Monday, December 15, 2014

GrrlScientist Names Hummingbirds One of the Best Bird Books of 2014

Dr. Devorah Bennu, otherwise known as Devorah the Ornithologist, has published (for the first time) a list of the best bird books of the year on her well-known and widely-read Guardian blog GrrlScientist.  I'm very pleased that Hummingbirds is one of the eleven books on her list.  If you read her post, you will see that I am in very good company!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Humminngbirds released - Butterflies on the way!

Hummingbirds is now available on Amazon, and should be in bookstores soon.  In fact readers in North America have a good chance of seeing a copy before I do - I'm writing this from Kuching, Malaysia, where Eileen and I are dealing with a family health crisis.

A highlight of Hummingbirds - and it takes something for a mere author to admit this! - is the portfolio of magnificent photographs by the best hummingbird photographers in the business, Michael and Patricia Fogden.  I'm now working on what is sure to be another beautifully-illustrated book - Butterflies, this time showcasing a gallery of photographs from around the world by Swiss photographer Thomas Marent, for release in 2015.  As I did for Hummingbirds, I am combing the latest scientific literature for new discoveries, insights and - increasingly in these days of global warming and habitat destruction - warnings.  I'll post the full list of references here.

Meanwhile, enjoy Hummingbirds!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

From Elephants to Hummingbirds

I have just finished correcting the page proofs for my latest book, on a subject as different from elephants and rhinoceroses as it is possible to imagine: hummingbirds, the smallest and most extraordinary of birds. 

As I say in my introduction: "There are many books about hummingbirds, and I wanted to make this one a bit different.  Rather than turn out yet another general natural history of the hummingbird family, I have made the theme of this book the things that make these extraordinary creatures unique among birds. To do that, I have focused on the most recent scientific research into their relationships, their lives and their chances for survival.  Much of this information has not, to my knowledge, appeared in any book for the general reader."

If that doesn't excite you, let me add that the book is filled with a beautiful hummingbird photographs by the acknowledged masters of the art, Michael and Patricia Fogden. 

Hummingbirds is already available for pre-order on Amazon and other sites.  For those of a scholarly bent, I will be posting the full list of references I consulted for the book on this site (as soon as I figure out how!).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ivory, Horn and Blood a Silver Nautilus Award Winner!

Ivory, Horn and Blood has been named as a 2014 Nautilus Silver Winner in the Category of Journalism/Investigative Reporting.  The Nautilus Book Awards, according to their website, represent "Better Books for a Better World." "Now in its 15th year, this unique book award program continues to gain prestige with authors and publishers around the world as it seeks, honors, awards and promotes print books that inspire and connect our lives as individuals, communities and global citizens."

 Ivory, Horn and Blood has also received an Honorable Mention for General Non-Fiction in the 2014 Green Book Festival.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ivory, Horn and Blood to lauch in Malaysia

As readers of my other blog, A Wandering Naturalist, will know, I spend a good deal of time in my wife's home state of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo.  For anyone reading this who will also be in Sarawak next month, I would be very glad to see you at UCSI University in Kuching at 7:30 PM on the 21st. I will be launching Ivory, Horn and Blood, and bringing people up to date on the ivory and rhino horn poaching crisis.  Malaysia has been specifically identified as a transit point for smuggled ivory, so the subject is highly relevant for a Malaysian audience.  My presentation is being sponsored jointly by the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre and the Malaysian Nature Society (Kuching Branch).  If you want the details, please write Asha Deva Kaushal of SBC at

And if you are in Kuching, please join me and other members of MNS (Kuching Branch) the next day for an overnight trip to Kubah National Park.   We will be birding by day, and frog-watching by night, with my friend and herp expert Hans Breuer leading the night walk.  Asha can give you the details.

See you in Kuching!