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Books

Field Guides


The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Lowest new price: $14.30
Lowest used price: $10.31
List price: $27.00
Author: Kirk Wallace Johnson

As heard on NPR's This American Life

“Absorbing . . . Though it's non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever.” —Christian Science Monitor

A rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the WoodsThe Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.

An Amazon Best Book of May 2018: The title of The Feather Thief smartly echoes Susan Orleans' The Orchid Thief, and The Feather Thief has good reason to compare itself to such an admired book. Strange niches of history. Obsessives who refuse to adhere to the law. A writer who stumbles upon a story that becomes an obsession in its own right. All these elements combust to create Johnson's investigation into the theft of 299 rare bird skins from a British natural history museum. While bird skins might sound like (ahem) dry reading, Johnson knows just how to fascinate the reader, plunging with vigor into exotic bird exploration, the crackdown on rare bird trafficking, and the insular world of fly-tying enthusiasts, all of which lead, almost inevitably, to the theft from the Tring Museum. The most likely receivers of the stolen goods? Fly-tiers with an unquenchable thirst for feathers from blue chatterers, the resplendent quetzal, and birds of paradise so they can re-create outlandish Victorian-era salmon flies. Although the thief is caught, Johnson decides to investigate himself what happened to the 106 never-recovered bird skins, pulling the reader even deeper into the thief's bizarre world. Clever, informative, and sometimes endearingly bumbling, this mix of natural history and crime opens up new worlds. You'll never look at a stuffed bird the same way again. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

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National Geographic The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals

National Geographic The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals Lowest new price: $17.39
Lowest used price: $3.46
List price: $35.00
Author: Joel Sartore
Brand: National Geographic

The lush and unique photography in this book represents National Geographic's Photo Ark, a major initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world's animals—especially those that are endangered. His powerful message, conveyed with humor, compassion, and art: to know these animals is to save them.

Sartore is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. Wiht a goal of photographing every animal in captivity in the world, he has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal. This book showcases his animal portraits: from tiny to mammoth, from the Florida grasshopper sparrow to the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Paired with the eloquent prose of veteran wildlife writer Douglas Chadwick, and an inspiring foreword from Harrison Ford, this book presents a thought-provoking argument for saving all the species of our planet.

Features:

  • National Geographic

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Paint by Sticker: Birds: Create 12 Stunning Images One Sticker at a Time!

Paint by Sticker: Birds: Create 12 Stunning Images One Sticker at a Time! Lowest new price: $6.74
Lowest used price: $4.14
List price: $14.95
Author: Workman Publishing
Brand: Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker is the most exciting new idea in activity books, both for grown-ups and kids. A compelling activity for crafters and artists, doodlers and colorers of all ages, each Paint by Sticker book includes everything you need to create twelve vibrant, full-color “paintings.” The original images are rendered in low-poly, a computer graphics style using geometric polygon shapes to create a 3D effect. As in paint-by-number, each template is divided into dozens of spaces, each with a number that corresponds to a particular sticker. Find the sticker, peel it, and place it in the right space. Add the next, and the next, and the next—it’s an activity that’s utterly absorbing, both in the pleasure of peeling and sticking and the growing satisfaction of watching a “painting” come to life, emerging from a flat black-and-white illustration to a dazzling image with color, body, and spirit.

Paint by Sticker: Birds celebrates the rainbow of colors and shapes of the avian world: a red-headed woodpecker, a blue jay, an orange and black Baltimore oriole, an electric bright hummingbird.

 

Features:

  • WORKMAN

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National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Backyard Guides)

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Backyard Guides) Lowest new price: $10.83
Lowest used price: $3.14
List price: $18.95
Author: Jonathan Alderfer
Brand: Louise Zemaitis

Essential for the millions of Americans who watch and feed birds in their backyards—whether experienced birders or new birding enthusiasts—from the experts at National Geographic and co-author of the popular and perennial best seller Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
 
No matter where you live—in the country, city, a high-rise or house—this handy guide will quench your curiosity about the feathered creatures in your midst. It features 150 of the most common and interesting birds likely to be observed at backyard feeders, nesting nearby or just migrating through. An indispensable visual index of all 150 species appears on the inside front and back laminated covers, making identification a snap.
 
Beginning with Backyard Basics, an easy-to-follow, richly illustrated presentation on observing and identifying birds—with tips on attracting and feeding your favorite birds, birdhouses, and bird-friendly landscapes to entice nesting—the book is full of National Geographic’s iconic field guide images and maps.
 
Core species on everyone’s list—such as robins, woodpeckers, bluebirds and chickadees—are featured in two-page spreads including practical tips with additional imagery. Sidebars captivate with interesting and little known facts.

Features:

  • National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America

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Audubon Engagement Calendar 2019

Audubon Engagement Calendar 2019 Lowest new price: $9.49
Lowest used price: $11.47
List price: $15.99
Author: Workman Publishing
Brand: Workman Publishing

Extraordinary nature photography meets elegant design. Each spread of this 2.1 million copy‒selling weekly engagement planner includes a roomy grid for writing in notes and events and a full-color, detail-rich landscape photograph: Dancing lights of the aurora borealis illuminate northern Canada’s night sky. Ruby-red poppy fields blossom in the Netherlands—a surefire sign that spring is coming. And a profound sense of stillness and peace can be found among sky-high Quaking Aspen trees in Alaska’s boreal forest. Authoritative texts provide information and context to each luminous scene. Printed on FSC-certified paper.

