I have a confession to make – I’m a birder. I keep a life list of all the birds I’ve seen. When I visit someplace new, my first purchase is usually a local bird book. I get excited about seeing a “lifer” – a bird I’ve never seen before.

This hobby started rather haphazardly when I was a child. I remember, on one of our cross-country camping trips, identifying as a family several birds we saw in Yellowstone National Park (white pelicans, trumpeter swans, and osprey).

It became more formalized when I started birding with several co-workers at my first job after college (organizing camp programs for a Girl Scout council north of Boston, Massachusetts). Since my son was born, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that young children and birding are not usually compatible.

But I still get excited about a good bird sighting – and I notice them in books too.

When I chose Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse for my first Alaska book, I had to find out more about the eponymous bird, and why it was chosen to represent the book as title.

Then, when I started To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, I came across the camp robber bird and had to know more.

So, I’m starting a series of short posts based on bird sightings in the books I’m reading, as well as keeping track of them all in an ongoing Life List of Birds in Books.

Feel free to share any notable sightings of your own in the comments!

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Birds, Ramblings


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