Thursday, March 30, 2017

Backyard Birds of America

Crazy Challenge Connection discussion on goodreads


Backyard Birds of America
Duration: Apr 01, 2017 - Sep 30, 2017

It's spring, and I hear the chirping of so many birds in my backyard. The woods directly behind me are home to a cardinal family, and they've already visited our back door (also known as cat TV) several times to tease our poor cat. In honor of spring and the silly birds in my backyard and yours, here's a challenge based on the common birds of America. To finish, choose an option for every bird and read a book to fit. 
Bird Information from Audobon Bird Guide, which is absolutely gorgeous. Additional information from All About Birds, also a great resource.

CHALLENGE RULES - PLEASE READ!
See this thread for more detailed rules for CCC challenges.

❖ If you want to participate in a challenge, sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses. 

❖ Books must be at least 150 pages long (unless they are graphic novels, see below) and may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged.

❖ Graphic novels must be at least 300 pages long, but two books can be combined to make up the page count as long as they both meet the same criteria.

❖ For each book you read, please post a link to the title and mention the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item/color on the cover, include a link to the book cover.* If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 

❖ If you want the challenge moderator to verify those books as you post them, please copy/paste your update into a new message. If you do this while you still have the Edit window open, it will copy all of your formatting, etc. too. It will make it easier on the moderators if we won't have to scroll back through the entire thread looking for "message #15," or to follow links back to an original post.

❖ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read :) If you don’t repost your list, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge. 

❖ Rereads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not just skim the best portions! :)

* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions HERE.

Other Miscellany. Photos: Black Capped Chickadee from naturespicsonline.com, Common Grackle by Wikimedia User:mdf, Downy woodpecker by Wolfgang Wander, Gray Catbird by Peter Massas, Indigo Bunting by Wikimedia User:hart_curt, Northern Mockingbird by Harvey Barrison, Pine Siskin by Dick Daniels, Purple Martin by Wikimedia User: JJCadiz, Red Eyed Vireo by Peter Wilton
THE CHALLENGE



1. American GoldfinchSpinus tristus. Family: Finches.
A typical summer sight is a male American Goldfinch flying over a meadow, flashing golden in the sun, calling perchickory as it bounds up and down in flight. Goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, selecting an entirely vegetable diet and only inadvertently swallowing an occasional insect.
❀ Read a book with a bright yellow or gold cover (post the cover) -or- read a book set in the summer -or- read a book whose title begins with a letter in PERCHICKORY (ignore a, an and the).
Keeping Sam Joanne Phillips 4/9/17

2. American RobinTurdus migratorius. Family: Thrushes.
The Robin's rich caroling is among the earliest bird songs heard at dawn in spring and summer, often beginning just before first light. Robins eat a lot of fruit in fall and winter. When they eat honeysuckle berries exclusively, they sometimes become intoxicated.
❀ Read a book with a Robin's Egg Blue cover (post the cover) -or- read a book whose author has a bird name (like Robin) -or- read a book in which a character has a substance addiction issue.
Spinning Out Lexi Ryan 4/13/17

3. Baltimore OrioleIcterus galbula. Family: Blackbirds and Orioles.
Baltimore Orioles are one of the most brilliantly colored songbirds in the east, flaming orange and black, sharing the heraldic colors of the coat of arms of 17th-century Lord Baltimore. Their bag-shaped hanging nests, artfully woven of plant fibers, are familiar sights in the shade trees in towns. 
❀ Read a book with a dark orange cover with black printing (post the cover) -or- read a book set in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia) -or- read a book about baseball.
Love Bats Last Pamela Aares 5/20/17


4. Black Capped ChickadeePoecile atricapillus. Family: Chickadees and Titmice.
Black Capped Chickadees are almost universally considered “cute” thanks to their oversized round head, tiny body, and curiosity about everything, including humans. Every autumn they allow brain neurons containing old information to die, replacing them with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment even with their tiny brains.
Read a book with some kind of head ornament on the cover (hat, tiara, scarf all count; post the cover) -or- read a book you consider cute or adorable -or- read a book in which a character adapts to some sort of change (explain how the book fits).
The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White The Night the Lights Went Out Karen White 4/17/17