Features:

  • Planner Calendar
  • Weekly (Engagement) Calendar
  • Medium Rectangle Grid
  • Spiral Binding
  • 6.25'' X 9.25 ''

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Geninne Zlatkis 2018 - 2019 On-the-Go Weekly Planner: 17-Month Calendar with Pocket (Aug 2018 - Dec 2019, 5 x 7 closed)

Geninne Zlatkis 2018 - 2019 On-the-Go Weekly Planner: 17-Month Calendar with Pocket (Aug 2018 - Dec 2019, 5 x 7 closed) Lowest new price: $12.36
Lowest used price: $22.95
List price: $14.99
Author: Geninne D Zlatkis

Charming feathered friends can accompany you every day of the year. Full of chirpy character and teeming with life, Geninne D Zlatkis's delightful illustrations will set your spirits aloft on your adventures. Every page has been thoughtfully crafted with images of birds, butterflies, and natural motifs in Zlatkis's signature style.

  • 5" x 7" weekly planner (10" x 7" open).
  • 17-month calendar — August 2018 through December 2019 — perfect for school and academic planning.
  • Uplifting graphics by Geninne D Zlatkis guide you through the weeks.
  • The perfect gift for creative inspiration.
  • Monthly 2-page-spread views facilitate big-picture planning.
  • Weekly spreads with ample writing space.
  • Extra lined pages to record notes and reminders.
  • Elastic band closure.
  • Inside pocket for storing receipts and mementos.
  • Wire-O binding offers lie-flat ease and convenience.
  • Printed on paper sourced from a combination of sustainably managed forests and recycled materials.
  • Published by Amber Lotus, an independent carbon-negative US company that has planted more than half a million trees since 2008.
  • This calendar features US and Canadian legal holidays, phases of the moon, and important observances of the world's major religions.

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Newcomb's Wildflower Guide

Newcomb's Wildflower Guide Lowest new price: $15.00
Lowest used price: $9.96
List price: $20.00
Author: Lawrence Newcomb
Brand: Little Brown and Company

An ingenious key system for quick, positive field identification of wildflowers, flowering shrubs and vines in Northeastern and North-central North America.
Amateur and expert alike can quickly and accurately identify almost any wildflower using Lawrence Newcomb's system, which is based on natural structural features that are easily visible even to the untrained eye. Every time you see an unknown plant, ask yourself the same five questions (related to the type of plant and the structure of its petals and leaves), and you will be directed to the page on which the plant can be found. Beautiful illustrations make confirmation easy.

Features:

  • Little Brown and Company

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The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London

The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London Lowest new price: $17.10
List price: $26.00
Author: Christopher Skaife
Brand: myLife Brand Products

The first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens at the world’s eeriest monument

The ravens at the Tower of London are of mighty importance: rumor has it that if a raven from the Tower should ever leave, the city will fall.

The title of Ravenmaster, therefore, is a serious title indeed, and after decades of serving the Queen, Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife took on the added responsibility of caring for the infamous ravens. In The Ravenmaster, he lets us in on his life as he feeds his birds raw meat and biscuits soaked in blood, buys their food at Smithfield Market, and ensures that these unusual, misunderstood, and utterly brilliant corvids are healthy, happy, and ready to captivate the four million tourists who flock to the Tower every year.

A rewarding, intimate, and inspiring partnership has developed between the ravens and their charismatic and charming human, the Ravenmaster, who shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the ravens and the Tower. Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower’s true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.

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How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say Lowest new price: $11.18
Lowest used price: $6.48
List price: $16.95
Author: Melissa Caughey
Brand: Unknown

Best-selling author Melissa Caughey knows that backyard chickens are like any favorite pet — fun to spend time with and fascinating to observe. Her hours among the flock have resulted in this quirky, irresistible guide packed with firsthand insights into how chickens communicate and interact, use their senses to understand the world around them, and establish pecking order and roles within the flock. Combining her up-close observations with scientific findings and interviews with other chicken enthusiasts, Caughey answers unexpected questions such as Do chickens have names for each other? How do their eyes work? and How do chickens learn?

Foreword INDIES Silver Award Winner

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The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition

The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition Lowest new price: $15.85
Lowest used price: $14.98
List price: $40.00
Author: David Allen Sibley
Brand: Random House

“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding

The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds, First Edition quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. Used by millions of birders from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide became the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The highly anticipated second edition builds on this foundation of excellence, offering massively expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and a new, elegant design.

The second edition of this handsome, flexibound volume offers a wealth of improvements and updates:

• All illustrations reproduced 15 to 20 percent larger for better detail.
 
• Includes nearly 7,000 paintings digitally remastered from original art for enhanced print quality.
 
• Expanded text includes habitat information and voice description for every species and more tips on finding birds in the field.
 
• More than 600 new paintings, including illustrations of 115 rare species and additional paintings of common species and regional populations.
 
• More than 700 updated maps of ranges, showing winter, summer, year-round, migration, and rare ranges.
 
• 85 bird family pages now cross-referenced to species accounts.

• Revised taxonomic order and most current common names for every species.
The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition, brings the genius of David Allen Sibley to the world once again in a thoroughly updated and expanded volume that every birder must own.

Features:

  • Sibley Guide To Birds, 2nd Ed

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