Two New Books of Note

The Nature of Oaks, by Douglas Tallamy

With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—oak trees.

Oaks sustain a complex and fascinating web of wildlife that encompasses insects, birds and mammals. The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycle of life, death and renewal.

Tallamy includes practical advice on how to plant and care for an oak, and information about the best oak species for your area.

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds, by Scott Weidensaul

The plummeting numbers of songbirds and shorebirds, raptors and waterfowl provide shocking statistics. A recent study collating decades of data revealed that nearly a third of all birds — three billion creatures — have vanished from North America in just the last 30 years.

A New York Times book review explained that the author “tasks himself with communicating to both the knowing birder and the layman the epic scale of what’s happening [to migratory birds] in our skies every year, the whys and hows, while offering rays of hope through the gloomy storm clouds. The success of A World on the Wing in navigating that challenge rivals the astonishing feats of the birds he chronicles.”

After spending years following migratory birds, Weidensaul offers a glimpse of optimism in his vibrant and eminently readable book. He writes that advances in technology from tiny geolocating transmitters to agile drones are changing the equation for the future of migratory birds.