In his fascinating book: Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, Paul Rossi is a riveting guide through stunning scenes of a furtive and fleeting world. It took fifteen years, yet he captured it’s elusive creatures vividly in all their glory at those rare moments when light and air and action conspire to reveal the dramas of feathered beings making their way in a wild landscape surrounded by vast waters.
The writing in his captions are revelations as well. They succinctly convey, not only the stories of his photographic subjects, but the unflinching focus and searing intensity of the man behind the lenses as well. Intimately in tune with his beloved Eastern Upper Peninsula terroir, Paul Rossi is the real deal; and because of the authentic experiences it shares, his book is a rare gift.
– Justin Rashid, American Spoon founder Petoskey, Michigan
As avid “birders” and semi-permanent residents of the Eastern Upper Peninsula, my son and I have long been fascinated by the seemingly endless diversity of bird life along our beautiful Lake Huron shore. Paul Rossi’s magnificent book, Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, is both a perfect coffee table book reference for our frequent guests, and a serious scholarly contribution to the subject of ornithology. The photos are absolutely spectacular, and Paul’s insights and commentary are reminiscent of the late, great Roger Tory Peterson’s All Bird’s Considered. We were so impressed with Paul’s work, we actually bought four copies — two as gifts, one to share down-state, and one as a permanent reference for visitors at Beavertail Point! If you only buy one book about the birds (and their furry friends) of Michigan, make it this one!
June 9, 2016
Duane W. Utech, Jr.,
PhD Candidate, MA, E-RYT 500, TYM III
Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula
narrative and photographs by Paul Rossi.
Few bird books I have owned have been as satisfying as Rossi’s singular work portraying the birds of a small area of the Upper Peninsula. The photographs, obviously the work of a very patient and knowledgeable nature lover, are stellar. With a focus on species that can be found on or near the North Huron Birding Trail, birders will especially appreciate Rossi’s remarkable photographs. The depth of the book is increased by Rossi’s narrative about each bird and the addition of photographs of other animals that are indigenous to the area. This book is a work of art, created by a man truly in step with the rhythm of the natural world.
Eastern UP, Michigan
Photographs are intimate in their nature – giving us humans a “birds eye” view. Love how much detail the images reveal and the perspective of being right there with them in flight or in a bough. Information on the birds, although sparse, is like being in a gallery exhibition as the subject matter of the images speak for themselves. Appreciate the geographic constraints of the Eastern UP as well realizing how diverse this area truly is.
My family and I really enjoyed the book. It has beautiful pictures – magnificent photography. We really appreciate that it was done here in the often neglected eastern U.P. A wonderful gift. A true coffee table book. Very well put together. We highly recommend.
Stuart Galbraith & family.
Paul’s book is full of stunningly beautiful and colorful photographs with exceptional clarity and wonderful composition. His photos come alive with his interesting and informative captions. I just love it, every photo is exquisite. Thanks Paul!
Apart from the beautiful pictures, the book itself is of a very high quality, the pages are very thick and shine beautifully. You can tell Paul Rossi put a ton of work into this piece of art. For the price you really can’t beat it, the quality is unmatched. We are so thankful to have the opportunity to buy a Michigan book, of Michigan wildlife, by an awesome pure Michigan artist. This is the kind of book you keep on your coffee table to show off to guests.
Travis Schulert, Rochester Hills
Paul’s photographs allow you to walk in the footsteps of Aldo Leopold. Leopold spent the summers of his youth in this region (particularly on Marquette Island and Les Cheneaux area). Paul captures the essence of one of the world’s great treasures and secrets – the north shore of Lake Huron. The birds that call this region home for part of the year, or that happen to pay a brief visit along their migration route, are diverse and plentiful. Paul’s photos bring you into that world. And they help us focus on the important issues that Leopold begged us to reflect on, including, the issue in this quote: “We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Paul sees the Eastern UP as a community and you will too after you spend time with his book.
Chris Tracy – Ducks Unlimited National Emeritus Board member; former Alliance for the Great Lakes Board member; former Kalamazoo Nature Center Board member; Little Traverse Conservancy member
The book ”Beautiful Birds Of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula” is a book that illustrates a sample of the beauty that is around us to enjoy if we would slow down and just look. But it takes skillful dedication to capture the essence in a picture to share this beauty. All of which has been done in this book. I’m so grateful for the time, patience and hard work that was put into it. It is of great quality and I can’t wait for volume number two. Barbara Rayburn
My wife Beth and I eagerly awaited our pre-ordered copy of Paul Rossi’s Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula and we were not disappointed! As a behavioral ecologist/ornithologist, I have spent 10 years doing research on migrating birds throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula, where a good number of Paul’s photographs were taken. Having studied the habitat and birds in Paul’s compositions, I am stunned by his ability to capture the species and landscape they utilize with such accuracy, beauty and acuity! Given my interest in animal behavior, I was thrilled to see Paul’s subjects in very natural poses and activities, which is often hard to capture through the camera lens. His patience to learn where the birds and animals were located and his commitment to wait for the perfect shot, gives his viewers breathtaking opportunities to experience such rare and special interactions from the pages of this book! The northern shoreline of Lake Huron, with its unique forested landscapes, rocky shores and spectacular bird species will always be special to me. Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula is a wonderful reminder of the many cherished experiences I have had there. Rob Smith, Professor of Biology
As Rob’s wife, I was able to spend time in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, while he was engaged in bird migration research and was able to view many of the wonderful species contained in this book! In fact, I have cherished memories of Mergansers, freighting around Dudley Bay upon their arrival, early one spring! I appreciate the stunning photos in this collection, as I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula and have spent many hours in the woods watching wildlife with my grandparents and from the back of my horse. Additionally, as an amateur watercolor artist who likes to take pictures of wildlife and landscapes, and then try to paint them, I know how remarkable it is to just SEE some of these species, let alone have the patience and skills to snap those perfect shots in the perfect background, in the perfect light, colors, motion and weather that make Paul’s photos so realistic! We return to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 3-4 times a year and continue to marvel at the natural wildlife and scenery that are so soothing to the soul! Thank you Paul for bringing these images into book form for us to enjoy any time of the year! Well done!
