Seabird in the Forest: the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet
by Joan Dunning
Boyds Mill Press, 2011. Unpaged. Non-fiction
In 1974 the mystery of the marbled murrelet was (partly) solved. The murrelet, a shorebird, could never be found nesting near the ocean; in 1974, a downy chick was discovered some distance inland in the redwood forest, perched on its little webbed feet, high in a tree. No other shorebird is known to nest anywhere other than near the water. Why the marbled murrelet does is the remaining mystery.
Dunning's beautiful book tells the story of a murrelet chick, born already downy, who is cared for by his parents, and the protective coloration that keeps him safe from predators. When he is old enough, he plucks his own down off, revealing the black and white bird who will shortly fly to the ocean. Seabird in the Forest is a lovely book about the sometimes unpredictable nature of Nature. An excellent read-together for children and their elders.