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The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore
     

The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore

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by John Yow
 

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With his distinctively witty, anecdotal, and disarming voice, John Yow now journeys to the shore and shares his encounters with some of the most familiar and beloved coastal birds. Out of his travels—from North Carolina's Outer Banks, down the Atlantic coast, and westward along the Gulf of Mexico—come colorful accounts of twenty-eight species, from

Overview


With his distinctively witty, anecdotal, and disarming voice, John Yow now journeys to the shore and shares his encounters with some of the most familiar and beloved coastal birds. Out of his travels—from North Carolina's Outer Banks, down the Atlantic coast, and westward along the Gulf of Mexico—come colorful accounts of twenty-eight species, from ubiquitous beach birds like sanderlings and laughing gulls to wonders of nature like roseate spoonbills and the American avocets. Along the way, Yow delves deeply into the birds' habits and behaviors, experiencing and relating the fascination that leads many an amateur naturalist to become the most unusual of species--a birder.
Seasonally organized chapters explore the improbable, the wonderful, and the amusing aspects of these birds' lives. Yow embellishes his observations with field notes, anecdotes, and stories from some of America's finest naturalists—including John James Audubon, Arthur Cleveland Bent, Rachel Carson, and Peter Matthiessen. Combining the endless fascination of bird life with the pleasure of good reading, The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal is the perfect companion for any nature lover's next trip to the beach.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sequel to The Armchair Birder, Yow ventures from his porch to take readers hunting for shorebirds on islands and wildlife refuges in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama, hosted and guided mainly by friends of friends—“not crabby, misanthropic stay-at-homes like me, but kindly, generous folks who like to watch birds...show new species to people who might not have seen ’em yet.” In his folksy, humorous, and erudite style, Yow admires the “beautiful and strange” roseate spoonbills at Florida’s “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, appreciates the cormorant as “the hardest-working bird on the waterfront,” and dubs the royal tern “America’s bird”: “loud, brawling, and pleasure-loving but pious when it comes to ‘traditional values’; and erratically parental.” His tales are supplemented with information about the birds’ feeding, mating, rearing, migration habits, and species health, drawn from the writings of such experts as John James Audubon, Rachel Carson, Arthur Cleveland Bent, and contributors to Birds of North America Online. Yow also includes amusing auxiliary footnotes, ranging from pronunciations of bird names (“does plover rhyme with lover or rover?”) and the eviction of an African-American community from what is now Georgia’s Harris Neck Land Trust, to a hot-off-the-presses taxonomy update. Agent: Sally McMillan, Sally Hill McMillan and Associates Inc. (May)
Library Journal
The glamorous birds of the American Southeast have attracted naturalists from the time of John James Audubon, Mark Catesby, and Edward O. Wilson. Yow (The Armchair Birder) continues in this tradition, focusing on birds of the beach, marsh, and bay. He deals with 29 species, such as pelicans, herons, sandpipers, gulls, and skimmers. In spite of its breezy title, the book delves rather deeply into classical natural history literature as well as trips accompanying contemporary field biologists. The birds' habits, behavior, feeding, and courtship are all examined. Yow also discusses the origins and meanings of bird names. He quotes authors like Rachel Carson, Scott Weidensaul, and Peter Matthiessen to augment his own rich experiences. The 15 illustrations detract from Yow's entertaining book—the images range from awful to merely satisfactory. It's a shame in light of the region's rich illustrative tradition of bird art and photography, e.g., the splendid images of John Henry Dick, Frederick Kent Truslow, and Allan D. Cruickshank, that well present these showy birds. VERDICT A good read, this title is appropriate for generalists interested in natural history, the wildlife of the southeastern U.S. shore, and birders.—Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia
From the Publisher
Through enchanting descriptions and personal anecdotes, Yow makes characters--the villainous ruddy turnstone, the "drunken" reddish egret--out of his subjects, carefully highlighting each species' subtleties.--Audubon Editors' Choice

In this informative, chatty, anecdotal and eminently readable tome, Yow takes us season by season into the watery environment enjoyed by its feathered denizens.--The Rocky Mount Telegram

Audubon Editors' Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807835616
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Edition description:
1
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Witty, irreverent, and perennially entertaining, The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal is--like its author John Yow--a great companion for a ramble along the beach or into the tidal marsh. Yow mixes science, history, culture and his own experiences as an 'idiosyncratic' birder to create a delightfully readable peek into the lives of the Southeast's most familiar water birds.--Scott Weidensaul, author of Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding

Meet the Author


John Yow is a freelance writer based in Acworth, Georgia, and former senior editor at Longstreet Press. He is author of The Armchair Birder: Discovering the Secret Lives of Familiar Birds.

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The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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