Frank Izaguirre

Joined: Nov 18, 2015 Last Active: Aug 18, 2019

Hi, I'm the Book and Media Reviews Editor for Birding magazine, the American Birding Association's flagship magazine, as well as a PhD student in English at West Virginia University. Beginning in fall 2019, I will be dissertating on how field guides have shaped environmental values in America beginning with Mark Catesby through today.

My academic specialties are environmental literature, ecocriticsm, rainforest literature, and natural history writing. I have published research on how the travel narratives of Victorian naturalists shaped Amazonian exploration and scientific discovery, how environmental literature in Costa Rica strengthened that country's excellent conservation record, and how Thoreau subverted ocularcentric sensory orientations to the environment in Walden, among other topics. Broadly speaking, my scholarship always considers how the way we write about nature influences the human relationship to the nonhuman world.

I'm also a Technical Reviewer for Birder's Guide and have written for a number of other bird and nature-related magazine and journals. I've been birding for over twenty years, mostly in the eastern half of the ABA Area and in Costa Rica, plus a few forays farther afield. I love the warblers best, although I've noticed lately that I've developed some zeal for finding grouse whenever I know they're around.

Recently I've become addicted to mothing. So far, I've identified several hundred species in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and hope to expand my mothing to the Neotropics someday. Other burgeoning interests include coleopterans and, most recently, orthopterans, especially identifying them by sound.

Salamanders, now that I'm living in Appalachia, are another exciting area of interest. My favorite I've seen so far is green, but I very much hope to see spotted, marbled, and hellbender in the next few years.

I also love sea turtles. Pennsylvania is not the best place to look for sea turtles, but when I visit my birthplace of South Florida or my occasional adopted home in Costa Rica, I often try to weave in a chance to see a sea turtle if at all possible. I hope to find all seven species one day, but for now I'm at four: olive ridley, loggerhead, green, and leatherback.

My wife Adrienne and I have a five-year moose streak going too. Every year we try to find moose at least once, a tradition that started in 2015. Chronologically, we have found at least one and often more moose in Maine, Colorado, Ontario, New Hampshire, and most recently Vermont.

My long-term iNaturalist goal is to see 10,001 different species throughout my lifetime (I have a thing for palindromes). One moth/bird/salamander at a time!

Thanks for reading about me! Feel free to write to me about Birding magazine reviews of books, other media, or anything else at: fizaguirre@aba.org. There is nothing I love talking and thinking about more than textual representations of birds and other wildlife.

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