5. Blue JayCyanocitta cristata. Family: Crows, Magpies, Jays.
Intelligent and adaptable, the Blue Jays may feed on almost anything, and they are quick to take advantage of bird feeders. Not always conspicuous, they slip furtively through the trees when tending their own nest or going to rob the nest of another bird. Tool use has never been reported for wild Blue Jays, but captive Blue Jays used strips of newspaper to rake in food pellets from outside their cages.
❀ Read a book with the word BLUE in the title or author's name (it doesn't have to be separate, it can be contained in another word) -or- read a book in which a main character steals something -or- read a book whose main character's first name starts with a J (let us know the name).
 (Joanne).
Ill Wind Rachel Caine 4/3/17


6. Carolina WrenThryothorus ludovicianus. Family: Wrens.
More brightly colored than most wrens, and with a rich musical song, Carolina Wrens are common in open woods and backyards in the southeast. There they busily explore brushpiles and low tangles. The adults live in pairs all year (they mate for life), and they may "duet" at any season, with the female giving a chattering note while the male sings. 
Read a book with a brightly colored cover (post the cover) -or- read a book in which the main character stays married to the same person throughout the book (and doesn't have any affairs either) -or- read a book co-written by two authors.
Curse on the Land (Soulwood, #2) by Faith Hunter Curse on the Land Faith Hunter 5/13/17



7. Cedar WaxwingBombycilla cedrorum. Family: Waxwings.
With thin, lisping cries, flocks of Cedar Waxwings descend on berry-laden trees and hedges, to flutter among the branches as they feast. These birds are sociable at all seasons, and it is rare to see just one waxwing. Occasionally a line of waxwings perched on a branch will pass a berry back and forth, from bill to bill, until one of them swallows it. The name "waxwing" comes from the waxy red secretions found on the tips of the secondaries of some birds.
Read a book which follows more than one POV -or read a book from a series that cannot be read out of order -or- read a book with a candle on the cover (post the cover).
Blush for Me Kristen Proby 4/6/17

8. Common GrackleQuiscalus quiscula. Family: Blackbirds and Orioles.
Common Grackles often nest in small colonies, and several males may perch in adjacent treetops to sing their creaking, grating songs. Grackles are the #1 threat to corn. They eat ripening corn as well as corn sprouts, and their habit of foraging in big flocks means they have a multimillion dollar impact.
❀ Read a short story collection or anthology -or- read a book whose main character has a Q in their first or last name (tell us their name) -or- read a book connected to a song that you think is terrible. Let us know the song, and how the book fits.
Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra - almost the same title
Fly With Me Chanel Cleeton 4/5/17


9. Dark Eyed JuncoJunco hyemalis. Family: New World Sparrows.
In winter over much of the continent, flocks of Juncos can be found around woodland edges and suburban yards. East of the plains the Juncos are all gray and white, but in the West they come in various color patterns, with reddish-brown on the back or sides or both; some of these were once regarded as different species.
Read a book whose author is related to another author (tell us whom and how) -or- read a book with only gray, white and/or black colors in the cover (the title can be in a different color) -or- read a book set during winter.
(Janet is the aunt of Stephanie EvanovichNotorious Nineteen Janet Evanovich 6/3/17 



10. Downy WoodpeckerPicoides pubescens. Family: Woodpeckers.
The smallest woodpecker in North America, common and widespread, although it avoids the arid southwest. In the east this is the most familiar member of the family, readily entering towns and city parks, coming to backyard bird feeders. Its small size makes it versatile, and it may forage on weed stalks as well as in large trees.
Read a short book (150-200p., tell us the number of pages) -or- read a book set in the southwestern US -or- read a book with a friendly character.
(150 pages) 
Summer of Change Elena Aitken 5/4/17


