Best of
 Wild Things…
Winter Reading List
By Karen Vizzi
  Have you ever heard the term “armchair gardener”? It refers to those who are more interested in reading about the subject than actually participating in it. 
    Unfortunately, the term is sometimes used in a derogatory way. I suspect it is by those who live in a year-round gardening climate, with little time to read.  But in Western New York, there comes a time in every year when even the most dedicated wild gardener must put away the shovel and stay indoors. That time is getting closer, so here’s a list of books that are my personal recommendations for enriching your soul, when you can’t get out to enrich your soil.

The Feather Quest – A North American Birder’s Year by Pete Dunne. A must if you love bird watching, and sure to convince you if you haven’t tried it!

Red-Tails in Love – A Wildlife Drama in Central Park by Marie Winn. A heartwarming account of hawks and hawk lovers in the heart of New York City. One of my favorites!

Four Wings and A Prayer – Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly, by Sue Halpern.

Hawks in Flight by Pete Dunne, David Sibley and Clay Sutton
Outstanding guide for learning to ID raptors in flight.

Small-headed Flycatcher. Seen Yesterday. He Didn’t Leave His Name. 
…and other stories by Pete Dunne. Absolutely hilarious!

Kingbird Highway – The story of a natural obsession that got a little out of hand. By Kenn Kaufman.

Cultivating Delight – A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman

The Curious Naturalist - a National Geographic Society publication. Lots of interesting projects.

The Feederwatcher’s Guide to Bird Feeding by Margaret A. Barker and Jack Griggs
A must for the “armchair” birdwatcher!

   I try to stay away from “how-to” manuals during the winter. I can’t take the frustration of learning a new technique, which must wait until spring to be tested. With one or two exceptions, all of these books are anecdotal in nature I will most certainly re-read each of them during the long months ahead.

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