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One more noteworthy book is The Storks’ Nest: Life and Love in the Russian Countryside, by Laura Lynne Williams. This is not really a bird book, although there are fascinating glimpses of the natural history and nesting behavior of the rare Black Stork in Russia. It is the story of a young American woman who travels to Russia, where she falls in love with and subsequently marries the director of a remote nature sanctuary along the border of Russia and Ukraine. From raising a moose to chasing poachers, she plunges into and celebrates life there. Her ability to adapt is impressive. Rural Russians are poor and self-sufficient to a level hardly even imaginable in the United States of the twenty-first century. Their good cheer and ability to cope in a beautiful but stark environment could be a lesson to us all.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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