11. European StarlingSturnus Vulgaris. Family: Starlings and Mynahs.
Often regarded as a pest, the Starling is adaptable, tough, and intelligent. Brought to North America in 1890, it has spread to occupy most of the continent, and is now abundant in many areas. In studies of starlings’ sense of taste, scientists have discovered that they can taste salt, sugars, citric acid, and tannins.
Read a book set in any country in Europe -or- read a book with a taste word in the title (sour, sweet etc., compound words are okay) -or- read a book about an immigrant experience (any source/destination country).
The Undomestic Goddess Sophie Kinsella 4/25/17

12. Gray CatbirdDumatella Carolinensis. Family: Mockingbirds and Thrashers.
Rather plain but with lots of personality, the Gray Catbird often hides in the shrubbery, making an odd variety of musical and harsh sounds - including the catlike mewing responsible for its name. At other times it moves about boldly in the open, jerking its long tail expressively.
❀ Read a book which has a cat on the cover (post the cover) -or- read a book in which a main character can be said to have a personality -or- read a book whose author's first and last initials are in "CATBIRD".
Velvet Kisses Addison Moore 4/2/17



13. House FinchHaemorhous mexicanus. Family: Finches. 
Adaptable, colorful, and cheery-voiced, House Finches are native to the Southwest, and are recent arrivals in the East. New York pet shop owners, who had been selling the finches illegally, released their birds in 1940 to escape prosecution; the finches survived, and began to colonize the New York suburbs. By 50 years later they had advanced halfway across the continent, meeting their western kin on the Great Plains.
Read a book with a predominantly blue or lavender cover (post the cover) -or- read a book set in New York City -or- read a book whose main character works with animals.
The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3) by James Dashner The Death Cure James Dashner 4/11/17

14. Indigo BuntingPasserina cyanea. Family: Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Buntings.
In parts of the East, Indigo Bunting may be the most abundant songbird, with the deep-blue males singing along every roadside. The plain brown females are seen far less often, and they have good reason to be inconspicuous: they do almost all the work of caring for the eggs and young, hidden away in dense thickets. Indigo Buntings migrate at night, using the stars for guidance. The birds possess an internal clock that enables them to continually adjust their angle of orientation to a star.
Read a book with a single parent character -or- read a book with a night scene on the cover (post the cover) -or- read a book whose author's first or last initial is I.
A Mother's Conviction Karen Lenfestey 4/9/17

15. KilldeerCharadrius vociferus. Family: Plovers.
Widespread, common, and conspicuous, the Killdeer calls its name as it flies over farmland and other open country. Many a person has been fooled by the bird's "broken-wing" act, in which it flutters along the ground in a show of injury, luring intruders away from its nest.
Read a book with a resourceful main character -or- read a book with the word "KILL" or "MURDER" in its title (no variations please) -or- read a book with a scene in an airport. 
A Wanted Man Lee Child 4/7/17



16. MallardAnas platyrhynchos. Family: Ducks and Geese.
Abundant over most of the northern hemisphere, the Mallard is the most familiar wild duck to many people, and the ancestor of most strains of domesticated ducks. Although barnyard and feral ducks may be dumpy and ungainly creatures, the ancestral wild Mallard is a trim, elegant, wary, fast-flying bird. The standard duck’s quack is the sound of a female Mallard. Males don’t quack; they make a quieter, rasping sound.
❀ Read a book in which a character gets handouts from other people -or- read a book where a child is a disappointment to the parent -or- read a book by a female author.
Nantucket Nights Elin Hilderbrand 5/1/17

17. Mountain BluebirdSialia currucoides. Family: Thrushes.
The powder-blue male Mountain Bluebird is among the most beautiful birds of the West. A female Mountain Bluebird pays more attention to good nest sites than to attractive males. She chooses her mate solely on the basis of the location and quality of the nesting cavity he offers her—disregarding his attributes as a singer, a flier, or a looker.
❀ Read a book with a powder blue cover (post the cover) -or- read a book with a gold-digger (male or female) -or- read a book set in a mountain town/range (let us know which one).
The Blossom Sisters Fern Michaels 4/11/17

