Rochester couple Randi and Nic Minetor, who have collaborated on more than a dozen books on history, hiking and America’s national parks, never pass up a chance to study and photograph birds during their travels.
Their birding pleasure became the basis for a new book now in stores titled Backyard Birding: A Guide to Attracting and Identifying Birds.
“It’s the culmination of our cross-country travels,” Randi said. “We shot for this book in 16 national parks as well as backyards across America.”
Birds don’t visit backyards by accident; like all wildlife, they come because of food, water and shelter.
Randi Minetor leaves no seed unturned in giving readers clearly written advice on what feeders, nesting boxes, shrub and tree plantings work best. Nic contributed more than 250 stunning color photographs.
When it came to tracking down various species, the Minetors discovered a lot of helpful birders on the way to press, particularly those with the Rochester Birding Association.
“People love to share their experiences and we are so grateful,” Randi said.
Shortly after its May launch, the Minetors’ book ($19.95 Lyons Press) rose to No. 2 among bird-watching books on Amazon.com. It has made its way into wildlife refuge and nature center bookstores. It’s also available at Barnes and Noble, Borders and The Bird House, 3035 Monroe Ave. Go to minetor.com.
Helping hands: Despite difficult budgetary times, assistant forest rangers and backcountry stewards are on trail assisting hikers and campers on state lands this summer.
DEC commissioner Joe Martens restored 11 out of 33 assistant ranger positions in the Adirondacks that were eliminated a year ago.
Meanwhile, a backcountry steward program has been created with 24 college-age interns hired to help out in the Adirondacks, Catskills, Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes, Salmon River and Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. The Student Conservation Association federally funds the program and the Adirondack Mountain Club trained the interns.
Musselman: The eighth annual Musselman Triathlon is taking place July 15-17 in Geneva and will have a title sponsor for the first time: WoolSports of Dallas, Texas.
WoolSports makes athletic wear out of Merino wool shorn from sheep in Australia and New Zealand and shipped to the United States for manufacturing into things like T-shirts, socks and caps. Musselman founder Jeff Henderson likes the product because it’s natural and renewable.
In the past, the Musselman has given its participants shirts made of 100 percent bamboo.
Go to musselmantri.com.