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Seabird in the Forest: Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet    by Joan Dunning order for
Seabird in the Forest
by Joan Dunning
Order:  USA  Can
Boyds Mills Press, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although mysteries still abound in the natural world, this is the story of one such puzzling situation that has been solved. Until the 1970s, no one knew where the marbled murrelet laid its eggs. The diminutive bird seemed to live entirely at sea, but obviously that really couldn't be the case.

'Most seabirds simply fly to the safety of offshore rocks and islands and lay their eggs on bare ground or in burrows,' writes Joan Dunning. 'But not these birds. For nearly two hundred years, people tried to figure out where the marbled murrelet hatches and raises its young, but not one nest could be found.'

In this picture book for children five years of age and up, the author presents the amazing story of how this mystery was solved. Focusing on one pair of murrelets and their newborn chick, the young reader will discover the hidden nest in the canopy of the old-growth forests and the secret life of these birds before their fledgling sets off for the sea.

Filled with lots of information about the habits and life of these birds and illustrated with muted watercolors, this volume offers an excellent lesson in natural science and underscores that there's still much to be learned about Mother Nature. Any child fascinated by birds will find this a pleasant read.

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