Birds of an Iowa Dooryard
“Althea Sherman's keen observations and witty stories lead us into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the birds we see in our own Iowa dooryard. Simultaneously, her meticulously detailed comments clarify the broader implications of human impacts on the dynamic, vibrant world which surrounds us. We thus come away from this book with a sense of intimacy toward birds as well as a deeper understanding of ecological processes.”—Cornelia F. Mutel
“Althea Sherman is one of the most interesting bird enthusiasts ever to reside in Iowa. Her work on chimney swifts, house wrens, and other birds shows both a persistent attention to detail and a willingness to challenge what others thought was the truth. It is fortunate that a new generation of birders will now be able to read of her experiences with birds.”—James J. Dinsmore
“Sherman's life was expressed in realities. Her observation of birds about her home for more than forty years was a study that has no duplicate…Here and there are individuals who live original lives. They are alone but not lonely. They follow no pattern of social life yet are a distinct factor in it. Their bent is their rudder, all else is secondary. Such an individual was Althea Rosina Sherman, rooted in National, nurtured in Iowa soil, the fruits of her years are universal. The essence of her life is cast abroad.”—Iowa Bird Life, 1943
Now available in paperback with a new foreword by Marcia Myers Bonta, Birds of an Iowa Dooryard contains Althea Sherman's often caustic, always careful studies of the phoebes, wrens, cuckoos, rails, catbirds, owls, flickers, and many other species that inhabited her Acre of Birds in northern Iowa. Birds of an Iowa Dooryard, first published in 1952, is full of Sherman's meticulous observations of species both avian and human. Her paintings, her notebooks and publications, and her innovative chimney swift tower form a remarkably rich legacy to be valued by naturalists and researchers alike.