Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



“Book Reviews,” from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1986) 54(4).


Copyright 1986 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


Bears and Men: A Gathering, William Mills, 108 pp., 9¼ x 9¼, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, cloth $24. 95. The author’s pictures, mostly of polar bears, but with a few of seals, arctic fox, men and their machine, and two of Ptarmigan, are probably more important than the text, which describes a trip out from Churchill in a tundra buggy towing a dormitory accommodation, both supposedly (but not too) bear-proof. The trip was organized for those who were interested in photographing polar bears under relatively natural conditions. In the course of the narrative the author finds occasions for discussions on archeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, history, the philosophy of photography, and other topics that come up. An interesting book.

The Breeding Bird Survey: Its First Fifteen Years, 1965–1979, Chandler S. Rubins, Danny Bystrak, and Paul H. Geissler, 200 pp., 8 x 10¼, US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Resource Publication 157, available free from Publications Unit, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington DC 20240. This book reviews the estimated changes in the breeding bird populations in the United States and Canada, based on the survey reports. The situation of each species, or group of species, is discussed, and a chart of the trend is given for most of them. There are also charts of the density of populations of some species, and comments on expansion and contraction of ranges, and of the effect of bad weather on some species. There are tables of the total individuals and routes by species for 1977: the mean number of birds per route by species for each state and province, 1965–1979; the number of routes, total species, and individuals per route for each of the 62 physiographic regions; a listing of the common and scientific names of the birds mentioned in the text; the instructions for the surveys; an explanation of the statistical methods used; and a list of published maps of relative abundance of specific species and where these maps can be found. In other words, a summary of the information obtained from the surveys.