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Howard Youth discusses A Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C.

What do you think of at the mention of a natural field guide to D.C.? Perhaps red elephants butting heads with blue donkeys, if you’re from out of town, or maybe aggressive pigeons and rats scurrying over Metro tracks? It turns out the city’s forested parks, characteristic rivers, and quaint yards are home to a stunning diversity of flora and fauna; you just have to know what to look for. The National Museum of Natural History is hosting a talk with someone who knows a lot about D.C. nature, Howard Youth, author of A Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian promises a “lively conversation” between the NMNH’s director, Kirk Johnson, and Youth about his journey to document nature in the District. What can we learn from someone already making the most of their surroundings? In the pandemic, many of us find ourselves seeking the outdoors more than ever, so it can help to hear how an expert connects to the city’s nature. Youth has spent his adulthood in the D.C. area as well as various countries across the world, with a special interest in birding, and he now works with the American Bird Conservancy. The Field Guide has been well-received within D.C. and beyond, with the upcoming talk providing an opportunity to expand on it whether one has read it or not. The event begins at 5 p.m. on April 29th. Registration is available at si.edu. Free.

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