July: Books of the month

Our choices for nature writing books published in July.



By Mark Avery and Keith Betton

Pelagic Publishing

Publishing date: 20 July

Price: 16,99 British pounds



How and why did the most acclaimed birdwatchers in Britain take up birding? What were their early experiences of nature? How have their professional birding careers developed? What motivates them and drives their passion for wildlife? How many birds have they seen?

Mark Avery and Keith Betton, passionate birdwatchers and conservationists, interview members of the birdwatching community to answer these and many other questions about the lives of famous birdwatchers. They take you behind the scenes, and behind the binoculars, of a diverse range of birding and wildlife personalities, including Chris Packham, Stephen Moss, Stuart Winter and Lee Evans.




By Ceri Levy and Ralph Steadman

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publishing date: 16 July

Price: 22,75 British pounds


The authors of the award-winning “Extinct Boids” are publishing a new book, featuring more of the incredible art of cartoonist Ralph Steadman. This time the focus is not on the birds that are gone, but the ones that there’s still time to save. These are the 192 Critically Endangered birds on the IUCN Red List, species such as the Giant Ibis, the Kakapo, the Sumatran Ground-cuckoo and the iconic Spoon-billed Sandpiper – these, along with a number of classic Steadman creations such as the Unsociable Lapwing, are the NEARLY-EXTINCT BOIDS. Woids are again by author, conservationist and film-maker Ceri Levy.



By Carl Safina

Henry Holt & Company

Publishing date: 1 July

Price: 18,15 dollars


The author of “The View from Lazy Point: a natural year in an unnatural world” (2011) and “Sing for the blue ocean” (1999), makes a come-back with a book about how animals truly think and feel, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought, and emotion. Weaving observation with new understanding of brain functioning, his narrative erases many previously held distinctions between humans and other animals. In “Beyond Words”, readers travel from Kenya to visit the Sheldrake elephant orphanage, to Yellowstone National Park to observe free-living wolves sorting out the aftermath of their personal tragedy, to the whales of Hero Strait off of Vancouver. Safina delivers an examination of how animals truly think and feel, which calls to question what really does -and should- make us human.



By Vernon R. L. Head

Signal Books

Publishing date: 9 July

Price: 14,99 British pounds



In 1990 an expedition of Cambridge scientists arrived at the plains in the country of Ethiopia. On that expedition, 315 species of birds were seen. And the wing of a road-killed bird was packed into a brown paper bag. It was to become the most famous wing in the world. At British Natural History Museum in Tring, scientists were able to name a new species, Nechisar Nightjar, Caprimulgus solala. Twenty-two years later an expedition of four led by Ian Sinclair set off to try to find this rarest bird in the world. Vernon R.L. Head tells of the adventures of Ian, Dennis, Gerry and himself as they navigate the wilderness of the plains, searching by spotlight for the elusive Nechisar Nightjar. But this book is more than a boy’s own adventure in search of the rarest bird in the world. It is a meditation on nature, on human curiosity and our place in the natural world.




By Fabrice Genevois and Christophe Barbraud

Quae Editions

Publishing date: 20 July

Price: 22 euros


This book is an invitation for us to enter the marine birds’ world. These species have colonizes all the oceans in the planet, form the Equator to the Polar Regions. The marine environment demands have transformed these birds, forcing them to adapt their bodies and behaviours. The two authors show the reader what makes these birds so special, writing about their abilities to travel never ending distances or to dive into the abyss. They also are the first witnesses of the changes in the marine ecosystems.

Helena Geraldes

Sou jornalista de Natureza na revista Wilder. Escrevo sobre Ambiente e Biodiversidade desde 1998 e trabalhei nas redacções da revista Fórum Ambiente e do jornal PÚBLICO. Neste último estive 13 anos à frente do site de Ambiente deste diário, o Ecosfera. Em 2015 lancei a Wilder, com as minhas colegas jornalistas Inês Sequeira e Joana Bourgard, para dar voz a quem se dedica a proteger ou a estudar a natureza mas também às espécies raras, ameaçadas ou àquelas de que (quase) ninguém fala. Na verdade, isso é algo que quero fazer desde que ainda em criança vi um documentário de vida selvagem que passava aos domingos na televisão e que me fez decidir o rumo que queria seguir. Já lá vão uns anos, portanto. Desde então tenho-me dedicado a escrever sobre linces, morcegos, abutres, peixes mas também sobre conservacionistas e cidadãos apaixonados pela natureza, que querem fazer parte de uma comunidade. Trabalho todos os dias para que a Wilder seja esse lugar no mundo.