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As initially planned in 1939 by Owen J. Gromme, then curator of birds at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Wisconsin Birdlife would not only describe and document every species of bird known to have visited this state, but would also depict each species with his own original paintings. During the next two decades, Gromme concentrated primarily on the latter, resulting in the separate publication in 1963 of his now classic Birds of Wisconsin. Work on the present volume was assumed in the late 1960s by Samuel D. Robbins, whose labors of more than 20 years give us a veritable encyclopedia of the state's ornithological knowledge. A complement and supplement to field guides, picture books, and recordings, the book is designed to enlarge the reader's understanding and appreciation of statewide history, abundance, and habitat preference of every species reliably recorded in Wisconsin.
The volume opens with a summary of the ornithological history of the state and an exposition of its ecological setting. The heart of Wisconsin Birdlife ensues: detailed accounts of nearly 400 species, with information on status (population and distribution), habitat, migration dates, breeding data, and wintering presence, followed by extensive discussion and commentary. Dr. James Hall Zimmerman, Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides a special discussion of bird habitats for the book. In addition, Wisconsin Birdlife features a comprehensive status and seasonal distribution chart, a detailed habitat preference chart, and an exhaustive bibliography.
The ultimate resource, Wisconsin Birdlife belongs within easy reach of everyone from armchair appreciators and casual birdwatchers to ardent birders and professional ornithologists.