Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Naturalist and author from Iowa in the United States

Lyanda Lynn Haupt is an author, naturalist, and speaker based in Seattle.

Quotes edit

Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (2001) edit

All page numbers are from the trade paperback edition published by Sasquatch Books, ISBN 1-57061-419-9 (2004), first printing
  • Owls are not like other birds. I suppose one could say this about any avian tribe, but owls are particularly unlike, with layered dimensions of dissimilarity.
    • Chapter 2, “An Invasion of Owls” (p. 26)
  • In my experience, birds are as fine and appropriate a lens through which to assimilate life as anything else.
    • Chapter 3, “The Presence of Birds: A Very New Life List” (p. 43)
  • Mayr became a mentor for many promising young men with an interest in birds. He urged them to pick a bird, to follow and study it, to learn the secrets of its breeding life, its winter habits, to take in small details that no one else knew because no one else had ever watched so closely. Mayr argued against a stream of ornithologists who hoped to make the science entirely academic, feeling that serious amateurs could make valuable contributions to the field of ornithology if they watched birds seriously and well.
    • Chapter 5, “Cormorant Problem” (p. 60)
  • Cormorants are hated. In one popular anti-cormorant treatise, the bird is blamed for its very existence: “A war is being waged between the interests of sport fishermen and a predatory bird that has no local natural enemy. The bird’s sole purpose is to reproduce and eat fish.” Of course, obtaining food and reproducing are two primary goals of any species, including our own.
    • Chapter 5, “Cormorant Problem” (p. 74)
  • I suppose it might be argued that, for the amateur watcher seeking a meaningful connection with birds, this attention to remote detail is just another form of scientific reductionism, that harried foe of poetry and wonder. In my experience, it is so much the opposite. The tinier the details I come to comprehend, the more bewildered I become, the richer, it seems, the more inspiring of awe, is the biological life I manage to encounter.
    The minutiae offer a focus that bridges the aesthetic and scientific worlds.
    • Chapter 6, “The Birdwatcher’s Book of Secrets” (p. 83)

External links edit