The Art of Migration: Birds, Insects, and the Changing Seasons in Chicagoland

The Art of Migration: Birds, Insects, and the Changing Seasons in Chicagoland

by Peggy Macnamara
     
 


Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago’s lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path…  See more details below

Overview


Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago’s lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path used by their species for millennia. This magnificent migrational dance takes place every year in Chicagoland, yet it is often missed by the region’s two-legged residents. The Art of Migration uncovers these extraordinary patterns that play out over the seasons. Readers are introduced to over two hundred of the birds and insects that traverse regions from the edge of Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and to the rivers that flow into the Mississippi.

As the only artist in residence at the Field Museum, Peggy Macnamara has a unique vantage point for studying these patterns and capturing their distinctive traits. Her magnificent watercolor illustrations capture flocks, movement, and species-specific details. The illustrations are accompanied by text from museum staff and include details such as natural histories, notable features for identification, behavior, and how species have adapted to environmental changes. The book follows a gentle seasonal sequence and includes chapters on studying migration, artist’s notes on illustrating wildlife, and tips on the best ways to watch for birds and insects in the Chicago area.

A perfect balance of science and art, The Art of Migration will prompt us to marvel anew at the remarkable spectacle going on around us.

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Editorial Reviews

Tom Clay

“Most insect and bird field guides require you to encounter a species first and then wade through pages, hoping to identify whatever you encountered. In The Art of Migration, you learn about the species and when you can expect to encounter them. With that information, you are inspired to step outside and locate that yellow-rumped warbler or dog-day cicada. It is refreshing reading something that’s science-based, beautiful, and fun.”
John W. McCarter

“Peggy Macnamara's wonderful talent as an artist and deep understanding of science enable her to deftly capture the natural world through her watercolors. This is an extraordinary volume capping Peggy's insight into migratory patterns, the Chicago natural area, and seasonal change. It should be required reading for everyone concerned about our natural habitat and about the miraculous combination of senses that enable bird migration.”
John W. McCarter Jr.

“Peggy Macnamara's wonderful talent as an artist and deep understanding of science enable her to deftly capture the natural world through her watercolors. This is an extraordinary volume capping Peggy's insight into migratory patterns, the Chicago natural area, and seasonal change. It should be required reading for everyone concerned about our natural habitat and about the miraculous combination of senses that enable bird migration.”
Chicago Book Review

"The Art of Migration is no dry field guide or academic reference. Rather, it is a little treasure, beautiful to look at and enjoyable to read." 
Chicago Tribune

"Macnamara's paintings blend scenes of birds and insects in flight with more representational images. The transparent nature of watercolors allows her to offer context for bird migration; a map of South America or the Chicago skyline may appear layered in the background. This is not a field guide but a conversational collection of impressions." 
Current Books on Gardening and Botany

"This is an exceptional book. Peggy Macnamara’s drawings are studies of the subject with the background often sketched in in an ethereal manner making the whole subject come alive—birds, butterflies, and other insects. . . . This work is certainly one that you will use and admire."
Birdwatching

"In lovely, brightly colored watercolors in The Art of Migration, Macnamara reminds us that even in one of the most heavily developed areas of the United States, you can still find dog-day cicadas, banded woolly-bears, kinglets, nighthawks, Snowy Owls, and countless other beautiful and wild creatures. Thank goodness."
The Quarterly Review of Biology

"Despite the Chicago-centric presentation, the birds and insects depicted could be found anywhere east of the Mississippi at the same latitude; there is much here to appeal to non-Chicagoans. This is just a pleasing book that couples luminously alive scenes of birds and insects through the journey of the seasons."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226046297
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
07/08/2013
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
739,299
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Peggy Macnamara has been the artist in residence at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, for the past twenty-five years. She is also associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the author of Painting Wildlife in Watercolor, Illinois Insects and Spiders, and Architecture by Birds and Insects, the latter two also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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