Red Tails in Love by Marie Winn
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 10:24:06 AM
Well I ended up setting 'The Greatest Show on Earth' aside for awhile and checking this book out of our local library. Marie Winn tells the story of a red-tail hawk (Pale Male) that arrives in New York City's Central Park and the ensuing drama of his subsequent mates and offspring. Marie Winn is a newspaper columnist who discovers birdwatching and starts following the exploits of the birds in Central Park as part of her regular beat. Peppered with other naturalistic observations about park 'wildlife', it should be a quick and charming read.
The book however was a bit of a slog for me, as much as I enjoyed the hidden jewels of bird behavioral discovery, many of the birds in the book are unfamiliar to this west coast reader. Those birds that I did know were very common species around our area. I see two to three red-tails each day on my way into work, so I felt isolated from the thrill of discovery Marie felt around these specimens. I guess my enthusiasm was also muted by a sadness about the imposition of the City life on the wildlife, it was sad to see how hard the urban environment is on wildlife. Maybe I'm anthropomorphizing a bit, it was a good book, it could have been more engaging. I'm a little embarrassed that it took me nearly five weeks to finish its 352 pages.