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A Review of: Birds of Yorkton-Duck Mountain (No 6 Manley Callin Series)
by Allan Safarik

Birds of Yorkton-Duck Mountain is a regional Saskatchewan publication that compiles the work of several lifetimes of study and record keeping to provide an immense social history of the people who kept track of birds and the information that they have gleaned. The material is presented in a dozen scientific ways in order to leave behind more than a centuries worth of information about birds in this region. Imagine if you will, Stuart Houston and his beloved wife Mary Houston, banding over 125,000 birds of 206 species including 7,204 Great Horned Owls in their amazing lives together as pioneers in birding pursuits and techniques. Houston, medical doctor, author of half a dozen major histories and one of the foremost authorities on birds in North America (author of more than 240 ornithological papers) has joined with his friend and colleague William Anaka (and his wife Joyce), who kept much of the data on breeding bird numbers and migration, to write and produce this thorough, well-documented monograph that is full of maps and charts and photographs which were take over time to provide an overview of the discoveries and records birders of this region made over a period spanning decades. Included here are the insights of the famous nature writer Ernest Thompson Seton, who first came to the region in 1883 and homesteaded in the Yorkton-Duck Mountain area in 1884. His "observations constitute historical sections for 33 species in this monograph." We are told in addition: "As we go to press we list 305 species, plus three species still on the Saskatchewan hypothetical list. For 161 species we have evidence of breeding on at least one occasion. This represents a great deal of additional study by a great many people since the original mimeographed list in 1942 of 198 species."
Houston and Anaka with the help of their wives have produced a legacy that documents the presence of birds in the landscape but also delves into the physical characteristics of the land forms that nourished the rich bird life in this region. They provide information on the implications of climate change for migration routes and species ranges?

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