pigeon, the Scottish …

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Picture Book Review: A Garden to Save the Birds by Wendy McClure; illustrated by Beatriz Mayumi

Beautifully illustrated, the heartwarming story of A Garden to Save the Birds begins with the “BAP!” of a bird flying into a window. Young Callum and his sister Emmy run outside to see the bird flying away. At first, Callum and Emmy are confused: why did the bird fly into their window? Realizing the window’s reflection of …

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Bird by Word: Two reviews of American Birds: A Literary Companion

As I finished reading American Birds: A Literary Companion I realized that there were two reviews I could write: the “typical American birder” review and the “atypical vegan birder” review. And that, in the end, I needed to write both reviews. Let’s begin with the “typical American birder” review. In this review, I admire the …

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