The Kirtland's Warbler: The Story of a Bird's Fight Against Extinction and the People Who Saved It" by William Rapai and published by The University of Michigan Press. Normally I don't choose to read books like this because I fear that they will be depressing. I confess that when it comes to certain environmental concerns, I just want to plug my ears, close my eyes, and hope it goes away. I don't think I'm alone in feeling like this, though that train of thought is dangerous. Anyway, Rapai's writing is not depressing at all. The writing was fantastic! A page-turner for a historical narrative. Without shying away from the ugly side of conservation and the controversial issues, this book conveyed a lot of hope for the future of the Kirtland's Warbler. Rapai identifies late and modern day heroes. The history of the Kirtland's Warbler and all the characters around it are simply fascinating. This book is definitely worth the read.
I've been a long-time fan of the Brown-headed Cowbird and even wrote a sonnet in their honor. I wondered why so many birders hated them so much. Now, knowing the historical context of the cowbird versus the Kirtland's Warbler, my opinion has been swayed. I can't wait to see my first Kirtland's Warbler and I thank everyone mentioned in the book for their efforts in preserving this unique and awesome species.
This book is listed for $24.95 and is currently available online for $16.73.
The University of Michigan Press provided me a review copy of this book.