Into the Nest: Book review

I have a relatively nice camera and three relatively nice lenses. I enter novice bird-related photography contests and do best with my own domesticated birds. I find it almost impossible to photograph birds in flight and even harder to find a good angle to photograph nests and their chicks. While at a local bookstore, I happily found Storey’s 2015 book: Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds by Laura Erickson and Marie Read.

The authors reveal the intimate lives more than 50 common North American birds through close-up photography. Stunning images of hummingbirds, owls, tanagers, and more showcase different stages of avian development and capture the loving bond that exists within each bird family. Bird enthusiasts of all feathers will cherish these beautiful images of courting, nest construction, eggs, nestlings, feeding time, and much more.

Laura Erickson is the author of seven bird books, including The Bird Watching Answer Book, and is co-author of Into the Nest. She has served as an editor of Bird Scopemagazine and a columnist and contributing editor for Birdwatching magazine and she contributed editorial content for the All About Birds website. She also writes and produces a daily radio segment about birds.  She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Marie (pronounced “Maury”) Read’s photographs and articles have been featured in numerous magazines, including National Geographic, Bird Watching, Birds & Blooms, andBird Watcher’s Digest. Marie previously worked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as photo/illustrations editor for the Home Study Course in Bird Biology, and later as photo editor/content developer for the All About Birds website. She lives in Freeville, New York.

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Even the pictures and story of the common, and often times pugnacious, blue jays held my interest. Almost fledged blue jays, which are strong and active, relaying on their parents nurture, makes me feel a little less hostility towards the species.

Some of the most amazing photographs included birds of prey. From how great horned owls raise their owlets, to how peregrine falcons court with talons, it was all fascinating.

Barn swallows, who nest in difficult locations, were also an interesting read. As shown in one of the amazing photographs, a nestling reaches out of its nest box to receive an in-flight meal from his parent. Tree swallows stay in the nest for a few weeks, which is much longer than most songbirds.

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