Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 39(2): June 2007, pp 111-112


Copyright © 2007 The Great Plains Natural Science Society


Bill Burt has done it again. The author of two superbly illustrated books (Shadowbirds and Rare and Elusive Birds of North America) that were reviewed earlier in this journal, Burt has returned with another excellent book, this one focusing on marshes. Like his earlier books, Marshes features wonderful close-up views of many hard-to-photograph birds. Here, in addition, are grand images of marsh landscapes and other marsh denizens, especially plants. Burt best characterizes his own book, which he intends as "an evocation and exploration, rather than a catalog of marshland life." He tells of his 30 years spent prowling marshes of all kinds, all over North America, day and night ~like. His books display some of the results of his searches, both in word and wondrous photography. Burt ranges widely in his searches for marshes. Each of the seven chapters focuses on a marsh, or an area with marshes. He starts with his "home" marsh, in Connecticut. Then to Maryland and its Elliot Island marsh, then a fen near Douglas, Manitoba. One chapter touches on marshes of the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts, where he finds pleasure in the saltmarshes of Virginia and New Jersey, and wonders why the people of Louisiana seem oblivious to the marshy pageantry that surrounds them.