Essays and paintings celebrating the birds which are unusual to the region. Color illustrations by Dana GARDNER.
Although the many common birds of the Upper Midwest are lovely to hear and see, there is no doubt that the uncommon birds attract more attention. In this gorgeously illustrated companion to their Fifty Common Birds of the Upper Midwest, which provided a new appreciation of the not-so-ordinary beauty and lifeways of familiar birds, illustrator Dana Gardner and writer Nancy Overcott celebrate the rarer birds of the Upper Midwest.
Gardner and Overcott selected species that are uncommon because of dwindling populations, species that may be common elsewhere but not in the Upper Midwest, species that may be abundant one year and absent the next, and species that are usually present but are seldom seen. Beginning with the surf scoter with its multicolored bill and ending with the gregarious evening grosbeak, which resembles a giant goldfinch, they pair watercolors of each species with text that portrays its life cycle, its vocalizations and appearance, and its habitat, food, and foraging methods as well as migration patterns and distribution. Throughout, Overcott’s personable text is infused with the pleasures of her twenty-plus years of living and birding in Minnesota’s Big Woods and her dedication to preserving natural resources, and Gardner’s paintings—each a gorgeous reminder of the rare qualities of these uncommon birds from this renowned illustrator of bird life worldwide—emphasize her call for conservation efforts. The annotated bibliography includes online information about national and international organizations that focus on birds or that affect birds through conservation, as well as information about a variety of books and journals for beginning to experienced birders.
Even the most easily seen bird is uncommon, if we use uncommon to describe the exceptional beauty and behavior of all birds. Focusing on ?fty truly uncommon birds (plus two bonus birds) of an area they know and love, Gardner and Overcott give readers the desire to search for these birds and the incentive to protect them.
This delightful book is full of interesting stories- about encounters with the rare and reclusive birds of the Upper Midwest. Nancy Overcott provides a fascinating introduction to a whole group of species that many birders are unfamiliar with but that can add greatly to their birding experiences. -James Dinsmore
Nancy Overcott’s delightful narrative style joins birds and birders in an informative mix. Dana Gardner paints lively birds set in revealing hints of landscape. Nancy and Dana have been there and seen that. They are uncommonly good. -Jim Williams, birding columnist, Minneapolis Star Tribune