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Horned Lark Vineyard Birds II
Horned Lark

Susan B. Whiting

I used to walk across the barnyard in West Tisbury to my grandmother Emma Mayhew Whiting’s kitchen.  There I would sit down facing the window and Emma would serve me a bowl of lumpy oatmeal.  I was fascinated by all the dickie birds (passerines) that were flying around the kitchen window tending Grandma’s feeders.  Emma would tell me the names of the bird and interesting facts about them. I was never able to eat oatmeal again, but have continued to be fascinated with our feathered friends.  Ten years later my father introduced me to another group of birds, the waterfowl. He would get me up at 4 in the morning and put me into a pair of waders and take me to a duck blind.  I never shot a bird, but John would show me the differences between a whistler (goldeneye) and a bluebill (scaup), as well as many other ducks and herons.  I majored in botany as an undergraduate, but in graduate school I took an ornithology class. I went on to lead bird walks on Martha’s Vineyard, write the All Outdoors and Bird News columns for the Vineyard Gazette and teach a class in bird watching at the Cambridge School for Adult Education.  To get off-Island during the dreary winter months, I started Osprey Tours, which led, with the help of my husband Flip Harrington, to bird watching and natural history trips across Central and South America.  And in southern Florida I birded with local Audubon societies, and was vice president of the Florida Ornithological Society.  The rest is history.


Wilson's Storm-petral
Pelagic Areas

Barbara B. Pesch

I was born and grew up in Iowa, learning to plant from childhood. The daughter of a landscape architect and a woman who could grow everything, I was raised with a love of nature and all growing things. Raising three sons on my own, I mothered and worked for several botanic gardens, where I wrote books about plants and gardening. Loving nature came to include knowing birds and attending a bird walk with Soo Whiting more than 40 years ago led to our mutual cooperation in bringing you this book. Enjoy!