Amongst the books I was recently given was an old bird field guide, Bird Guide - Land Birds East of the Rockies From Parrots to Bluebirds, by Chester A. Reed. It looks like it is a reprint from 1944, originally copyrighted in 1906.
One of the first thing that struck me, while I was reading the Introduction was how many of the same threats to birdlife that we recognize now, were known then. Those threats outlined in the book are poignantly outlined by the fact that at least four of the birds featured in this small volume are extinct (well okay maybe not the Ivory-billed Woodpecker but if it still exists there are so staggeringly few of them, well..) including the very first bird shown.
Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:
He goes on to detail some of the threats and again here an excerpt of a couple after Man and the Elements: