BIRD BRAINS: Inside the Strange Minds of Our Fine Feathered Friends (ISBN: 978-0-7267-8755-5)
Wild birds are my friends. I like talking to them. Nothing too deep, mind you. Just stuff like, “Well hello there guys. How are you doing today. Beautiful weather we’re having, isn’t it? Your feathers are sure looking nice and fluffy this fine morning.”
And here’s the best part. I think the birds actually listen to me. They often talk—or more correctly, call or sing—back at me while I’m standing there watching them.
In my 45 years as a professional wildlife biologist, I’ve watched wild birds do some pretty extraordinary and—in some cases—just outright wacky things. I’ve seen sage grouse strutting like pimps in a clearing—called a lek—on a high plateau in the Colorado Rockies, marsh wrens bouncing merrily along the tops of cattails to celebrate the arrival of spring, blue-footed boobies diving like blazing skyrockets in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, and a great blue heron subduing and then swallowing a monstrous water snake in Florida’s Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
It’s my profound hope that some of my favorite stories about wild birds—posted here—will inspire you to take your family out and explore the natural world. Just for a while, leave your cell phones, computers, and other assorted electronic gear behind and join our great and revered naturalists of yesteryear—John James Audubon, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Rachel Carson, and all the rest—in networking with nature. Watch, observe, introduce yourself, and even get to personally know the wild birds and other marvelous creatures with which we share this planet.
Text excerpted from book: BIRD BRAINS: Inside the Strange Minds of Our Fine Feathered Friends, written by Budd Titlow and published by Lyons Press (an imprint of Globe Pequot Press). Photo credit: Copyright Budd Titlow, NATUREGRAPHS.
Author’s bio: For the past 50 years, professional ecologist and conservationist Budd Titlow has used his pen and camera to capture the awe and wonders of our natural world. His goal has always been to inspire others to both appreciate and enjoy what he sees. Now he has one main question: Can we save humankind’s place — within nature’s beauty — before it’s too late? Budd’s two latest books are dedicated to answering this perplexing dilemma. PROTECTING THE PLANET: Environmental Champions from Conservation to Climate Change, a non-fiction book, examines whether we still have the environmental heroes among us — harking back to such past heroes as Audubon, Hemenway, Muir, Douglas, Leopold, Brower, Carson, and Meadows — needed to accomplish this goal. Next, using fact-filled and entertaining story-telling, his latest book — COMING FULL CIRCLE: A Sweeping Saga of Conservation Stewardship Across America — provides the answers we all seek and need. Having published five books, more than 500 photo-essays, and 5,000 photographs, Budd Titlow lives with his music educator wife, Debby, in San Diego, California.