Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin (Companion Press) (Paperback)
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Mono Lake, one of the most important lakes for wildlife in North America, offers a vast food resource for breeding gulls and other birds in summer and an essential refueling stop for countless migrating shorebirds and grebes in autumn. Join veteran bird photographer Marie Read as she follows Mono Basin's birds in the wild through her camera lens, revealing their behaviors and fascinating lives. David W. Winkler, ornithologist and cofounder of the Mono Lake Committee, invites us in his Introduction to Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin to come wander this magical land. Located in California's spectacular Eastern Sierra, Mono Lake is an oasis in the dry Great Basin and a vital stop on the Pacific Flyway providing habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds. By midsummer abundant alkali flies and brine shrimp provide an endless food supply while stream delta and near-shore wetland habitat also provide good bird habitat. Mono Lake is a small, integral part of the big migration picture. Because large numbers of phalaropes, gulls, and grebes depend on the lake, along with approximately 100 species of other birds, Mono Lake was designated as a part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).
About the Author
Wildlife photographer Marie Read first visited the Mono Basin in 2001 and promptly fell in love with the area s birdlife and scenery. In 2010 she began work on Sierra Wings, a multiyear photographic project to document some of the Mono Basin s best-known birds and their lives. Her images and articles about birds and their behavior have been featured in numerous magazines, as well as in books, calendars, and other products. She is the author of two previous books: Secret Lives of Common Birds: Enjoying Bird Behavior Through the Seasons (2005) and Common Birds & Their Songs (1998, coauthored with Lang Elliott). Coauthor David Winkler spent his teenage and early undergraduate years chasing birds across California with Rich Stallcup and many other fine field observers. As an undergrad at UC Davis, he co-led a student research group doing the first comprehensive study of the ecology of Mono Lake and the adjacent Mono Basin. In 1978, he joined his mentor and friend, David Gaines, in founding the Mono Lake Committee. He returned to graduate school at Berkeley that same year, pursuing his PhD with detailed studies of the causes of the small clutch sizes of Mono Lake s gulls. After postdocs in Europe and at Cornell, he joined the faculty there in 1988 and has pursued studies of swallows throughout the Western Hemisphere (including the Mono Basin) ever since. Justin Hite, coauthor Biologist and world traveler Justin Hite began his ornithological career in 1999 studying California Gulls with David Winkler at Mono Lake and has gone on to study numerous species in twelve countries, most recently Borneo. He delights in natural history observation of poorly known species where there is always the potential to discover new and interesting things about what it means to be a bird. Besides nest searching, his favorite pastime is entertaining his friends with imitations of bird displays."