Rare Bird--hot off the press and the truck! (photo by N.D. Ruth)
Mountaineers Books' reissue of Rare Bird in paperback, arrived just moments ago!
I heard the happy sound of the UPS truck coming up my street and, well, flew out the front door barefoot and ripped into the package much to the amusement of the UPS driver who said, "Whoa, you don't get out much, do ya?"
What a fine day. Rare Bird will be in bookstores and available through online booksellers by August 15. I'm thrilled to share the story of this fascinating seabird with new audiences. The book has a snazzy new cover featuring a portrait of a murrelet chick by Paul Harris Jones (whose illustrations grace the interior pages). It has an updated epilogue. It has tips about how you can help protect marbled murrelets and their habitats (even if you never see or hear one of these endearing birds). It has a fully functioning index by Olympia's own Holly Knowles and a new author photo by Olympia's own Sarah Gevirtzman. And, for the past year, it's had the attention of the fine staff at Mountaineers Books. Would that all writers and imperiled species had such strong support from such compassionate people.
And other good news on the murrelet front:
On July 11, 2013, King County (Washington State) Superior Court Judge Heller ruled that the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) violated the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) by prematurely attempting to allow logging on 12,000+ acres of marbled murrelet habitat that have been protected for consideration in a long term conservation plan. (Seattle Audubon and the Olympic Forest Coalition, represented by the Washington Forest Law Center, sued the State of Washington on behalf of the marbled murrelet).
Biologists in central California are working to train Steller's jays to avoid murrelets by setting out dummy eggs laced with a vomit-inducing chemical. These jays, as well as other corvids such as ravens and crows, are the chief predator of marbled murrelets, taking both eggs and chicks on the nest. In central California, this means as much as 80% of each year's eggs.
Cheers! Keers! Go MaMu!