White Feathers: The Nesting Lives of Tree Swallows

Bernd Heinrich

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

The surprising, rich life of tree swallows in nesting season—with Heinrich’s beautiful illustrations and photographs—by the acclaimed naturalist. 

Heinrich is sparked one early spring day by a question: Why does a pair of swallows in a nest-box close to his Maine cabin show an unvarying preference for white feathers—not easily available nearby—as nest lining? He notices, too, the extreme aggressiveness of “his” swallows toward some other swallows of their own kind. And he wonders, given swallows’ reputation for feistiness, at the extraordinary tameness and close contact he experiences with his nesting birds.

Reviews:
"From the author of the beloved books Ravens in Winter and Naturalist at Large, this richly engaging view of the lives of wild birds, as always with Heinrich, yields “marvelous, mind-altering” insight and discoveries."
Los Angeles Times