BAR HARBOR— The newly published book, “Birds of Maine,” is the first comprehensive guide of Maine’s rich birdlife published in almost seven decades and features detailed accounts of all 464 bird species that have been recorded throughout the state.
Join the book’s co-editors Barbara Vickery and Scott Weidensaul as they talk about “Birds of Maine” during a virtual book talk on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m. on Zoom, hosted by the Jesup Memorial Library.
The book started to take shape 17 years ago when the late Peter Vickery began working on a detailed look at the state’s birds. It has information on migration patterns and timing, current status and changes in bird abundance and distribution, and how Maine’s geography and shifting climate mold its birdlife. It delves into the conservation status for Maine’s birds, as well as the state’s unusually textured ornithological history, involving such names as John James Audubon and Theodore Roosevelt, and home-grown experts like Cordelia Stanwood and Ralph Palmer.
Vickery, who worked for Massachusetts Audubon and earned a doctorate in wildlife ecology from UMaine, enlisted the help of three ornithologists to be his co-authors: Charles D. Duncan, founding director of the Institute for Field Ornithology; William J. Sheehan, who worked the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and who is an expert on the birds of northern and eastern Maine; and Jeffrey V. Wells, vice president of boreal conservation for the National Audubon Society and author of several books.
When Vickery passed away in 2017, his wife Barbara and Weidensaul stepped in to finish the book as co-editors. At the time of his death, Vickery had fully written more than 300 accounts and there was rough data for more than 100 other birds. Barbara and Weidensaul worked with the co-authors to finish the species accounts and added information for new species birds that visited Maine in the past few years. Alongside the information on each bird, the guide features watercolors by Lars Jonsson and line drawings by Barry Van Dusen.
David Sibley, author and illustrator of “The Sibley Guide to Birds” writes, “The long and rich history of bird study in Maine is brilliantly summarized in this book. The intricate details of each species’ occurrence are presented with clarity and context. To top it all off, the drawings and paintings by Barry Van Dusen and Lars Jonsson make the book a pleasure to browse. Highly recommended.”
Vickery was one of New England’s leading ornithologists and worked on “Birds of Maine” for several decades before his death. He wrote and edited three previous books, including “A Birder’s Guide to Maine” with Elizabeth and Jan Pierson, and authored many academic papers and reports.
Barbara Vickery was the conservation director for The Nature Conservancy in Maine for 33 years.
Weidensaul is the author of more than 30 books on nature and a longtime instructor at Maine’s Hog Island Audubon Camp.
This talk is co-sponsored by Sherman’s Books and copies of the book can be purchased at any of their locations, online at shermans.com or by calling (207) 288-3161. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link for this event. To register, visit jesuplibrary.org/events/birdsofmaine and fill out the form or email [email protected].