Birds of Happiness Aren’t Blue by Paul Hetzler

Birds of Happiness Aren’t Blue: and 85 other very funny and somewhat educational nature essays.  

Paperback – Published on July 28 2023
by Paul Hetzler.

About the book:

This book merges nature education with water skiing, except you don't need a lake. Or a boat. And you'll probably laugh a lot more and fall down less.

A series of fast, zany rides into the wild and weird natural world around us await the reader. The essays are teeming with nifty – occasionally gross – facts about photosynthetic animals, worms with copper teeth, trees that bleed blue, woodpeckers that compulsively decorate with acorns, and lots more. Here and there you’ll find issues like the dire effect of climate change on maple trees, how invasive species threaten forests, and the upsurge in tick-borne illnesses, but it'll be less painful than learning about that stuff from the news.
Plus, you’ll get handy advice on things such as how to prevent oak wilt, ways to help native pollinators, and tips on planting trees so they’ll live long and prosper. You might even learn to speak pine.

Each entry is stand-alone and can be read in any order. At about four minutes a pop, these essays are a perfect quick read for when you’re in a queue and want to buck the phone-gazing norm. The phone might or might not have captivating content right when you want it – this book always will.

If you’re a nature-lover, you’ll devour this book. If you’re not a big fan of nature, well, you’ll still get a kick out of it.

See Paul Hetzler's other book:

Available through and

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 263 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8854108706

$19.50 US funds. $26.98 Canadian

About the author

Paul Hetzler wanted to be a bear when he grew up, but failed the audition. Having gotten over much of his self-pity concerning that unfortunate event, he now writes essays about nature -- even bears, on occasion. Paul has been an ISA-Certified Arborist since 1996, and was a longtime educator for Cornell Extension. His writing has appeared in venues ranging from the British medical journal The Lancet to Highlights for Children magazine. He continues to write for Public Radio, as well as for a number of newspapers in Canada and the US. He has lived in Quebec with his wife since 2020.

Editor's Note:  Recognize Paul Hetzler. He is a 20+ author for Thousands Islands Life. Be sure to see his articles here. (And trust me, he makes science and nature come alive in a way that makes you smile and Laugh-Out-Loud.)