Birding…..What a Novel Idea

Introducing the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series!!

Murder mystery book

Meet Bob White. An avid birder with a well-earned reputation for spotting birds, Bob has a natural talent for counseling high school drama queens and an unfortunate knack of discovering dead bodies. In his first adventure, “The Boreal Owl Murder”, Bob has set his sights on finding the elusive Boreal Owl in the Superior National Forest, but he stumbles across a corpse instead.

Other titles include:  A Bobwhite Killing, A Murder of Crows, Murder on Warbler Weekend, and Falcon Finale—now available in the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO) Nature Store. Armchair Birding has never been more fun! To tempt you a bit more, here are some interesting facts about some of the unusual birds featured in these murder mystery novels.

So have you seen a Boreal Owl? A small owl of boreal and montane forests, the Boreal Owl is found throughout Alaska and Canada, and across northern Eurasia. It is found in the lower 48 states only in the mountains of the West, in extreme northern Minnesota, and as an occasional winter visitor to the northern states. They roost in cavities or in dense vegetation and hunt rodents from perches. Owls are mainly nocturnal predators with hooked bills and needle-sharp talons; their large eyes and facial discs are distinctive. Could the owl have witnessed the dirty deed in the forest?

The Northern Bobwhite is a mottled reddish-brown quail with a short gray tail. This is one you likely know. An emphatic, whistled bob-white ringing from a grassy field or piney woods has long been a characteristic sound of summers in the Eastern countryside and across Texas. It’s quite a bit harder to actually see a Northern Bobwhite, as the bird’s elegantly dappled plumage offers excellent camouflage. They forage in groups, scurrying between cover or bursting into flight if alarmed. Bobwhites have been in sharp decline throughout the past half-century, likely owing to habitat loss and changes in agriculture, and they are an increasingly high priority for conservation.

Each spring birders come out of winter’s hibernation in search of rare warblers, One, the Cerulean Warbler is declining faster than any other warbler species in the United States. Habitat destruction due to agriculture and development is a major threat. The sky-blue Cerulean Warbler is very short-tailed, short-legged and stout-billed. It nests in tall broadleaf trees near water. Because it nests and forages higher in the canopy than most other warblers it is hard to see.  The cerulean warbler spends the winter in northern South America from northern Columbia and Venezuela down to southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. In the spring it migrates through the Gulf Coast region.

Come peruse all of our books during our Holiday Open House on December 6, 10am to 6pm.

By Karen Cornelius

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