I’d Rather Be Birding
Natural History - Ornithology
6.125 x 9.25, 200 pp.
10 b&w drawings.
Pub Date: 10/10/2003
Wardlaw Books
  cloth
Price:        $24.95

978-1-58544-292-8

Published by Texas A&M University Press

To Receive E-News
 
 



 

I’d Rather Be Birding

By June Osborne
Foreword by Pete Dunne

June Osborne really would rather be birding than doing just about anything else, and in this charming book of personal reflections, she leads readers through backyards and river bottoms, far and near, savoring the colors, sounds, and playful busy-ness of American Robins, Hooded Orioles, Vermilion Flycatchers, Common Loons, Varied Thrushes, and a hundred other feathered friends. Osborne has introduced thousands of home owners to their common backyard birds. In her book’s opening chapter “Exploring the Backyard,” she features birds people are likely to see around their (mostly) Texas homes. She also introduces some birding tricks of the trade, such as “pishing” and birding by ear. “Travel Is for the Birds,” she shares her birding and nature experiences traveling to such places as Tierra del Fuego, Chile, and Costa Rica, as well as to Arizona and Minnesota in the United States. Her final chapter, “In Love with a River,” chronicles Osborne’s long “love affair” with the Frio River in the Texas Hill Country, where, in April, she is resident birder at Neal’s Lodges, a familiar birding site and stop of the Nature Quest festival held in the Hill Country every spring. Osborne writes with an intimate style that often involves her life journey as well as her bird encounters. While giving us a glimpse of one woman’s spiritual growth through her experiences with birds and nature, Osborne also conveys a wealth of information about birds, both familiar and exotic, and about the enjoyment one can have in getting to know them.

June Osborne is a naturalist and freelance writer living in Waco, Texas. She is a columnist for the Waco Tribune-Herald, and a regular contributor to WildBird magazine, for which she serves on the advisory board. She has studied birds for almost thirty years both at home and abroad. She formerly taught bird identification classes, lectured, and guided bird tours and has written several books including Birder’s Guide to Concan, Texas (and Surrounding Area), The Cardinal, and The Ruby-throated Hummingbird.”

What Readers Are Saying:

“. . . born of a place we are all drawn to, a place that calls life into focus. If there is an adequate phrase to describe this work it is ‘memories alive.’ . . . certainly insightful and filled with the critical data that the inquisitive mind naturally seeks out. Far from dry, laborious reading, the nesting habits and behavior of a number of bird species, for example, jump off the page as something to appreciate and respect. Imbued with reflections of an avid birder/naturalist, the book clearly bears the underlying tones of an intense sense of the spiritual, of life as blessed by what surrounds us. I loved its simplicity, candor, and the honest recollections of an ongoing quest for other aspects of Good.”--Father Thomas Pincelli, St. Anthony Church

“. . . born of a place we are all drawn to, a place that calls life into focus. If there is an adequate phrase to describe this work it is ‘memories alive.’ . . . certainly insightful and filled with the critical data that the inquisitive mind naturally seeks out. Far from dry, laborious reading, the nesting habits and behavior of a number of bird species, for example, jump off the page as something to appreciate and respect. Imbued with reflections of an avid birder/naturalist, the book clearly bears the underlying tones of an intense sense of the spiritual, of life as blessed by what surrounds us. I loved its simplicity, candor, and the honest recollections of an ongoing quest for other aspects of Good.” --Father Thomas Pincelli, St. Anthony Church

“When a naturalist and master storyteller like June Osborne observes the dramas of the birding world with the keen eye of a naturalist . . . we are suddenly in the middle of the stories ourselves. Turn to any story in this collection of sixty-five newspaper and magazine columns by Wildbird Advisory Board member, columnist, and feature writer June Osborne, and you will be immersed in a rich pool of birding knowledge. But June offers something more–the chance to follow her spiritual journey as it has revealed itself through the search, mystery, and wonder of her vocation . . . an engaging writer, sensitive to the nuances of language and to the capacity of the human spirit to soar in the presence of the holy. Reading her stories takes us farther into the field, higher up the mountain trail, or closer to the rivers edge. Even if we don’t see any birds, the search with June makes the trip worthwhile!” --Wildbird Magazine

“The style of writing is relaxed, descriptive, and enjoyable, and reflects the author’s passion for birding.” --Audubon Naturalist News

“Her enthusiasm is contagious. Readers will take another look at their backyard feeders and discover a new enjoyment in watching the antics of their birds. There are black and white drawings, many with a sense of humor displayed and poems. All of these things add up to a fun and enjoyable book.” --Enchantment

“Osborne writes with passion and obvious love for her subject.” --Abilene Reporter-News

“Her book reads like an ode to the joys of birding and could spark a remote interest in even the most dedicated couch potato. Those of here in the Valley wanting to be entertained might do well to pick up [this book] and take a seat in our own backyards.” --The Monitor

“Osborne’s passion for birds and words is evident in each essay . . . She infuses the book with her love of birding. Even for a birding novice, such as this reviewer, the book is delightful. Perhaps it is best read while sitting in the rocker on the front porch, with the sweet sounds of birdsong filling the air.” --Texas Parks and Wildlife

“. . . novices as well as accomplished birders will enjoy reading June Osborne’s experiences and insights into this challenging hobby. . . a delight to read, this book of memories will instruct as well as entertain.” --Review of Texas Books

OF RELATED INTEREST

Life on Matagorda Island
Book of Texas Bays
Texas Whitewater
Designing the Bayous
Review Copy Request Form Desk Copy Request Form