Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Book Review- Nebraska Bird Review (March 1981)

Copyright 1981, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Book Review

The Mystery of Migration, Dr. Robin Baker, Chief Contributing Editor, 256 pages, 8½ x 11, The Viking Press, Inc. N.Y. Indexed, hardbound, $29.95.

After an introduction and a definition of migration (which the authors give as all movement) it is discussed for plants (spread by runners or the like, or seeds carried by wind, water, or animals), invertebrates, insects, fish, amphibians and reptiles, birds, bats, aquatic mammals, land mammals, and man. There is also a glossary. Within each group migration patterns for some species or groups of species are discussed, and the hows and whys and wherefores explored. In many cases, particularly for long distance travelers, how the species determines its location and how it navigates is explored, with short descriptions of the experiments that led to the conclusions. But the organization by animal groupings means that one interested in a particular type of migration, location, or navigation, must search through these groupings for the examples beyond the discussion m the introduction. The book has many illustrations, maps, and diagrams. It is a general review of migration in all species. It will certainly broaden the view of those birders who may tend to think only of birds in connection with long distance migrations.


How to House Sparrows

This book doesn't give any easy, magic way to prevent house sparrows from annoying you and your bird guests, but it does suggest ways to reduce the problem: reducing the attractiveness to sparrows of the general neighborhood, managing the bird-housing and bird-feeding operations to reduce their attractiveness to sparrows, and control by trapping and the like.

Because sparrow infested martin birdhouses are not attractive to martins and are a detriment to the neighborhood, he has quite a discussion on how and where to erect a martin house and how to operate it. there is also a short chapter on defense against starlings. The book certainly should be worth its cost to anyone who has a present sparrow problem. And if one doesn’t yet have a sparrow problem, an ounce of prevention etc.