Jun 6, 2008

Badgers

by Ernest Neal

This is a fascinating and informative read about an animal I knew little of. I think my only contacts with it in literature before were Incident at Hawk's Hill and Wind in the Willows, both fictional. Badgers is based on years of direct observation by naturalist Ernest Neal, who was a leading expert on the animal. He recounts many interesting anecdotes in describing the badger's nocturnal behavior, diet, habitat and history, illustrated with lots of excellent photographs and drawings. Badgers in England are quite different from the American ones I'm more familiar with, not only in appearance but also in their habits. One of the most interesting things I learned about them is that they live in expansive underground tunnels and burrows called setts, which are used by generations of badgers in succession. Some have been dated to be hundreds of years old!

I have some confusion about the title of this book, though. When I read it years ago, I had it listed on my TBR as The Natural History of Badgers. But I could only find the title Badgers to read. Looking online for an image to share with you, I also found the title The Badger. I'm sure Neal wrote a number of books about badgers, so I don't know if this is the same book published under an alternate title, or a different text altogether. Also, the image I did pull up for Badgers has a co-author, whereas I don't remember the book I read having two authors. So the faces of the books you see here may not actually be the one I read, but they are attractive in their own right, so I present them to you. (If anyone can clear up my confusion of titles, I'd be glad of it!)

Rating: 4/5                  321 pages, 1977

1 comment:

bethany said...

You have a lot of animal books you just reviewed! Great work...I love animals.