Friday, April 07, 2006

Kudos to Kroodsma

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that a recognition of birds' vocalizations contributed to transforming "birdwatching" to "birding," to moving the hobby/sport/lifestyle beyond a strictly visual form of identification.

Birdsong appears to have become a popular book topic within the last 10 years and particularly in the last two. Last year, Donald Kroodsma's The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong emerged, with CD and sonagrams.

This year, Kroodsma received the Burroughs 2006 Medal award from the John Burroughs Association. The 80th annual award recognizes American books that combine fieldwork, accuracy and engaging writing in the tradition of Burroughs' essays about nature.

Between 1867 and 1922, Burroughs produced 29 books of essays that reflected a lifetime of interest. In a similar vein, Kroodsma has studied birdsong for more than 30 years. A retired associate professor emeritus from Massachusetts, he now contributes as a visiting fellow at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology... and accepts smooches from admirers.

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