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Dam Builders: The Natural History of Beavers and their Ponds
Author: Michael Runtz
Format: Paperback
  • Few animals in the world are as famous or as infamous as the beaver, and none save our species has the ability to so dramatically transform its environment.

    Beavers are remarkable animals. They have teeth that self-sharpen and never stop growing, and a heart that slows down and valves that close in their ears and noses when they dive. Their tail is the most multi-purpose of any animal on this planet; in addition to communication its many functions include serving as an air conditioner in summer and a food pantry in winter.

    From mighty moose that glean sodium from aquatic plants to swallows that live in drowned trees and tiny butterflies that nectar in meadows where a pond once stood, myriad organisms benefit from the actions of beavers.

    This book is a comprehensive overview of the lives of beavers and the habitats that arise from their actions. It is a visual extravaganza: approximately 400 photographs provide intimate insights into the lives of beavers and the inhabitants of their ponds and related habitats. Many new observations and rarely seen moments - such as beavers fighting - are documented in it.

    Awards
    Finalist for the 2015 Lane Anderson Award for the Best in Canadian Science Writing - Adult category

    Reviews
    "This book is a comprehensive overview of the lives of beavers and the habitats that arise from their actions. It is a visual extravaganza: approximately 400 photographs provide intimate insights into the lives of beavers and the inhabitants of their ponds and related habitats. Many new observations and rarely seen moments — such as beavers fighting — are documented in it. — Canada's History Magazine

    "With stunning photographs throughout, this extraordinary book may seem more suited for the coffee table than an academic bookshelf. But the photographs do more than simply illustrate the text—they tell the story of beavers visually and powerfully, bearing witness to engineering marvels that result in complex ecosystems that benefit both beavers and other species. The accompanying text, admittedly sparse relative to the photographs, is just as important and earns the book respect as an academic resource. Runtz acknowledges that he is a naturalist, not a research biologist. But his bias as a naturalist who admires the beaver for its ecological role and skill for altering the landscape does not lessen the volume's value, which is a "blend of gleanings from ... scientific literature" and Runtz's personal observations. The familiar tone of the prose draws readers into beavers' watery world. Dozens of other species—birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals, flora—are considered as co-inhabitants of beaver constructed ecosystems, and the author examines beavers' impact on the human built world. Highly recommended" — Choice Magazine

    Educator Information
    This image-heavy book (approximately 400 photographs) has sparse but informative text and is geared towards adults. However, the wide range of photographs and information on beavers could be useful for classroom studies of beavers.

    Additional Information
    330 pages | 10.50" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
$45.00

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The Good Hope Cannery: Life and Death at a Salmon Cannery
Author: W.B. MacDonald
Format: Paperback
  • In 1895 Scottish entrepreneur, engineer, and outdoor adventurer Henry Ogle Bell-Irving built the Good Hope Cannery in Rivers Inlet, BC. There was a fortune to be made and Bell-Irving was determined to make one, both for the shareholders of the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company, and for himself. As sole agent for ABC, he effectively controlled the company, which grew to include cannery operations on the west coast from Washington State to Alaska. For years the operation was astronomically successful, but profits were realized on the backs of skilled Chinese and Native cannery workers, and on the know-how of northern Europeans and Japanese fishermen.

    Good Hope canned salmon continuously until 1940 and thereafter served company fishermen as a place where they could refuel, eat, buy supplies and have their boats and nets repaired. By the late 1960s, depleted fish stocks and technological advances rendered Good Hope obsolete as a camp. But a Henry Bell-Irving descendant, grandson Ian Bell-Irving, envisioned Good Hope as a sport fishing resort catering to affluent North Americans, and so Good Hope entered the third phase of its life, a phase that continues to this day. The Good Hope Cannery and the Goose Bay Cannery in Duncanby are all that are left of an important era in BC's history--all the other canneries in Rivers Inlet have vanished.

    The Good Hope Cannery is a story of the people who built it, worked in it, fished for it, maintained it, and welcomed guests to it. MacDonald looks deeply into the personalities and everyday lives, and sometimes tragic deaths, of the colourful characters of the Good Hope Cannery.

$26.95

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Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Headaches?: And Other Bird Questions You Know You Want To Ask
Author: Mike O'Connor
Format: Paperback
  • Learn answers to all the bird questions you've always wanted to ask in this beginner's guide, filled with wisdom and humour.

    In 1983, Mike O'Connor opened the Bird Watcher's General Store, which might well have been the first store devoted solely to birding in North America. Since that time he has answered thousands of questions about birds, both at his store and while walking down the aisles of the supermarket.

    The questions have ranged from:

    - inquiries about individual species (Are flamingos really real?")
    to
    - what and when to feed birds ("Should I bring in my feeders for the summer?")
    to
    - the down-and-dirty specifics of backyard birding ("Why are the birds dropping poop in my pool?").

    Answering the questions has been easy; keeping a straight face has been hard.

    Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Headaches? is the solution for the beginning birder who already has a book that explains the slight plumage variations between doves, but who is really much more interested in why birds sing at 4:30 a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m., or whether it's okay to feed bread to birds, or how birds rediscover your feeders so quickly when you've just filled them after a long vacation. Or, for that matter, whether flamingos are really real.

    Reviews
    "Mike O'Connor knows birds - I mean, REALLY knows them. He has been answering questions about birds for years, and he can deliver the straight scoop with a hilarious twist that makes it unforgettable. Reading this book is almost as much fun as bird watching, and that's saying a lot!" — Kenn Kaufman, author of the Kaufman Field Guide to the Birds of North America

    "This is quite possibly the funniest bird book ever written. O'Connor has broken the mold of straight-laced bird books." — WildBird Magazine

    "While O'Connor's detailed responses are full of ornithological facts, it's their humor and irreverence that make the book so entertaining." — Audubon Magazine

    Additional Information
    224 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

$9.95

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