Arts and Entertainment

Author of birds book to read at bookshop

Those who have an interest in avian life on Vashon have probably heard of the islander with a reputation as a regional bird expert who happens to share his last name with a bird: Ed Swan. Swan will talk about the new edition of his book on local birds, “The Birds of Vashon Island” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the Vashon Bookshop.

Swan, who released the first edition of the book in 2005, said he is pleased with the additional color photographs, maps made from satellite images depicting Vashon’s bird habitats in the new edition. The book, he said, also has a greater and more current amount of data on the 251 bird species on the island.

But Swan is quick to point out that the book would be nowhere without the community’s critical input, and he singles out two groups for praise. The first includes all the conservation nonprofits that have worked to preserve and protect the crucial bird habitats, including the Vashon Maury Island Land Trust, the Audubon Society and Preserve Our Islands, now known as Sound Action. The other group consists of the many community members who have reported their individual bird sightings and participated in the Christmas bird count over the past 15 years.

“The book is based on a lot of people’s efforts,” Swan said. “A lot of folks have given their time, and without that effort, the book would be a hobby.”

— Juli Goetz Morser

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