Falmouth Birds Book

Birds flit by in a moment, soar overhead, or sit at a distance, ready to leave if we show too much interest. Few people have the opportunity to have a bird in the hand, to see the details—the shadings of feathers, the length of claw, the color of eye. But with this book any of us can look at a bird for as long as we like, even when it is dark outside, and even when the bird has left for South America! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Beth Schwarzman, author

The Nature of Cape Cod

The Cape Cod Bird Club applauds this outstanding collaboration between a well known Cape Cod bird photographer and the 300 Committee, an important land trust in Falmouth, MA. Anyone on the Cape interested in the birds of backyard and beyond will enjoy Craig’s achingly intimate bird photographs and informative, often site-specific captions.  This welcome addition to the Cape’s bird bibliography speaks to the importance of protecting and conserving the bird life and natural resources on all parts of Cape Cod.

Mark Faherty, President

Cape Cod Bird Club

Craig Gibson’s photographs have been a popular feature in The Falmouth Enterprise for the last three years. He manages to capture with unwavering clarity both the common and uncommon birds of the Upper Cape. Craig’s photographs bring out the unusual features in even the most familiar of birds.

Bill Hough, Publisher

The Falmouth Enterprise

Birds, the most mobile of all life forms, have fascinated, amazed and intrigued me since I was a young man, envious of their most obvious trait: their ability to fly. Imagine being able to spend the Arctic summer in that vast and stunning landscape in 24 hours of daylight, then to fly the length of the Americas to spend the Austral summer in Tierra del Fuego when the days are very long. “Bird brains” indeed—sign me up.

Birds are important, not only to me, but to all of us. Most important is the need for mankind to “evolve” to a place where we can coexist with fellow organisms on the planet, fitting in to the ecosystem, not irrevocably dismantling it. Biodiversity is important for all life—humans are not separate, as hard as this is for some to grasp. Intricate natural systems exist because they sustain their environment; all parts are dependent on the others. The natural world has failsafe systems; remove part of the system and it gets one step closer to not functioning properly.

Craig Gibson has taken superb photos of many of Falmouth’s remarkable feathered creatures. His photos are a celebration of life, birds and the race to save open space—as without our valuable open space, biodiversity, and water supplies that all plants and animals (us included) depend upon for sustenance, the whole intricate web collapses. Kudos to Craig, and to The 300 Committee for recognizing the need to save large parcels, wetlands and all kinds of open space, and doing something about it. Truly this work is never done.

This book should be left in a prominent place where people can pick it up and marvel at the photos, the birds and the work of The 300 Committee and its ability to partner with other groups to protect valuable natural resources that are under constant pressure. Enjoy the informative captions and the exquisite photos.

November 17, 2011

E. Vernon Laux, Nantucket, MA

Craig Gibson has a knack for finding birds and creating remarkable portraits from what many of us would experience only as a fleeting flutter of feathers. The photographs in this book appeared weekly in The Falmouth Enterprise in 2010. The 300 Committee Land Trust is pleased to join with Craig to bring you these striking photographs of Falmouth’s birds.

Striking, too, are the environments in which those birds are found—whether beach or thicket, deep woods or grassland, freshwater or salt, Falmouth has them all in protected conservation land. In many cases that’s where Craig made these photographs—conservation lands attract birds. The people of Falmouth have worked diligently and have made big investments in conserving open space in town, with good results. Falmouth can boast some 5,802 acres of open space, about 20% of the area of the town. That is quite a lot, even though it falls short of the goal of 30% the town has set for itself. This open space in Falmouth protects not only habitats for birds (and opportunities for birdwatchers) but drinking water, ponds and estuaries, air, and the very character of the town.

And birdwatchers are not the only ones to use and enjoy these “special places.” Every day, summer or winter, dozens of local folks visit Falmouth’s open space: walking for exercise or for quiet contemplation; with friends, or alone, or with a dog; or running, cross-country skiing, or paddling. Falmouth’s conservation lands are well-used and well-loved.

As wonderful as the open space in Falmouth is today, there is still much to do to preserve conservation land in this town. In one sense, the job of protecting open space will never be finished, for once acquired and protected, open space needs maintenance and stewardship. But perhaps more importantly, the town has not yet reached its open space goal; important land remains that can be conserved in perpetuity for all to enjoy.

In both stewardship and conservation The 300 Committee Land Trust is a significant resource. The 300 Committee stewards keep a friendly eye on almost 65 parcels of open space in town, working to protect the land’s natural values for everyone. In addition The 300 Committee has worked with many partners to protect 2,300 acres of open space in its 26 years of existence. This important protection of the town’s heritage has been accomplished through the hard work and generosity of the members of The 300 Committee, now about 1500 strong. The 300 Committee is actively working—today—to preserve additional acreage, so look for those numbers to continue to rise.

Birds and conservation seem a natural combination for The 300 Committee Land Trust. With this book we celebrate these beauties of the land and air, the value of conservation, and the many contributions of members of The 300 Committee that have helped to preserve them. Our thanks to Craig for sharing his beautiful photographs, and to all members of The 300 Committee for making possible the protection of open space in Falmouth.

We hope you enjoy Craig’s artistry, and that together we can continue to enhance the nature and character of Falmouth through the work of The 300 Committee Land Trust.

Emily Kellndorfer, President

The 300 Committee Land Trust