18. Mourning DoveZenaida Macroura. Family: Pigeons and Doves.
The mournful cooing of the Mourning Dove is one of our most familiar bird sounds. Perhaps one reason why Mourning Doves survive in the desert: they can drink brackish spring water without becoming dehydrated the way humans would.
Read a book in which a character is in mourning for any period of time -or- read a book in which a main character has more than two kids -or- read a book tagged Romance in its main GR page.
Rock Candy Kisses Addison Moore 4/1/17



19. Northern CardinalCardinalis cardinalis. Family: Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Buntings.
One of our most popular birds, the Cardinal is the official state bird of no fewer than seven states. Cardinals attack their reflection in a window, car mirror, or shiny bumper. Both males and females do this, and most often in spring and early summer when they are obsessed with defending their territory against any intruders. Birds may spend hours fighting these intruders without giving up. 
❀ Read a book with a repeated word in the title/subtitle -or- read a book set in one of the states the cardinal is state bird of (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia or West Virginia) -or- read a book with a reflecting surface on the cover (post the cover).
(North Carolina).
Wild Kisses Addison Moore 4/4/17


20. Northern MockingbirdMimus polyglottos. Family: Mockingbird and Thrashers.
If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard. They sing almost endlessly, even sometimes at night, and they flagrantly harass birds and even cats that intrude on their territories. In the nineteenth century, people kept so many mockingbirds as cage birds that the birds nearly vanished from parts of the East Coast. People took nestlings out of nests or trapped adults and sold them in cities such as Philadelphia, St. Louis, and New York, where, in 1828, extraordinary singers could fetch as much as $50.
❀ Read a book with a professional singer character -or- read a book that you could not put down -or- read a book by an author who writes in different genres. 
A Darkness Absolute Kelley Armstrong 4/15/17

21. Pine SiskinSpinus pinus. Family: Finches.
Although it is patterned like a sparrow, its shape, actions, and call-notes all reveal that this bird is really a goldfinch in disguise. After nesting in the conifer woods, Pine Siskins move out into semi-open country, where they roam in twittering flocks. They often descend on fields of thistles or wild sunflowers, where they cling to the dried flower heads, eating seeds. 
❀ Read a book with rhyming words in the title -or- read a book with flowers on the cover (post the cover) -or- read a book in which a character wears some kind of disguise.
If Not for You (New Beginnings, #3) by Debbie Macomber If Not for You Debbie Macomber 4/10/17



22. Purple MartinProgne subis. Family: Swallows.
Our largest swallows, Purple Martins perform aerial acrobatics to snap up flying insects. Martin housing has a long history: some Native American tribes reportedly hung up hollow gourds around their villages to attract these birds. Putting up these houses used to be so common that John James Audubon used them to choose his lodgings for the night. In 1831, he remarked, “Almost every country tavern has a martin box on the upper part of its sign-board; and I have observed that the handsomer the box, the better does the inn generally prove to be.”
❀ Read a book where the main character stays at a rustic inn -or- read a book with a Native American character -or- read a book with a purple colored cover (post the cover).
All You Need (Need You, #3) by Lorelei James All You Need Lorelei James 5/5/17

23. Red Eyed VireoVireo olivaceus. Family: Vireos.
One of the most numerous summer birds in eastern woods. It is not the most often seen, because it tends to stay out of sight in the leafy treetops, searching methodically among the foliage for insects. However, its song - a series of short, monotonous phrases, as if it were endlessly asking and answering the same question - can be heard constantly during the nesting season, even on hot summer afternoons. The Red-eyed Vireo's magnetic compass guides migration between continents.
❀ Read a book in which a character blends into the background -or- read a book with a question word in the title (why, where, when, what, which, how) -or- read a book that you would describe as an airplane book (a mindless book you would only read on a long boring journey). 
What it Takes Shannon Stacey 5/2/17

