|About the Book|
Imagine a Minneapolis so small that, on calm days, the roar of St. Anthony Falls could be heard in town, a time when passenger pigeons roosted in neighborhood oak trees. Now picture a dapper professor conducting his ornithology class (theMoreImagine a Minneapolis so small that, on calm days, the roar of St. Anthony Falls could be heard in town, a time when passenger pigeons roosted in neighborhood oak trees. Now picture a dapper professor conducting his ornithology class (the universitys first) by streetcar to Lake Harriet for a morning of bird-watching. The students were mostly young women--in sunhats, sailor tops, and long skirts, with binoculars strung around their necks. The professor was Thomas Sadler Roberts (1858-1946), a doctor for three decades, a bird lover virtually from birth, the father of Minnesota ornithology, and the man who, perhaps more than any other, promoted the study of the states natural history. A Love Affair with Birds is the first full biography of this key figure in Minnesotas past.Roberts came to Minnesota as a boy and began keeping detailed accounts of Minneapoliss birds. These journals, which became the basis for his landmark work The Birds of Minnesota, also inform this book, affording a view of the states rich avian life in its early days--and of a young man whose passion for birds and practice of medicine among Minneapoliss elite eventually dovetailed in his launching of the beloved Bell Museum of Natural History.Bird enthusiast, doctor, author, curator, educator, conservationist: every chapter in Robertss life is also a chapter in the states history, and in his story acclaimed author Sue Leaf--an avid bird enthusiast and nature lover herself--captures a true Minnesota character and his time.