The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

degree. His career thus illustrates the military's role in providing an avenue
of social mobility for energetic and intelligent (albeit impoverished) young
men. Finally, aviation buffs will love Craig's vivid recollections of flying
during the old days of scarf, goggle, and open cockpit.
Western Illinois University GEORGE E. HOPKINS
They Saved Our Birds: The Battle Won and the War to Win. By Helen
Ossa. (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1973. Pp. 287. Illustrations,
appendices, bibliography, index. $6.95.)
Every thinking person has some interest in ecology and our environment,
and studies about conservation attract some interest from all of us. Although
Helen Ossa's book is confined to the struggle to protect our endangered
birdlife, most people involved in that movement have been closely associated
with other aspects of conservation as well. This added dimension makes her
book well worth reading.
On the whole, the author is broadminded, and seems to have avoided
many of the prejudices endemic among extreme conservationists. For exam-
ple, she is quick to point out that sportsmen have been in the vanguard of
the conservation movement. She describes many of the leaders in the move-
ment, for example, John James Audubon and George B. Grinnell, as avid
Texas is well represented in the book, because the whooping crane
winters on the Gulf Coast near Matagorda. The struggle to protect the
whooping crane is probably one of the best known of all the battles in
conservation. In more recent times the ivory-billed woodpecker, thought
to be extinct, has been sighted in Southeast Texas. Undoubtedly, one reason
for establishing the Beaumont Cypress Swamp Unit of the Big Thicket
Preserve is to give protection to this bird. Other less known birds such as
the Colima warbler of the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend, the golden-
cheeked warbler of the Edwards Plateau, and such coastal birds as egrets,
the brown pelican, and the roseate spoonbill are given attention.
One drawback to the book is the fact that some of the material given is
not adequately footnoted; another is that the author makes historical and
geographical errors. For instance, she places the Chisos Mountains in
"southeast" Texas instead of far West Texas. This reviewer feels that some
minor figures in conservation are given undue attention, while other giants,
such as George Bird Grinnell and Theodore Roosevelt, are treated in a
rather cavalier manner.
Most of us would support the basic tenets of this book, but we might well


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 1, 2015.