Beth Smith, Always a Yooper At Heart
The northern shore of Lake Huron, during the spring midge hatch, not only swarms with the protein rich midges but also with some of the most spectacular birding opportunities in the Midwest.
A variety of warblers and songbirds, and even birds of prey, find easy picking as they feast and recover from their long trek north. Paul Rossi, professional photographer with the patience of Job, has been photographing these birds for years.
At the encouragement of his friends, Paul has published his collection of photographs into a coffee-table style book. The images are of superb quality and include a narrative regarding each photograph, the name of the bird and location of where the photo was taken. This book is a treasure for anyone who appreciates fine photography, loves the outdoors, or is a birder. Ken Drenth
Paul. I finally finished reading your beautiful book. It took me awhile because I only picked it up when I had time and quietness to savor the pictures as well as text. What an amazing piece of “art” and work! Your abilities with the camera are matched by in depth knowledge of all your subjects. I learned so much! I won’t be reaching for my Peterson’s Field Guide now when looking up a bird, but will go to my “Rossi”. Thanks for staying with your mission and sharing its results with the world.
Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula is an exceptional book created by an exceptionally dedicated and driven individual. It would be easy to look at this book as ‘just’ a collection of great photographs of birds. It is way more than that. He makes very efficient use of words in the short stories associated with each picture. Paul’s captions draw you in – you want see the next picture AND read the next caption. Reflecting on the total book – you realize Paul’s extraordinary synthesis of bird behavior, weather, season and topography. It is hard to imagine anyone possessing a better understanding of what birds will be where, when and WHY. Add to that his great skill and patience as a photographer and you get this remarkable book.
This book is a treasure. I think its photos are remarkable, both for their beauty, page after page — and for what they reveal about each bird, each scene. The wonderful, beautiful, photos frame the often exquisite form as well as the essence, the unique nobility – of the birds (and other species, as on pg. 91, mom & child foxes [aptly titled “Foxes – Mom’s Tired]). Something extraordinary, a knowingness, even a witty rapport, is reflected in the eyes of these beings. What Paul Rossi captures is, I believe, only possible to an artist who so completely respects & values his subject.
I love how the commentary, with brevity, deepens one’s close-up engagement with the beings in their habits & habitats.
As I read, I realized early on that I would love to share this work with others. So from page to page, I jotted notes: “fascinating,” “amazing,” “wow,” “this is my favorite [photo],” “no, this is my favorite,” “wonderful,” “beautiful connection with wisdom, unique beauty,” “wonderful photos,” “wonderful back cover,” “the birds seem to pose for this kind photographer.” And this, I believe, is the true subject of Beautiful Birds of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula: active reverence & devotion for the ecosystem and the precious lives within it.
I believe this book in many ways is an important record of those lives and the delicate balance that supports them. There’s a photo of Monarch Butterflies that used to migrate via the north shore of Lake Huron – and have not been seen there since 2010. On pg. 68, we see a Kirtland Warbler, evidence of a prophecy made 10 years before, a resolve by a local tribe to bring back this species to the area. Paul Rossi, with extraordinary generosity, through this compelling, rewarding, work, provides a role model for the consciousness that these things matter and that humanity can make a difference in contributing love, acting in wisdom, and caring for our miraculous ecosystem and its many marvelous sentient beings.
Mary Anne Mayer Redmond
Paul Rossi’s photography book about birds in the Upper Peninsula is a joy to look at and own. A must for anyone who loves the UP or birds. The work is a meditation on nature and the birds that inhabit a magnificent part of the northern US. It is also a reflection of Paul’s perseverance, patience, and talent.
Own this book, and get an extra copy for a young friend or family member to help them appreciate the beauty that lives among us.
Fred Duffy, MD
Hello Mr. Rossi – I picked up your book at a local restaurant – we looked through it while waiting for our food. I just wanted to commend you on this beautiful book. Each picture was its own story. We so enjoyed seeing it. I feel this could be an award-winning book. I too am an author so know the work and dedication to get it done and to get it published. Congratulations – spectacular pictures.
Mary Lynn St. Ignace
Paul Rossi’s new book—BEAUTIFUL BIRDS OF MICHIGAN’S EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA—is stunning. The photographs are comparable to any in National Geographic, and the images capture the fleeting creatures in their beautiful native habitat, doing what they do: This is an intimate look into the lives of birds.
Christine Holbert Publisher – Lost Horse Press