The University of Michigan library has been putting together a new Creative Commons sharing platform, the PictureIt Rare Book Reader. They have recently released 435 high quality digital images of Audubon’s Birds of America elephant folio. The images can be viewed in high-resolution, and shared under the creative commons license. The University of Michigan keeps a room dedicated to Audubon’s original work at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, including the full 8 volume elephant folio. However, if you want to view the Audubon images yourself in full size, come on in to The Community Library, and ask about our own folio edition in our Reference Collection (not the original, but still extraordinarily nice!)
We also have a very solid collection of ornithology books in our regular stacks covering birding and birders around the world. Our most recent release, Imperial Dreams by Tim Gallagher, tracks the nearly mythical two foot long Imperial Woodpecker (largest of all carpinteros) through the wilds of the Sierra Madre in Mexico. The book explores both the natural history of the mountains of Northern Sonora and it’s erratic and dangerous political and social situation from the time of Pancho Villa’s raids to today’s terrorizing cartels.
Our most recent book for birders as well as anyone interested in any manner of ecological niches is The World’s Rarest Birds by Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash and Robert Still put out by the Princeton University Press. The book includes photographs of 515 endangered species, and fine illustrations of extremely rare birds that have never been photographed. QR codes are included to link to individual species on BirdLife International’s website, where detailed current information on the rara avis is freely available.
Another new arrival to our shelves provides some stunning visual imagery of the northern flyways and watersheds critical to migratory birds and animal habitat–check out The Sacred Headwaters: the fight to save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass by Wade Davis. The author will be a speaker at this summer’s Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, and should have some very keen observations about the conflict between the copper, gold and methane extraction companies leasing the mineral rights and concerned conservationists and First Nations stakeholders in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Wade Davis also recently published a feature article in National Geographic on the people of the Stikine River Valley.
What are your favorite birds and birdwatching sites? Think of us when you are planning your next trip into the Wild, and put The Community Library on your Living List.