Vanishing Songbirds: The Six Order, Wood Warblers and Other Passerine Birds

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Combining a naturalist's eye for detail with a consummate artistic sensibility, Eliot Porter's portraits of birds are among the most accurate and aesthetically satisfying since Audubon's celebrated paintings. His great passion was songbirds - passerine, or perching, birds such as warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, vireos, meadowlarks, tanagers, sparrows, finches, grosbeaks, and orioles - many of which are endangered or threatened today. Prior to his death in 1990, Porter had planned to publish his lifelong study of...
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Overview

Combining a naturalist's eye for detail with a consummate artistic sensibility, Eliot Porter's portraits of birds are among the most accurate and aesthetically satisfying since Audubon's celebrated paintings. His great passion was songbirds - passerine, or perching, birds such as warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, vireos, meadowlarks, tanagers, sparrows, finches, grosbeaks, and orioles - many of which are endangered or threatened today. Prior to his death in 1990, Porter had planned to publish his lifelong study of these tiny songsters. Now, this landmark project is realized. Vanishing Songbirds showcases the 126 images that Porter personally selected and printed for the work - beautifully composed stop-action photographs that capture these shy birds in their natural habitats. The book opens with a preface by Porter in which he describes the pioneering techniques he used to take these splendid photographs. With an introduction by noted bird expert Kenn Kaufman and detailed ornithological notes on each species pictured, including identifying field marks, habitats, songs, nesting characteristics, and range, Vanishing Songbirds is a treasure for nature lovers and dedicated birders - and an utterly persuasive argument against the continuing destruction of the local habitats of the songbird.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of the premier photographers of our time, Porter (1901-90) consorted with Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams and was a pioneer in nature photography. This book is a selection of 160 stop-action color photographs of American songbirds at their nests. Just finding these nests, much less securing arresting photographs of their occupants in action, is a major accomplishment. Owing to tropical deforestation and habitat destruction in North America, many of these species, especially the so-called neotropical migrants, are in alarming decline. Amazing as these photographs are, the use of flash and harsh light does give many of them a frozen, dioramalike quality, as if they were taken at night. The text, mostly annotations of the photos by Kenn Kaufman, an outstanding contemporary ornithologist, is excellent. For larger natural history and photography collections.-Henry T. Armistead, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Booknews
Eminent color photographer Porter (1901-90) was prevented by death from publishing his life-long study of perching or passerine songbirds such as warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, vireos, meadowlarks, sparrows, finches, orioles, and swallows. His 140 photographs catch them in flight, feeding young, and engaged in other activity. Paragraphs on facing pages describe the birds, their range, habitats, and behavior. No bibliography. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821222256
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.61 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.76 (d)

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