In the early spring, the blooming of the wildflower trillium - also known as "wake-robin" - heralds the return of migrating birds. In Wake-Robin: A Collection of Essays About the Birds, John Burroughs offers absorbing reading for birdwatchers, nature lovers, and anyone interested in ecology and conservation. This 1871 collection of essays by the distinguished naturalist showcases his special gift for combining scientific accuracy with a grand poetic expression. These essays particularly focus on birds of the Adirondacks and the Washington, D.C. region. "What I offer, in fact, is a careful and conscientious record of actual observations and experiences, and is true as it stands written, every word of it. But what has interested me most in ornithology is the pursuit, the chase, the discovery," he notes, adding that "I have tried to present a live bird, a bird in the woods or the fields, with the atmosphere and associations of the place, and not merely a stuffed and labeled specimen." Although scrupulously factual, Burroughs' investigations are less those of a scientist and more in the nature of an experienced and articulate observer who delights in sharing the timeless joys of birdwatching and the outdoors.