Review of Swallow Summer
The field season of 1995 (early May through late July) in western Nebraska is described in this book by the leading expert on cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) behavior. This nontechnical introduction to the natural history of a colonial swallow was written for those who are interested in natural history or how field work is done. Brown's stated goals are to describe the challenges and satisfaction of long-term field work and to "tell the cliff swallow's story" (p xi). The book reads as part field notes (daily weather conditions, how many birds he caught and where), part personal diary (what frustrations with which assistant he experienced each day), and part historical account of his decade-and-a-half of research on cliff swallows.
This review is from The Quarterly Review of Biology 74 (1999): 337. Posted with permission.