Thursday, December 29, 2022

New Minnesota Birding Book

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Wildlife, Nature, Biodiversity

Ed Hessler

On November 30, 2022, The Star Tribune published a special to the "On the Wing" column by frequent contributor Jim Williams. He wrote about the renewal of an influential birding book. I think it is an important book.

This edition (#5) of "A Birder's Guide to Minnesota"by Kim Eckert is on December bookstore shelves (unless there was a glitch). Williams writes that the "early guide (1974) detailed 150 places to find birds here. The total grew with each edition, reaching over 1,400 well-vetted birding sites in the new book." Williams calls our attention to why "Minnesota is an excellent state for birding." Think habitat diversity and Eckert discusses this diversity "in the introduction to his book."

So, the book continues like its predecessor to help us go beyond identification, no small part of birding, to making associations between habitat and what birds use  habitats. This allows your birding to serve a double purpose: getting to know birds and getting to know some things about their preferred habitat, i.e., some basics of ecology.

Eckert quotes "Robert Janssen, our senior birder" who said that the book is "'a master guide for finding birds in Minnesota. The link is to one of three books Janssen has written.

I hadn't known about Eckert's Minnesota Birding Weekends, which "have taken birders to every corner of the state in every season." They remain, writes Williamson "the lowest-priced and most popular birding tours you can find ($20 to $70 depending on trip length and duration not counting motels and meals). Participants caravan in cars."

Mr. Williamson provided the web address for Minnesota Birding Weekends which I have also included here. It and the site are worth a look.

The article provides more information about Mr. Eckert's career and achievements. If you are a subscriber to The Star Tribune you can read it online.

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