Science Online | Books & Reports | Newsletters | SB&F | Annual Report | Store
Home About AAAS Programs Membership Publications News Career Resources


Science Books & Films

Triple-A S: Advancing Science, Serving Society

Publications of AAAS and Science

Review Spotlight: Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas
Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


Spring is slowly appearing around the country. Even among the cold rain and sleet the cherry blossom trees here in Washington, DC managed to reach peak bloom this week.

Today I'd like to highlight a creature whose sighting is a sure sign that spring has arrived: the hummingbird! SB&F recently reviewed a unique book on hummingbirds entitled Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas. The review will appear in our May issue, but here's a sneak peek!

Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas by Jeannette Larson and Adrienne Yorinks. (Illus. by Adrienne Yorinks.) Charlesbridge Publishing, 2011. 64pp. $16.95. ISBN 9781580893329. 

This attractive book was a pleasure to read. By intertwining the biology and ecology of hummingbirds with folklore of Native cultures of North and South America, the authors make this a quick and entertaining read. Visually, the book is also very appealing – beautiful fabric collage illustrations are displayed on most of the pages. The reader’s appreciation of hummingbirds will definitely grow upon reading this book. For instance, small hummingbirds can beat their wings 200 beats per second and one hummingbird species (the Rufous hummingbird) migrates more than 2500 miles each way. The number of wing beats to complete a journey like this is mind-boggling. About one page each is devoted to topics such as physical characteristics, diet, plumage, flight, habitat, migration, reproduction, vocalization, and predation, with each section followed by traditional folklore. Readers need to be aware that this is not a hummingbird identification book, but instead is more like an attractive coffee table book full of interesting facts concerning the hummingbird family in general. It could be used for general awareness or as a starting point for reference and is suitable for ages 12 to adult.

Happy Spring!

Posted 31 Mar 2011 12:51 PM by Heather Malcomson