National Wildlife Refuge System

The Book Shelf

Swamper: Letters from a Louisiana Swamp Rabbit
By Amy Griffin Ouchley, published by Louisiana State University Press


From a hollow log in a bottomland hardwood forest, a swamp rabbit writes a dozen letters filled with detailed stories about life cycles, habitat, predators like owls and foxes, friendly neighbors like mice and wrens and finding food in the winter. Each letter is accompanied by brilliant photos – all taken by Friends of Black Bayou  - and delicate line drawings by Sandra Gay Brantley, a former Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge ranger. Author Amy Ouchley is the Friends volunteer director of environmental education and 2011 Louisiana Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator of the Year.


Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
By Phillip Hoose, published by Farrar Straus Giroux


The red knot with a bright orange B95 band on his leg has flown “more than 325,000 miles in his life – the distance to the moon and nearly halfway back.” So he has been nicknamed Moonbird, the title of Phillip Hoose’s newest nationally-acclaimed book.  Hoose, a National Book Award winner who works at The Nature Conservancy, tracked B95 and his fellow red knots from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic. Between mid-April and May, these tiny birds will be in Delaware Bay near Prime Hook and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuges. “No single feeding spot on earth offers more fuel in less time than the beaches that ring this huge bay,” writes Hoose.


Whether your refuge bands red knots or any other migratory bird, this is a fascinating and detailed look at the science of bird migration and the practice of banding.


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Last updated: March 4, 2014