Silence of the Songbirds
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Silence of the Songbirds

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Wood thrush, Kentucky warbler, the Eastern kingbird-migratory songbirds are disappearing at a frightening rate. By some estimates, we may already have lost almost half of the songbirds that filled the skies only forty years ago. Renowned biologist Bridget Stutchbury convincingly argues that songbirds truly are the "canaries in the coal mine"-except the coal mine looks a lo...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Walker Books Ltd (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sridhar
With this book, Bridget Stutchbury, ornithologist and currently professor at York University, Toronto, has made an important contribution to the popular science literature on birds of the New World. The focus is on the many bird species that are suffering long-term declines in their populations, especially neotropical migrant songbirds that breed in North America and spend the 'winter' (or more accurately, the non-breeding season) in Central and South America.

In nine chapters, Stutchbury leads t...more
Terry
Mar 24, 2009 Terry rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
For all that the topic is one in which I have a deep interest, this was not the book for me. The author sticks to what she knows, a few birds common to the eastern seaboard. And her authorial voice, one that smacked of upper middle class entitlement (as she described walks in the woods at her Pennsylvania farm and walks near her other home in Toronto), left me wishing she could explicate the problem without so injecting that note. There's lots of "doom and gloom" in the book but it's mostly, exc...more
Cathy
An eye opening and sad commentary for migratory songbirds.
________________________________________
"Ten Ways to Help Migratory Songbirds

Buy Shade Coffee
Buy Organic Produce from Tropical Countries (e.g. bananas, pineapple)
Buy Organic for Crops that Pose the Greatest Pesticide Risk to Birds (e.g. potatoes)
Go Pesticide-free on Your Lawn
Buy Wood and Paper Products Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
Buy Paper Products (e.g. toilet paper, paper towel) made from Recycled Paper
Turn Your Li...more
Diane
This is a fascinating but sobering book that explains why the songbird population is diminishing so rapidly. The author is knowledgeable about birds and their behavior, specifically about the migrant birds who spend the winter in Central America and then migrate to North America to breed. Stutchbury explains the dangerous conditions these animals face along their journey and makes suggestions on what can be done to mitigate their ever-increasing death rates. Hopefully, we will be able to save th...more
Marlene
We've noticed over the years that we are seeing fewer types of birds in our patch of forest, but I assumed that this was largely the result of global warming. Having read this book I now realize that there are a host of reasons why this is so, from light pollution, pesticide use, cell and wind towers, loss of habitat both in wintering grounds and breeding areas and predators. It seems to me that in the not too distant future we will no longer hear the dawn chorus of singbirds in our forest. What...more
Dee Boulger
Feb 28, 2008 Dee Boulger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes birds and nature
Recommended to Dee by: My best friend Janet.
I am currently reading this and I find it hard to put down. It's so good to read a book where her descriptions of the Panama rain forest reminds me of the first 26 or so pages of James Mitchner's description of the forming of the Islands in his" Hawaii" moved me to tears because of his descriptive beauty (I think I reread those pages 3 times over before going on in the book). Bridget is a great writer and scientist and I am so glad I have been fortunate enough to meet and get to know her.
Alicia
This is a must read, depressing as it is. Songbirds, as suggested by the author, just might be the canary in the cage with regards to the human species. After all, their numbers are dwindling astoundingly as a result of habitat loss and pesticides and other man-made reasons. These are all indicators of well being not only for birds but for humans and the planet. However, there are things that you can do, such as buying shade coffee and organic vegetables.
Julie
This is a fascinating and highly readable book for anyone interested in birds or nature. It's very accessible for those of us without science backgrounds and contains so much interesting information. You'll never drink coffee again without thinking about where and how it's grown. And you'll never hear the songbirds in your backyard without wondering about how far they've flown and what obstacles they've surmounted on their flight.
Leslie Mclendon
This book inspires me to be even more vigilant abou buying organic. We always hear about the health benefits for people, but the effect pesticides have on birds and wildlife is catastrophic - espcially in Latin America where many of our birds winter. This book goes into more than just pesticides - it's all things that affect our songbirds. Fairly easy to read even with all the very specific things scientists write about.
Halli Lilburn
I love birds. Living out in the country I have the oppurtunity to help so many that are close to endangered. This book helped me realize what my property needs to support migratory birds and their habitats. There is a lot of tragedy in the book and the future looks bleak for many species. I also found the book VERY repititious. However, Stutchbury knows what she's talking about.
Kelsey
A very insightful book about the decline of migratory songbirds across North and South America and how this is affecting world ecosystems. Filled with lots of informative, entertaining bird behavior anecdotes. An enjoyable read for anyone gaga about birds. I think it is an important read for non-bird lovers too, though it might not be such fun reading in that case.
Ellie
Packed with lots of good information, and pretty well-written. In a few sections her arguments felt glossed over and/or one-sided. Still, a compelling summary of how songbirds fit into the global ecosystem, and how they are (or aren't) finding ways to integrate themselves into a rapidly changing environment.
Penny
This book was more like a lay textbook on the life and habitat of songibrds. I learned a lot about songbirds. Probably a bit more than I wanted to know. Stilll I'm glad I read it.
Joel
This is a very good book that shows how we are all interconnected with our environment and that simple things that we do can have a huge ripple effect.
Mike
Really good book on migratory songbirds, why they are declining, and what you can do about it to help them.
Maddy
The book that made me (often unsuccessfully) hunt out shade-grown coffee.
Mark Greene
If you think that birds don't matter...
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shade grown coffee 1 6 Aug 16, 2010 07:06PM  
The Private Lives of Birds: A Scientist Reveals the Intricacies of Avian Social Life The Bird Detective : Investigating the Secret Lives of Birds Silence of the Songbirds Bridget Stutchbury Two-Book Bundle: Silence of the Songbirds and The Bird Detective The Bird Detective: Investigating the Secret Lives of Birds

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