Imagine a Minneapolis so small that, on calm days, the roar of St. Anthony Falls could be heard in town, a time when passenger pigeons roosted in neighborhood oak trees. Now picture a dapper professor conducting his ornithology class (the university\u2019s first) by streetcar to Lake Harriet for a morning of bird-watching. The students were mostly young women-in sunhats, sailor tops, and long skirts, with binoculars strung around their necks. The professor was Thomas Sadler Roberts (1858-1946), a doctor for three decades, a bird lover virtually from birth, the father of Minnesota ornithology, and the man who, perhaps more than any other, promoted the study of the state\u2019s natural history. A Love Affair with Birds is the first full biography of this key figure in Minnesota\u2019s past.Roberts came to Minnesota as a boy and began keeping detailed accounts of Minneapolis\u2019s birds. These journals, which became the basis for his landmark work The Birds of Minnesota, also inform this book, affording a view of the state\u2019s rich avian life in its early days-and of a young man whose passion for birds and practice of medicine among Minneapolis\u2019s elite eventually dovetailed in his launching of the beloved Bell Museum of Natural History.Bird enthusiast, doctor, author, curator, educator, conservationist: every chapter in Roberts\u2019s life is also a chapter in the state\u2019s history, and in his story acclaimed author Sue Leaf-an avid bird enthusiast and nature lover herself-captures a true Minnesota character and his time.
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 33 mm
"For those of us who spend a lifetime helping preserve and encourage the conservation of birdlife, one of the greatest gifts we can receive is the chance to enter the `conservation time machine' provided by books like Sue Leaf's A Love Affair with Birds. It transports us back more than a hundred years to experience the diversity and abundance of the birdlife that once existed in Minnesota. It allows us to sense Roberts's passion for birds, his detailed powers of observation, and his thoroughness in documenting his lifetime of bird observations." -Carrol Henderson, Nongame Wildlife Program supervisor, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources