BSI Senior Scientist Jeff Wells Introduces Birder's Conservation Handbook


Birder's Conservation Handbook by Jeffrey WellsBirder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk

by Jeffrey Wells, PhD

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Until now there has been no single, comprehensive resource on the status of North America's most threatened birds and what people can do to help protect them. Birder's Conservation Handbook is the only book of its kind, written specifically to help birders and researchers understand the threats while providing actions to protect birds and their habitats.

BSI Senior Scientist Jeff Wells has distilled vast amounts of essential information into a single easy-to-use volume – required reading for anyone who loves birds and wants to ensure they are protected. At-a-glance species accounts cover in detail North America's one hundred most at-risk birds; each account is beautifully illustrated by today's top bird artists.

The text includes status, distribution, ecology, threats, conservation actions and needs, and references. A distribution map accompanies each entry. Chapters discuss birds as indicators of environmental health, the state of North American bird populations, major conservation issues, and initiatives now underway to improve the health of North America's birds.

Birder's Conservation Handbook is an indispensable resource for birdwatchers, researchers, naturalists, and conservationists. Reading it will inspire you to become an active steward of our birds and the habitats we share.

  • A comprehensive guide to North America's one hundred most at-risk birds and how to protect them
  • Compact and easy to use, with beautiful illustrations and data organized for convenient, at-a-glance reference
  • Detailed species accounts, including distribution maps
  • Practical advice on conservation
  • Information on leading conservation agencies and resources

Read what reviewers have to say >

What Promiment Authors & Conservationists Have to Say:

"Here’s a book for everyone who has ever looked at birds with wonder and excitement and wondered what they could do to help them. Birder’s Conservation Handbook provides the essential background information for individuals and institutions to better understand the issues affecting our beloved birds. But, more importantly, the book highlights the amazing impact that the thousands of active bird conservation heroes across the continent have made for the benefit of birds, wildlife, and ultimately, for ourselves and our children."

John Flicker
President, National Audubon Society

"Everyone who cares about birds should have a copy of this Handbook. It goes beyond lists to explain exactly why the most threatened of North America’s birds are at risk — and what every birder can do to make a positive difference. The fate of many of these birds is tied to issues that span continents, and even hemispheres: activities in far away places are often crucial to their survival. This book highlights the international bird conservation work underway to help North America’s at-risk species, giving the wider perspective that is so often overlooked. Readable, fascinating and practical, it deserves a place beside your favorite field guide."

Leon Bennun
Director of Science, Policy and Information, BirdLife International

"How refreshing to see a book that places birds and bird conservation in a holistic, continent wide perspective. Canadians will be pleased (but not surprised) to find that throughout the book, the importance of Canadian habitat for birds comes to the fore. And the positive ideas for how birders can help leaves one with hope for the future. "  

Julie Gelfand
Executive Director, Nature Canada

"This is truly a bird guide for the new millennium. Jeff Wells has given us a resource that gives us a more realistic and three-dimensional view of bird life.  In this book we can see the birds as part of a bigger picture that includes their environment – and we can see that the picture includes us as well, with our responsibility for ensuring the survival of the birds that we all enjoy." 

Kenn Kaufman
Author, Kingbird Highway, Lives of North American
Birds, Peterson Field Guide to Advanced Birding,

"There are many intense birders in this world, and there are many strident conservationists, but there are too few people who are both. Jeffrey V. Wells is one, a top birder with World Series of Birding victories under his belt, and a wise, thoughtful, and seemingly effective advocate of conservation.... If you love birds and birding, get this book.... Birders working together can make a huge, positive difference to the health of many bird populations.... The Birder’s Conservation Handbook should prove to be a valuable guide to us all toward a future where birds continue to be abundant and a source of inspiration to our society." (Read full review)

Mark Garland
Author, Watching Nature: A Mid-Atlantic
Natural History,
and Former Senior Naturalist
with the Cape May Bird Observatory

"Finally a book that not only paints the big picture of bird conservation but also lets everyone in on little known secrets of conservation – especially the good news that there are countless ways for you and me to make things better for birds, for ourselves and, most importantly, for our children and grand children."

Jamie Rappaport Clark
Executive Vice-president, Defenders of Wildlife and
former Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

"To be interrested in birds is to be concerned about their welfare. This
poignant and wonderfully conceived book is an avian profiles in peril.
No birder's library can be considered complete without this new classic."

