The Living Bird explores the relationship between birds and people through over 250 images by wildlife photographer Gerrit Vyn and thought-provoking essays by some of the world's leading naturalists and bird enthusiasts. The book also marks the 100th anniversary of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Captured in terrain both exotic and familiar--the Yukon Delta, a woods in Arkansas, a remote village in Russia's Arctic, and even urban Seattle--Vyn's remarkable photographs illustrate nearly 100 North American bird species. The exhilaration of migratory Whooping Cranes, the fragility of the endangered Spoon-Billed Sandpiper, and the wide-eyed beauty of Great Horned Owls all come alive on the page. From enjoying backyard Black-capped Chickadees and Yellow Warblers, to wondering over a Pileated Woodpecker, or to admiring the powerful soar of a Gyrfalcon, The Living Bird educates and inspires.
Essays by Barbara Kingsolver, Jared Diamond, John W. Fitzpatrick, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, and Scott Weidensaul
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015
200 images, illustrating more than 100 North American bird species
Connecting people to birds opens their eyes to the natural world!
An intimate yet stunning exploration of North American species, The Living Bird shares our joyful and complex relationship with birds. Through imagery and thoughtful essays, award-winning photographer Gerrit Vyn, along with leading naturalists and bird enthusiasts, takes readers on a visual and experiential journey, revealing the essence of the century-long work done by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Barbara Kingsolver remembers herself as a reluctant birder until, years later, she exalts in a special birding trip with her father. From this evocative beginning, Scott Weidensaul then delves into the secret lives of birds: How do flocks of birds manage to migrate thousands of miles? What determines who mates with whom? And what is the purpose of all those pretty feathers and glorious melodies? In her essay, Lyanda Lynn Haupt finds inspiration in our everyday birds as they connect us to the natural world, and she describes how citizen science-sharing daily observations via ebird, for example-has enriched her own understanding of everything around us. Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology John W. Fitzpatrick considers the threats birds face today, and some of the failures-and successes-of the past. While too many species have been driven to extinction, others have made remarkable recoveries thanks to human action. Jared Diamond underscores that it is in our hands to preserve the living birds around us.
Throughout, Vyn's remarkable photographs of birds, both familiar and exotic, bring the exhilaration of migratory Whooping Cranes, the fragility of the endangered Spoon-Billed Sandpiper, and the wide-eyed beauty of Great Horned Owls alive on the page. From enjoying Black-capped Chickadees or Yellow Warblers in a backyard birdbath to spotting a Pileated Woodpecker in the woods to admiring the powerful soar of a Gyrfalcon, the appeal of watching and listening to birds leads us into a greater understanding of their environment-and of ours.
About the Author
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York, is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. The nonprofit organization includes a vibrant community of 200,000 citizen-science participants from all walks of life, and 5 million bird enthusiasts of all ages.
Gerrit Vyn is a Seattle-based photographer whose images have been used by many conservation organizations and appear regularly in books and magazines including National Geographic, Audubon, Living Bird, BBC Wildlife, Natural History, National Wildlife, and The New York Times.