Oology and Ralphs Talking Eggs: Bird Conservation Comes Out of Its Shell

Hardcover | October 15, 2007

byCarrol L. Henderson

not yet rated|write a review

Before modern binoculars and cameras made it possible to observe birds closely in the wild, many people collected eggs as a way of learning about birds. Serious collectors called their avocation "oology" and kept meticulous records for each set of eggs: the bird's name, the species reference number, the quantity of eggs in the clutch, the date and location where the eggs were collected, and the collector's name. These documented egg collections, which typically date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, now provide an important baseline from which to measure changes in the numbers, distribution, and nesting patterns of many species of birds.

In Oology and Ralph's Talking Eggs, Carrol L. Henderson uses the vast egg collection of Ralph Handsaker, an Iowa farmer, as the starting point for a fascinating account of oology and its role in the origins of modern birdwatching, scientific ornithology, and bird conservation in North America. Henderson describes Handsaker's and other oologists' collecting activities, which included not only gathering bird eggs in the wild but also trading and purchasing eggs from collectors around the world. Henderson then spotlights sixty of the nearly five hundred bird species represented in the Handsaker collection, using them to tell the story of how birds such as the Snowy Egret, Greater Prairie Chicken, Atlantic Puffin, and Wood Duck have fared over the past hundred years or so since their eggs were gathered. Photos of the eggs and historical drawings and photos of the birds illustrate each species account. Henderson also links these bird histories to major milestones in bird conservation and bird protection laws in North America from 1875 to the present.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$34.50

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Before modern binoculars and cameras made it possible to observe birds closely in the wild, many people collected eggs as a way of learning about birds. Serious collectors called their avocation "oology" and kept meticulous records for each set of eggs: the bird's name, the species reference number, the quantity of eggs in the clutch, ...

Carrol L. Henderson has headed the Nongame Wildlife Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for thirty years. He lives in Blaine, Minnesota.

other books by Carrol L. Henderson

Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide
Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide

Paperback|Feb 15 2010

$30.20 online$39.95list price(save 24%)
Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica
Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica

Paperback|May 1 2002

$28.97 online$30.95list price(save 6%)
Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Rica: A Field Guide
Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Ri...

Paperback|May 1 2010

$28.41 online$37.50list price(save 24%)
see all books by Carrol L. Henderson
Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.35 × 6.25 × 0.85 inPublished:October 15, 2007Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292714513

ISBN - 13:9780292714519

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Oology and Ralphs Talking Eggs: Bird Conservation Comes Out of Its Shell

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Foreword by Noble S. ProctorPrefaceAcknowledgments1. The House of the Talking Eggs2. The Heyday of Oology: 1880-19183. In the Beginning4. Early Exits from the Land: These Birds Were among the First to Go5. Wild Bird Eggs6. The Handsaker Egg Collection: Ralph's Talking Eggs7. One Hundred Years Later: An Iowa Perspective8. Scientific Value of Eggs and Egg CollectionsEpilogueBibliographyIndex