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Friday, April 06, 2007

"Good Birders Don't Wear White"

Mangrove Cuckoo

Just arrived on our desks is a new book, "Good Birder's Don't Wear White, 50 Tips From North America's Top Birders", in which we wrote a humorous essay called "Follow These Rules To Find A Mangrove Cuckoo". The publisher sent us each a copy. It is a fun and lighthearted look at the hobby of birding, from chasing rarities to feeding birds in your backyard, packed with lots of, often funny, advice.

The Mangrove Cuckoo is a very rare bird found only in southern Florida, that birders long to see. Our essay comes out of our own adventures and frustrations in trying to find a Mangrove Cuckoo. Actually, the first time we saw a Mangrove Cuckoo, "we" did not see it, instead Don saw it. We are happily married, but one of the potential sources of contention in our marriage is having one person see a rare bird without the other person also seeing it! We try to avoid that. As you can see from the photo of the Mangrove Cuckoo that Lillian took, she eventually did see the Mangrove Cuckoo. You'll have to read the book to find out the rest of the story.

Here is the review from
"This collection of essays, by 50 contributors (David Allen Sibley and Don and Lillian Stokes are probably the most well-known), supplies 50 tips for bird-watching, and here are a few: take field notes, hug your tour leader, think like a migrating bird, linger even after you have listed a bird, play fair when sharing a scope, go birding in bad weather, go birding with kids, learn birdssongs, and keep your binoculars clean. Experienced bird-watchers will be familiar with most of these tips, but the book is a delight to read and will generate new enthusiasm for the hobby. The 25 black-and-white line drawings are hilarious."

Photo © Lillian Stokes, 2007

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