Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Listen to bird songs with the new bird book at Brooks

Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song is a new book at Brooks. But it is more than just another bird identification book. It is one that you can listen to the songs of the birds too. It comes with a small built in digital audio device that plays the bird songs of the birds described in the book. The wonderful volume is published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY. It is divided into four chapters: Seabirds; Forest Birds; Woodland Birds; and Open-Country Birds. If you prefer you can find a bird through the index. Each entry is numbered and has a very nice color illustration of the bird on the facing page. To listen to a song just dial the bird entry number on the audio device and push the play button. And as clear as a northern cardinal at the feeder, the sound of the bird song will play and repeat several times. There is a volume switch so try it outside and see how many birds you can reply to the song!
Each entry also includes the Latin name and a description of the bird and its habits. The audio player runs on 3 AAA batteries, so if you check out the volume and have a problem getting the chickadee to sing, please let us know so that we can replace the batteries.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mark Breen of the Fairbanks Museum will guide Brooks Library users to the stars

Mark Breen, who has been one of the Vermont Public Radio weathermen for many years, will be at Brooks on Wednesday, May 23, 7 PM, to give southern Vermonters a view of the stars, planets, meterors, and distant galaxies. Breen is also director of Vermont’s only public planetarium and he will be accompanied by the Eye on the Night Sky kiosk running a software program called Stellarium, "a free GPL software which renders realistic skies in real time with openGL. With Stellarium, you really see what you can see with your eyes, binoculars or a small telescope. Stellarium is also used in planetariums.(from the Stellarium-wiki.)
The kiosk will be on view at the Library for one month. This program is for all ages and is free and open to the public.