Book on Native Plants for Native Birds Features Photographs By David Ruppert
ORIE's Professor David Ruppert is an avid photographer, hiker, cross-country skier and cyclist. His interest in native plants in the Ithaca area led him to a collaboration with Professor Joel Baines in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell. Initially this took the form of a newsletter column about native plants that attract birds, written by Baines illustrated with Ruppert's photographs.
The articles in the Cayuga bird Club Newsletter have been augmented and collected into a book, Native Plants for Native Birds, published by the Cayuga Bird Club. The book includes more than 250 Ruppert photographs, many of them new, of birds and plants in the area. The book serves as a guide for bird enthusiasts about trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers that are attractive to specific birds. Ruppert notes that he was "amazed by how quickly birds consumed ripened fruit. There were only small windows of opportunity to photograph ripe cherries, blackberries and dogwood berries, showing why birders should be planting these species."
The paperback book is available through the Cayuga Bird Club, which lists on its web site locations in the Ithaca area where it is available for sale, with all proceeds going to Cayuga Bird Club projects. Many of Ruppert's photographs of various subjects are displayed on a link from his personal web page.
Ruppert, the Andrew Schultz Jr. Professor of Engineering, first came to Ithaca as a summer high school student in 1965, and attended Cornell first as a biochemistry major and then as a mathematics major. He returned to Ithaca in 1987 as an ORIE faculty member in 1987. He notes that by the end of the 2009 growing season, "I was pleased that I had become much better at identifying native shrubs and trees and that I had a better understanding of their ecology. Best of all, I came to appreciate the beauty of our native plant species."
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