Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront Paperback – June 14, 2016
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“Part of the pleasure of her book, besides excellent photography . . . is the way [Heather Wolf] shares the circumstances and excitement of particular sightings.”—The Wall Street Journal
“In clear and enthusiastic prose, Wolf draws attention to the remarkable variety of urban birds and their ongoing conservation challenges. . . . This beginner’s guide is as entertaining as it is informative.”—Publishers Weekly
“Exquisite.”—am New York
“An informative field diary”—The Atlantic’s CityLab
“I totally love Heather Wolf’s book: great photographs, and delightful, incisive writing.”
—Marie Winn, author of Red-Tails in Love
“Hey, New York, it’s time to meet the neighbors you never knew you had. Heather Wolf’s fledgling chronicle of her encounters with the birds of Brooklyn both surprises and mesmerizes. After drinking in her gorgeous photos of more than 100 unsung and unexpected urban species (from abundant house sparrows to an elusive tundra swan and the proverbial yellow-bellied sapsucker), you will forever observe the city with new eyes.”
—Margaret Mittelbach, author of Wild New York
“Not all New York City birds are pigeons! This book is a colorful and inspiring eye-opener to the marvelous feathered creatures that are all around us, even in the midst of our densest cities. By learning to observe and care for the birds, we can protect them and build stronger communities for ourselves too.”
—David J. Ringer, Chief Network Officer, National Audubon Society
“Research tells us that connecting with the natural world in our daily lives can help to make us happier, more creative, and less anxious. Heather Wolf’s gorgeous images and delightful words are a reminder that the wild surrounds us no matter where we make our homes. This book inspires us to step lightly, with open eyes, minds, and hearts. We will benefit from such exploration to be sure, and so will the birds and all creatures that share our neighborhoods and our earth.”
—Lyanda Haupt, author of Crow Planet
About the Author
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Heather Wolf's list of birds of course includes pigeons and starlings and sparrows--the birds many people associate with big cities. It's the broad variety of other species that will surprise many readers. From cardinals and Canada Geese to a rainbow of warblers and skulking towhees and thrashers, a great many birds find their way to New York City, each finding a place to feed and rest in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Each of her photo captions includes where in the park she took that shot—the baby Barn Swallow flying over Pier 2, the Savannah Sparrow at Pier 1, the Baltimore Oriole at the top of Granite Prospect. The sense of place is both evocative and grounding. Whether you live in the Big Apple or a town in northeastern Minnesota like me, by the time you've read this slim but lovely volume, you'll have a greater understanding and appreciation of New York City's important role in the natural world, and the fun and joy of paying attention to its bird life. I'm looking forward to more books by this talented new voice.
Heather's photography is stunning, and I was very surprised to learn that she was not, going into this project, an established professional photographer. I am especially impressed because so many of the photos capture the characteristic personality of the different species.
Although this is much more than a handy field guide -- bonus: the size makes it easy to carry! -- those interested in birds will learn a lot about our avian neighbors and will no doubt appreciate them all the more. I plan on buying this book for many on my Christmas list!
Heather's descriptions of each bird is one of the things that sets this book apart from many other birding books. She is an excellent writer,
and writes in a very down- to-earth fashion. You feel that you are walking right along with her on her daily birding walk. She not only describes the specific bird but also its habitat on the waterfront ,its behavior and what Heather often had to go through to be able to observe and identify.
You will very much enjoy reading this book and also its use as a reference.
Top international reviews
After an introduction to set the context, the bulk of the book is taken up with a short account, accompanied by a photograph on the facing page, for most of the species she has seen at this location. For the few birds which she has seen but hasn`t been able to photograph, separate notes are provided later. Glad to see she has avoided the temptation to use pics sourced from elsewhere!
The book concludes with a few short chapters and appendices to supplement the information already provided.
As an occasional visitor to NY, I think this book would be just the ticket to accompany a visit to Brooklyn Bridge waterfront or any similar location, in search of its feathered visitors.