Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Scheiber, "Book Review" of Gladys Black's "Iowa Birdlife" (U. of Iowa Pr., 1992), from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1992) 60(4).


Copyright 1992, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


This book is a compilation of 100 of the articles that were published in the Des Moines Register from 1982 to 1992. The profits from the sale of the book will support Conservancy projects to protect and preserve the Iowa bird habitats described in the book.

The author's locale is Pleasantville, a small town southeast of Des Moines in the area around Lake Red Rock, which is between Pella and Knoxville. She has made bird observations every day for 35 years. Through her articles, talks, and field trips, she has done more than anyone else in Iowa to bring the science of ornithology to lay persons. In 1956 she became active in the Iowa Ornithological Union. She is a licensed bird bander.

Every birder will find interesting facts in the book, and some may gain new knowledge. The charm lies in the way she tells how and where she saw a bird and found its nest. She includes the type of habitat, food preferences, the height of the nest above the ground, its composition, the number and appearance of the eggs, and length of incubation. She also relates incidents surrounding some of her bird sightings. One time, she nursed a starving Snowy Owl back to health.