Where Have All the Birds Gone? Nature in Crisis

­Twenty-First Century. Mar. 2022. 120p. Tr $37.32. ISBN 9781728431772.
Gr 7 Up–Scientist and naturalist Hirsch uses a clear and straightforward style to describe factors leading to the loss of three billion North American birds since 1970 and the meaning of such a catastrophic loss to the environment. Her sobering description of the wanton and widespread killing of the passenger pigeon, a North American bird numbering in the millions in the last century, provides a historical context of careless extinction. She contrasts this with the response to the death of hundreds of migrating songbirds that flew into skyscraper plate glass windows in 2020 as she describes steps taken to prevent a recurrence of such a tragedy. The chapters flow from topic to topic with a text that is easy to read and understand on many levels, including for those beginning to study environmental issues. Sidebars amplify the information in the narrative, and a wide range of color photographs, maps, and drawings is engaging and illustrates the diversity of individuals working on environmental issues. Not all doom and gloom, specific chapters describe how individuals can make a difference. The glossary and index make this useful for reports, while the bibliography and source notes provide jumping off points for further exploration.
VERDICT Recommended as a first purchase for school and public library collections.

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