…and where to find them. By Arthur R Harper
A few days before my knee surgery my older sister hands me this brown envelope and asks me not to open it till after I’ve had my surgery, and I’m at home. I really didn’t give it much thought prior to my surgery, so when I finally got home and comfortable I opened the envelope and look what I found inside.
Published by the Ohio Division of Wildlife back in 1955 (the year I was born) this 36 page booklet is in pristine condition. I don’t know which antique shop my sister found it in, but it is one of the coolest books so far in my small collection of bird related reading material.
Contained in this little jewel are sections covering “Birds and Bird Watching”, ” Birds and Climate”, “Birds and Human Occupation”, “Present Trends” and a few others. Most of the information is still pertinent today as it was over 50 years ago, however the best section is the last one. “List of Species”.
Let’s play a game. I’m going to give you a name of a particular species of bird exactly how it’s listed in this book, and you come up with the name of the bird as we call it today. No cheating!
- Duck Hawk
- Holboell’s Grebe
- Red-backed Sandpiper
- Short-billed Marsh Wren
- Sycamore Warbler
- Grinnell’s Waterthrush
- Pine-woods Sparrow
I can’t speak for any other state in the country, however Ohio has been offering free to anyone, small pamphlet style books related to so many subjects for anyone who loves the great outdoors and nature. Examples include:
- Sport Fish of Ohio
- Amphibians of Ohio
- Reptiles of Ohio
- Mammals of Ohio
- Common Spiders of Ohio
- Common Dragonflies & Damselflies of Ohio
- Common Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio
And there are 4 just about birds, which includes an audio CD that can be downloaded to your iPod.
It makes one feel good to be living in a state where the longevity of the Division of Wildlife and their stewardship towards our living world shows up in something as simple as these free books. This is where paying my taxes pays off.