Cerulean Blues

CB coverCERULEAN BLUES: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (Ruka Press, 2011) **FINALIST for the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment**

“A must for birding enthusiasts, environmentalists, and those with a reverence for life’s small wonders,
who ask with Fallon, ‘If we start losing pieces of things, where will we stop?’”

Cerulean Blues describes the plight of the cerulean warbler, a tiny migratory songbird, and its struggle to survive in ever-shrinking bands of suitable habitat. This elusive creature, a favorite among bird watchers and the fastest-declining warbler species in the United States, has lost 3% of its total population each year since 1966. This precipitous decline means that today there are 80% fewer ceruleans than 40 years ago, and their numbers continue to drop due to threats including deforestation, global warming, and an ecologically devastating practice—mountaintop removal coal mining—that affects not only the cerulean warbler but all residents of the Appalachian mountains, including humans.

With both scientific rigor and a sense of wonder, Fallon leads readers on a journey of more than two thousand miles—from the top of the forest canopy in the ancient mountains of Appalachia to a coffee plantation near troubled Bogotá, Colombia—and shows how the fate of a creature weighing less than an ounce is vitally linked to our own.

Cerulean Blues will appeal to nature lovers, bird watchers, actual and armchair adventurers, and anyone interested in the health and future of our planet.

Listen to an interview with Katie on West Virginia Public Radio.

Praise & Reviews:

Cerulean Blues is part journey, part documentary, and wholly engaging; a tribute to a bird that bridges continents with its wings and to a rising star among contemporary nature writers.” — Pete Dunne, former Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and author of Hawks in Flight

“From the gentle Appalachian ridges to the rebel-haunted cloud forests of Colombia, Katie Fallon immerses herself in the world of the cerulean warbler–a tiny, lovely songbird few Americans have heard of, but which is emblematic of the increasingly desperate plight of migratory birds in general.” — Scott Weidensaul, Pulitzer Prize finalist

Cerulean Blues made me laugh and cry, and even moved me to make a donation … and look into further ways that I can help this imperiled bird. And that – even beyond being entertaining, informative, and beautifully written – is the true value of this book. I think anyone, whether or not they particularly like birds, would enjoy this book. But those that do like birds, especially the enchanting Cerulean Warbler, or are concerned about bird conservation in general need to read Cerulean Blues.” — The Birder’s Library

“Katie Fallon inhabits the world of the cerulean warbler with directness, humor, and real joy… This book is a pleasure to read, and will open the eyes of many to the life of a small creature fighting an enormous fight.” — David Gessner, author of Return of the Osprey

For more reviews, click here.