Review – More Than Birds: Adventurous Lives of North American Naturalists

more_than_birds_coverMore Than Birds: Adventurous Lives of North American Naturalists by Val Shushkewich, is a collection of life histories of the most important naturalists that have shaped modern-day ornithology and conservation.

The collection starts with the early pioneers of bird study household names like Wilson and Audubon, and continues to todays expert naturalists Kaufman and Sibley.

Twenty-three naturalists are covered, each with detailed information from their early days to their lifelong accomplishments.

While I was familiar with several of the naturalists in More Than Birds, the majority were new to me. The material, while historical, felt fresh and exciting like I was exploring with these great adventurers.

These naturalists were more than just looking to study birds. They had deep feelings towards the conservation and preservation of birds and their habitat.

Read about Jack Miner, “the father of conservation” as well as Robert Ridgway, “curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s bird collections for forty-nine years…”.

In 1889, Florence Merriam Bailey wrote a list of “Hints to Observers” which include seven tips to prevent birds from flushing at your approach. These tips still hold true today.

Whether you are new to birding or a long time student of ornithology, there is bound to be a lot of newfound information in this fun read.

List of Naturalists Covered

  • Alexander Wilson
  • John James Audubon
  • Thomas Nuttall
  • Spencer Fullerton Baird
  • Robert Kennicott
  • Robert Ridgway
  • Florence Merriam Bailey
  • Allan Cyril Brooks
  • Cordelia Standwood
  • Jack Miner
  • James Henry Fleming
  • Percy Algernon Taverner
  • Margaret Morse Nice
  • Joseph Dewey Soper
  • Louise de Kiriline Lawrence
  • Doris H. Speirs and J. Murray Speirs
  • Roger Tory Peterson
  • Hans Albert Hochbaum
  • Robert W. Nero
  • Robert Bateman
  • Kenn Kaufman
  • David Allen Sibley

Disclaimer: We received a copy of this book from the publisher to review on The links are to our Amazon Affiliate account.

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