National Geographic : 1964 Oct
Alden H. Miller reports the intriguing ways of mockingbirds and thrashers. In all, 14 scientists contribute their special knowledge. Birds in vivid, lifelike color grace the book from cover to cover. Indeed, the 555 illustra tions explain why Song and Garden Birds re quired more than three years to produce. Care fully selected from thousands of the finest color photographs, as well as from famous bird portraits made for the GEOGRAPHIC by Allan Brooks, they depict each bird to best ad vantage for identification. Staff artist Walter A. Weber and ornithologist George Miksch Sutton created paintings speciallyfor the book. To show birds in their natural habitats, Frederick Kent Truslow, Eliot Porter, the late Arthur A. Allen, Allan D. Cruickshank, and other expert wildlife photographers spent days, weeks, even months to get one outstand ing picture. Sometimes they built tall plat forms-slowly, gingerly easing each piece into place, lest they disturb the bird on the nest. Birds on the wing also posed a difficult problem. The human eye, for instance, must strain to follow the belted kingfisher as he dives into the water from 50 feet overhead and emerges with a small fish in his beak. But the high-speed camera catches this dramatic action for us in our new book. I found equally dramatic its photographic contrasts. Most of us, I suppose, know that the male bird generally sports the fancier feath- Song and Garden Birds of North America is available only by direct order from the Society: 400 pages, 555 illustrations, 509 in color; bound in buckram and linen; long-playing record album of 70 bird songs in cover pocket. For a first-edition copy, $11.95 postpaid anywhere in the world, order promptly from National Geographic Society, Dept. 176, Washington, D. C. 20036.