Every year, U.S. wildfires, on average, burn an area larger than the state of Massachusetts. Most people consider these habitats to be total wastelands, but are they? List of birds found in burned forests. Glossary. Further resources. Index. Full-color photographs.
The following is from the January 2015 issue of Science Books & Films:
After reading this book the reaction of many may be, “Who Knew?” Several generations of Americans have been raised under the influence of Smokey Bear, who admonished, “Only you can prevent forest fires!” (p. 29) As a result, many people believe that all forest fires are bad, But, as one scientist has indicated, “There are two kinds of fires, . . . . The ones that burn down your house or kill your neighbor are bad, bad, bad. The other ones can be the greatest things in the world.” (p. 8) The author, who has a science background, has written more than 65 books for young people. He also took most of the stunning photographs that appear in this book. Apparently, “ . . . he became fascinated with wildfires at an early age.” (p. 48) This interest led him to consult experts who study the ecology of burned forests. The text explains that “ . . . burned forests are not just useless wastelands. . . . They are thriving, essential parts of our world.” (Pp. 8 9) The young reader will learn that more than 15 kinds of birds prefer to nest in burned forests. Here they find safe nesting places, plentiful supplies of food, and refuge from small animals that often prey on their eggs. Ten birds are highlighted in boxes, entitled “Featured Fire Bird.” Their special relationships with burned forests are described.—Jacqueline V. Mallinson, retired, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI