Why Do Bluebirds Hate Me?: More Answers to Common and Not-So-Common Questions about Birds and Birding

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Why Do Bluebirds Hate Me?: More Answers to Common and Not-So-Common Questions about Birds and Birding

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
O’Connor (Why Don’t Woodpeckers Get Headaches? And Other Bird Questions You Know You Want to Ask), owner of the Birdwatcher’s General Store in Cape Cod, Mass., offers a second q&a compilation from his weekly column, Ask the Bird Folks, which appears in the local newspaper Cape Codder. Here, the author focuses on the more obscure questions he receives to “expand the readers’ bird horizons.” O’Connor’s humorous answers are extensively researched, and include explanations of why quail chicks may appear to have two dads, the sad fate of the Carolina Parakeet, and the connection between American chickens and India’s wild jungle fowl. O’Connor also provides practical advice on issues such as cleaning birdhouses, keeping rats away from feeders, the perks of owning a heated birdbath, how and why to make a bird list, and of course, birdseed. While many questions come from readers in Massachusetts, O’Connor makes a point to include birds from other countries and sings the praises of the good-natured Australian Kookaburra, the story of Lapland Longspurs and their Canadian breeding ground, and the scavenging habits of Mexican Eagles. This detailed q&a will appeal to bird enthusiasts and birdwatchers, but O’Connor’s friendly approach will also appeal to novices. Illus. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"This detailed q&a will appeal to bird enthusiasts and birdwatchers, but O’Connor’s friendly approach will also appeal to novices. —Publishers Weekly

"A nice selection of quirky and more common questions that teach the reader quite a bit of ornithology between the chuckles.” —Booklist

“I laughed as I learned my way through this quirky, well-researched question-and-answer book.” —Houston Chronicle

“You will be hard-pressed to find a funnier writer in all of birding than Mike O’Connor.” —Birder’s World Magazine

“[A] whimsical and insightful new opus...a treasure-trove of information.”
 —American Birding Association blog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807012536
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 376,414
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Exactly the Same, Only Different............................ ix

1.
Birds Everyone Should Know

Why Do Bluebirds Hate Me?...................................................... 1
Woodpeckers Do Take Baths....................................................... 4
Hip Catbirds........................................................................... 7
What’s with All the Grackles?................................................... 10
Why Hummingbirds Hum....................................................... 12
Carolina Wrens Singin’ in the Fall........................................... 14
Titmice Love Peanuts but Hate Water....................................... 16
No-Bird Syndrome.................................................................. 19
Birds Can’t Afford Bottled Water.............................................. 21
Not All Cardinals Are Catholic................................................ 23

2.
It’s Time to Look Past the Feathers

Don’t Call Me “Pretty Boy”...................................................... 26
Swans Support Integration...................................................... 29
Sandhill Cranes Migrate (Mostly)............................................. 31
Quail Chicks Have Two Dads.................................................. 34
They’re Called Snowy Owls for a Reason.................................... 36
Doves Can Whistle without Moving Their Lips........................... 39
Cattle Egrets Fit Right In......................................................... 41
Fearless Red-breasted Nuthatches.............................................. 43
Chickens Get No Respect.......................................................... 45
Don’t Be a Bird Bigot.............................................................. 48

3.
A Few Things Even You Can Do

The Cost of Running a Heated Birdbath.................................... 51
Clean Your Birdhouses!........................................................... 54
Sugar Water Brings More Than Just Hummingbirds................... 57
Bluebird Housing................................................................... 59
Tree Swallows, the Bluebird Alternative..................................... 61
Homeless Baby Ospreys............................................................ 64
Vintage Birdseed Is Not the Best................................................ 66
Orioles Like It Sweet, Perhaps Too Sweet.................................... 67
Oh, Rats!.............................................................................. 68
Rotating Seed........................................................................ 70

4.
There’s More to Life Than the Backyard

Pyrrhuloxia Is a Real Bird (Not a Strange Disease)..................... 73
Avocets, the Birds to See When You Can’t Go Shopping................ 76
Spoonbills Don’t Eat Soup or Chowder....................................... 78
Kookaburras Always Get the Joke.............................................. 81
Lapland Longspurs, More Fun Than Going to the Dentist........... 84
Caracara, the Mexican Eagle................................................... 86
Not All Flycatchers Are Dull..................................................... 89
Nënë, Not Easy to Say and Impossible to Type............................. 91

5.
Bet You Didn’t Know Birds Did This

All Hatched Out and Ready to Go............................................ 94
Some Birds Fly in the Dark Better Than Owls............................. 97
Paint-Eating Jays................................................................... 99
Bee-Eating Birds.................................................................. 101
Puffins Aren’t That Fussy...................................................... 103
Kissing Cardinals................................................................ 106
Hummingbirds—They’re on Everyone’s Menu.......................... 108
Vinyl-Eating Vultures........................................................... 110

6.
Don’t Forget Cities Have Birds, Too

Big-City Lifestyle Suits Peregrine Falcons Just Fine.................... 113
Birding in Central Park........................................................ 116
The Legend of Pale Male....................................................... 118
City Turkey......................................................................... 121
City Bird Assortment............................................................. 123

7.
Being Free as a Bird Isn’t Always That Great

Birds and Power Lines—Sometimes It Works,
Sometimes Not So Much........................................................ 126
Battling Hurricanes............................................................. 128
Birds Care about Which Coffee You Drink................................ 131
Pesticides Aren’t as Healthy as They Sound.............................. 134
The Disappearing Song of the Wood Thrush............................. 136
We’ll See Your Sparrow and Raise You a Squirrel...................... 138
Birds and Planes—and You Think YOU
Have Trouble with the Airlines............................................... 141
The Loss of the Carolina Parakeet........................................... 144

8.
Birds Are Superstars—and Publishers and Hollywood Know It

Bond, James Bond, Ornithologist............................................ 147
African Eagles Can’t Compare to Ours.................................... 150
That Quail, Robert............................................................... 153
Turkeys Don’t Come in Flocks................................................. 155
A Good Movie No One Saw................................................... 158

9.
A Bird Buffet

And You Think YOUR Feet Are Cold...................................... 161
The Twelve Days of Christmas Explained, Finally..................... 164
How Could Anyone Be Afraid of a Chickadee?......................... 166
Even Scary Places Have Birds................................................ 168
Red Squirrels, the Overlooked Annoyance................................. 171
Stick with Who You Know..................................................... 174
Scary Owls.......................................................................... 176
Don’t Give Kids “Bird Stuff”................................................. 178
Turkeys Rule, Eagles Drool.................................................... 181
Start the Year with a Bird List . . . Instead of a Hangover.......... 183

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