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"Pop-up books aren't just for kids anymore! This multimedia experience transports you to seven natural habitats in North America and immerses you in the birds and their songs. --Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation, National Audubon Society
"Birdscapes is a delight for the eyes and the ears--a tour of North America's bird-rich ecosystems, rendered as seven lavishly detailed, three-dimensional landscapes, and brimming with choruses of authentic bird songs and calls." --Scott Weidensaul, author of Living on the Wind and Of a Feather
An Interview with Miyoko Chu, Director of Communications at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Q: When did you first become interested in birds?
A: When I was 11, my father and I rescued some pigeons from a poultry truck in San Francisco's Chinatown. I spent a lot of time in the backyard coop, watching the pigeons as they courted and raised their young. It was amazing to realize all this drama was playing out with wild birds everywhere, too, and to have the opportunity to study it.
Q: What's your favorite bird song and why?
A: My favorite song is that of the Scott’s Oriole, featured in the desert scene of Birdscapes. Hearing that clear, bubbling melody in the desert is an unforgettable experience.
Q: What was the best thing about working on Birdscapes?
A: It was exciting to go from the ideas and bird lists for each soundscape to seeing and hearing this three-dimensional product as it emerged from the minds of the artists, editors, and sound engineers. It was incredible to see the artists' sketches transform into complex and ingenious pop-up scenes, and to experience how precise recordings for each bird were blended to evoke the soundscape.
Q: Have you visited all of the seven different bird habitats featured in Birdscapes?
A: Of the seven habitats, I'm most familiar with the desert, where I studied birds during 1995-2000, and the eastern deciduous forest, which is right outside my office window. I have visited the Great Plains and Pacific evergreen forests. I have not been to the Arctic, a southern swamp, or a seabird colony. In writing those scenes, I benefited from the insights of my colleague Gerrit Vyn, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s audio production engineer, who selected the recordings, including some that he had recorded on recent expeditions to these habitats.
Q: Which habitat in Birdscapes did you enjoy writing about the most and why?
A: Actually, there were two that I enjoyed the most--for completely opposite reasons! I loved writing about the desert because I had spent so much time there, and remembered the sights and sounds so vividly. And it was great fun to write about the seabird colony because that was something I had never experienced before—and I was completely surprised by what I learned. Whether an individual seabird's voice or thousands, the sounds are awe-inspiring, and the birds have such an interesting lifestyle as they all cram on to a bit of rock for the breeding season.
Q: Are you a daily birder or a weekend birder?
A: I'm an opportunistic birder! I'm always watching and listening for birds around my house and neighborhood. But in between work and spending time with my family, my focused birding these days happens irregularly, on the spur of the moment. My office at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology overlooks Sapsucker Woods, so I sometimes slip outside to look for birds after getting an email alert about a good migration day, or when I notice people outside my window pointing up at the trees.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for beginning birders?
A: Invest in a pair of binoculars and practice becoming comfortable with them. It will open up a whole new world, enabling you to see many more birds than you may have even realized were around you before. Spend time getting to know the different kinds of birds you see, the reasons for their behaviors, and the many kinds of sounds they use throughout the year.
Excerpts from Birdscapes
Click on each image below to see a larger view of the page.
More to Explore
Bird Songs From Around the World
The Backyard Birdsong Guide: Eastern and Central North America
The Backyard Birdsong Guide: Western North America
THE GLOBE AND MAIL, CANADA
Your children and others will love it; your cat will be intrigued and confused. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Although it has some wear it is very unusual and special. A pop-up but also has sound! Great for bird lover or pop-up loverPublished 3 months ago by Stephanie
You have a record of all the problems & you have presented one barrier after another to prevent resolution re my order .Published 3 months ago by Michael Sullivan
Everything about it is a jewel - clever construction, clear audio and beautiful illustration. I would eagerly recommend it to any bird lover.Published 6 months ago by J. Connolly
A bit pricey, but both the pop-ups and the accompanying sounds are very high quality. Got as a present for a child who is into birds and pop-up books and it was a hit.Published 7 months ago by Evan H
This is quite the unique book! I purchased it for my Mother and she loves it!! The pop-up scenes and the bird sounds are awesome!Published 8 months ago by Cheryl A. Butler
This is a gorgeous learning tool to find out about birds in different environments. I saw it at the Met Museum and had to have it!!!Published 10 months ago by Birdygirl
It was advertized as mew amd the first thing I had to do was to replace the dead batteries it came with; I am not sure this was 'new' as advertized. Read more
Chose this product because it was both entertaining, very inventive and enlightening. I would recommend it to anyone who likes birds and whimsy.Published 13 months ago by Larysa Mykyta
Beyond belief, the lovliest most poetically satisfying pop up book in the world.
And of course, the stereo ( the reason it sounds heavenly ) authentic bird songs are the many... Read more