24. Red Winged BlackbirdAgelaius phoeniceus. Family: Blackbirds and Orioles.
Red-wings seem to sing their nasal songs in every marsh and wet field from coast to coast. In the North, their early arrival and tumbling song are happy indications of the return of spring. They are notably bold, and several will often attack a larger bird, such as a hawk or crow, that flies over their nesting area. 
❀ Read a book with a predominantly red and black cover (post the cover) -or- read a book set during spring -or- read a book in which a character has a loud voice.
Until There Was You Kristan Higgins 5/22/17



25. Scarlet TanagerPiranga olivacea. Family: Cardinals.
Male Scarlet Tanagers seem almost too bright and exotic for northeastern woodlands. These birds are fairly common in oak forests in summer, but they often remain out of sight as they forage in the leafy upper branches. Sometimes in spring, when the Scarlet Tanagers have just arrived from their winter home in South America, a late freeze will force them out in the open as they search for insects on roadsides or in gardens.
❀ Read a book whose main character has red hair -or- read a book set in South America -or- read a book with woods on the cover (post the cover).
City of the Lost (Casey Duncan, #1) by Kelley Armstrong City of the Lost Kelley Armstrong 4/14/17

26. Song SparrowMelospiza melodia. Family: New World Sparrows. 
Very widespread in North America, this melodious sparrow is among the most familiar birds in some areas, such as the Northeast and Midwest. At times it is rather skulking in behavior, hiding in the thickets, seen only when it flies from bush to bush with a typical pumping motion of its tail.
❀ Read a book with the word SONG in its title (compound words are fine) -or- read a book in which a character skulks -or- read a book whose cover has changed for whatever reason (post both original and changed covers, you may read any edition).
A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1) by Dennis Lehane Hardcover 1994
A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1) by Dennis Lehane Paperback 2003 Dennis Lehane 4/12/17


27. Tufted TitmouseBaeolophus bicolor. Family: Chickadies and Titmice.
This rather tame, active, crested little bird is common all year in eastern forests, where its whistled peter-peter-peter song may be heard even during mid-winter thaws. Tufted Titmice often line the inner cup of their nest with hair, sometimes plucked directly from living animals. The list of hair types identified from old nests includes raccoons, opossums, mice, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, livestock, pets, and even humans.
Read a book whose title has two words starting with the same letter -or- read a book whose main character or author is named Peter -or- read a book with hair on the cover (post the cover).
One Night of Scandal Elle Kennedy 4/26/17



28. Western Screech OwlMegascops kennicottii. Family: Owls.
In the varied terrain of the west, its haunts range from coastal forests in southeastern Alaska to cactus groves in the Arizona desert, and it is often found in suburban areas. Until the 1980s, Western and Eastern screech-owls were considered to belong to the same species because they look so similar; however, their voices differ, and they apparently recognize their own kind by sound. Oddly enough, the Western Screech-Owl doesn't really screech; it makes an accelerating series of hollow toots. The screeching is more the Eastern Screech Owl's forte.
❀ Read a book set in Alaska or Arizona -or- read a book that is a spinoff from another series -or- read a book whose title has a directional word (for the purpose of this task, east, west, north and south only).
Real Good Man Meghan March 4/16/17

29. Wood DuckAix sponsa. Family: Ducks and Geese.
Beautiful and unique, this duck of woodland ponds and river swamps has no close relatives, except for the Mandarin Duck of eastern Asia. Wood Duck population declined seriously during the late 19th century because of hunting and loss of nesting sites. Its recovery to healthy numbers was an early triumph of wildlife management.
Read a book set along a water body (tell us which one it is) -or- read a book translated from an Asian language (tell us the original language) -or- read a book set in the 1800s.
(Atlantic Ocean)
Ever After Jude Deveraux 4/6/17


30. Yellow WarblerSetophaga petechia. Family: Wood Warblers. 
This is one of our most widely distributed warblers, nesting from the Arctic Circle to Mexico, with closely related forms along tropical coastlines. Their open, cup like nests are easy to find, and cowbirds often lay eggs in them. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web.
❀ Read a book with a predominantly yellow cover (post the cover) -or- read a book that has another author's characters (for ex: Sophie Hannah's Hercule Poirot book) -or- read a book in which a main character dies.
Fool Me Once Harlan Coben 4/5/17

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