Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds

Facing the demise of the very creatures that he has always depended on for his sense of home, Herriot sets out to discover why birds are disappearing and what, if anything, we can do to save them. He takes us out to local pastures where a few prairie songbirds sing and nest, as well as to the open rangeland where doomed populations of burrowing owls and greater sage-grouse cling to survival. In a narrative that is at once profound, intimate and informative, we meet passionate bird researchers and travel in the footsteps of 19th-century botanist John Macoun, the last naturalist to see the Great Plains in its pre-settlement grandeur.

In the spirit of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines, this arresting book fills the heart with wonder and reveals that any hope for the endangered wildness in North America’s heartland depends on people making the right choices—on farms, in legislatures and in board rooms, and even at the supermarket. Beautifully illustrated with the author’s own drawings, Grass, Sky, Song awakens our senses to the glory of all birds and calls for a renewed bond between culture and nature.