Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2004. — 452 p. — ISBN 1-55297-925-3.Why an almanac on birds? The idea actually took root because ot the phone calls. As a regular columnist on birds for The Gazette of Montreal for two decades and on bird behavior for Bird Watchers Digest for over a decade, I get numerous phone calls on a weekly basis concerning birds. While many are desperately seeking solutions to problems with unwanted pigeons or are looking for a cheaper place to buy cracked corn to feed pigeons, still others simply want to know more about birds in their backyard, I or instance, what's the incubation period for those robin eggs sitting in the nest over their front porch light? What kind of flowers attract hummingbirds? What kind of foods can one offer to the birds? Perhaps a caller’s child is looking for information for a school project on birds. What is the rate of a bird's heartbeat? How fast does a bird fly? How long do they live? Or maybe someone's trying to settle a bet or answer a trivia question. What's the world's largest bird or the smallest egg? How much weight can a bird carry? Maybe the caller is merely searching for places to go bird-watching or for some tips on buying binoculars. Oh yes, there are indeed many fine books and scientific journals out there on the market that provide answers to these questions and more. But I longed to have just one resource book by my telephone or in my briefcase that could answer most of the kinds of questions I am often asked. In searching about for a model for this book, I came across the "almanac," i.e. a soft-cover book that is reasonably compact, user-friendly, relatively up-to-date, but most important of all, fairly inexpensive. They are often used to provide a quick, ready answer to questions that pop up from time to time. The famous Fanners Almanac, and in more recent years, The Universal Almanac published by Andrews and McMeel (Kansas and New York) come to mind as examples. There now exist almanacs for a variety of subjects ranging from fishing to the Civil War. However, much to my surprise, no such almanac existed for birds and bird-lovers!
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