The first comprehensive overview of Maine’s incredibly rich birdlife in more than seven decades, Birds of Maine is a detailed account of all 464 species recorded in the Pine Tree State. Written by the late Peter Vickery in cooperation with a team of leading ornithologists, this guide offers a detailed look at the state’s dynamic avifauna—from the Wild Turkey to the Arctic Tern—with information on migration patterns and timing, current status and changes in bird abundance and distribution, and how Maine’s geography and shifting climate mold its birdlife. It delves into the conservation status for Maine’s birds, as well as the state’s unusually textured ornithological history.
Peter Vickery passed away in 2017 and completion of the project fell to co-editors Barbara Vickery and Scott Weidensaul. As Scott says, “Peter worked on this book literally up to his final days in February 2017. He had written more than 300 species accounts and had assembled the data for another 100-plus. The editors, co-authors Charles Duncan, Bill Sheehan, and Jeff Wells, and several others had quite a few species accounts to complete (including new species that kept showing up in the state, like Great Black Hawk), as well as the task of updating many that Peter had drafted, getting all of these peer reviewed and then drafting the four extensive introductory chapters Peter had envisioned. Bill Hancock produced almost 130 maps—range maps, migration maps, location maps for each area of the state as well as special topics like seabird nesting islands. Lars Jonsson produced 15 stunning, specially commissioned paintings, and Barry Van Dusen supplied more than 100 ink drawings.”
Publication is scheduled for November 3. Birds of Maine is published by Princeton University Press and co-published by Nuttall Ornithological Club. All the proceeds go into a Birds of Maine Fund held by Maine Audubon that supports work to conserve birds and bird habitat.
Birds of Maine is available for pre-order at the Nature Store; call 207.781.2330 x201 or email Stanley Sampson.
Follow Maine Audubon on Instagram to see excerpts and samples of Barry Van Dusen’s illustrations. Excerpts from Birds of Maine by Peter D. Vickery, Charles D. Duncan, Jeffrey V. Wells, and William J. Sheehan (Copyright © 2020 by Peter D. Vickery, Charles D. Duncan, Jeffrey V. Wells, and William J. Sheehan) are published and reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.
“From the gorgeous artwork to the stunning maps, fascinating essays, and authoritative chapters and species accounts, this remarkable book sets a new standard for state-level bird books. Birds of Maine showcases both the rich past and the present state of birds—and bird conservation—in a style and format that raises the bar for state bird books.”
—David Yarnold, president of the National Audubon Society
“Eloquent, elegant, and powerful. The art, photography, and maps are exquisite—the book is simply beautiful. Birds of Maine is a treasure for birders, biologists, naturalists, and conservationists.”
—Judy Camuso, commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
“The long and rich history of bird study in Maine is brilliantly summarized in this book. The intricate details of each species’ occurrence are presented with clarity and context. To top it all off, the drawings and paintings by Barry Van Dusen and Lars Jonsson make the book a pleasure to browse. Highly recommended.”
—David Sibley, author and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds
“Birds of Maine sets a new gold standard for a state-based bird volume. A tribute to Maine’s long love affair with ornithology, it is sure to engage future generations to protect Maine birds and their habitats. Beautiful and nothing short of inspiring.”
—Stephen W. Kress, founder of Project Puffin