Peter Dunne
Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory,
Vice President for Natural History Information
for the New Jersey Audubon Society, author of
many birding books, and a contributing
editor to Birder's World Magazine

"Birder's Conservation Handbook is the first book to bring together all of the information necessary for you to be effective in bird conservation.
Major conservation issues, the ecological status of high priority species, and the partners working in this arena have all been assembled in one place. You can now both understand what's needed and take action while we still have time to make a difference, for the birds themselves and for our children's and grandchildren's quality of life."

Terrell D. Rich
Partners in Flight National Coordinator

"Jeff Wells has done everyone curious about bird conservation a big favor. He has presented an eminently accessible handbook on our imperiled birds and, more importantly, he has given readers positive approaches to best protect these birds. His book should provide solid background and encouragement for anyone concerned with the future of birds – at every level of interest and wherever they toil."

 Paul J. Baicich
Writer, editor, and bird-conservation consultant and former
Director of Conservation and Public Policy for American
Birding Association, and co-author, A Guide to the Nests,
Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds

"The Birder’s Conservation Handbook succeeds remarkably well in describing the status, threats and conservation actions of the species of greatest concern in North America. It documents well that, for a great many species, the conservation actions in Canada are critical and reminds Canadians that we all must play a role as responsible managers of habitats and landscapes. For birders, it gives very positive ideas of how they may help with vital bird monitoring through citizen science programs operated in Canada by bird conservation organizations such as Bird Studies Canada."

Dr. George Finney
President, Bird Studies Canada

"At last ornithologists, birders, and conservation planners have between two covers an exhaustive and invaluable storehouse of information about the status of bird conservation in North America. Along with 100 carefully chosen and exhaustively documented species accounts about birds at risk, the author has produced an outstanding overview and resource to bird conservation activity that should serve as a benchmark for many years to come."

Wayne Petersen
Massachusetts Audubon Society, IBA Director,
reknowned bird tour leader and author,
Birds of New England, Birds of Massachusetts,
and Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas

"An invaluable resource for birders and concerned citizens, giving us the
cold hard facts on the alarming decline in dozens of species of birds and
what is being done to save our beloved birds."

Bridget Stutchbury
Author of Silence of the Songbirds

"Jeff Wells' book offers an overview of avian conservation that is both
sobering and uplifting
.  While he pulls no punches in addressing the
serious issues facing North American bird populations, his ultimate
message inspires and encourages us to act.  Wells focuses much-needed
attention on conservation threats on the wintering grounds of migrants,

especially in the Caribbean and Central America, but he also highlights
recent successes and future opportunities.  This hopeful book is a
landmark to spur a new era of positive momentum

Chris Rimmer
Director, Vermont Center for Ecostudies, and
co-author, Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti

What Reviewers Have to Say:

"In addition to the species account and useful tips, Wells' book includes useful information on the status of many other species in the continental United States as well as Hawaii and Mexico, lists of environmental organizations and other useful links. This is a book you will want to use often. It is a welcome addition to bird conservation literature."

Tom Palmer, Lakeland Ledger

"An important summary of the state of bird conservation in North America.... A reader-friendly and outstanding resource to bird conservation activity that could serve as a benchmark for many years to come. We strongly recommend this title."

Birding Community E-Bulletin

"If you love birds and birding, get this book....The Birder's Conservation Handbook should prove to be a valuable guide to us all toward a future where birds continue to be abundant and a source of inspiration to our society."

Mark S. Garland, Tigrina Times

"A no-nonsense guide to declining bird populations and what can be done to reverse their slide."

Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times

"A great resource for anyone interested in making a difference in the future of the continent's imperiled bird life."-Lexington Herald Leader

"A fine and needed reference."

Gerry Rising, Buffalo News

"A considerable amount of information about the perils facing some of our feathered friends, including the emperor goose, yellow-billed loon and rusty blackbird. Some may say conservation is for the birds, but would the world really be a better place without the elegance of the trumpeter swan?"

John Mark Eberhart, Kansas City Star

"[Wells] argues against gloom. New initiatives for saving wetlands or curbing energy benefit birds, and Wells calls for greener living as a vital act of bird conservation. He supports the theme by working through his list in a format that echoes a field guide. Each species gets an account packed with details of what's known about its problems and what conservationists are doing."

Science News

"There is no other book specifically aimed at informing birders and researchers of threats to birds with suggestions of conservation actions to protect birds and their habitats. Highly recommended."

Nancy Cannon, Booklist

"Birder's Conservation Handbook is chockablock full of information on 100 of North America's most vulnerable birds, and the references to back up their reported status."

Noreen O'Brien, Maine Coast Now

"A good summary of the biology and conservation status for 100 North American birds at risk. It also offers information on what we can do to lessen that risk."

Jim Williams, Minneapolis Star Tribune



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Banner photo credit: CPAWS, by Juri Peepre