Sunday, January 2, 2022

All About American Buffalo

I read Steven Rinella's American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon last week. It's a fascinating book about the history of humans' relationship with American buffalo (bison) in North America. The telling of the history is intermixed with Rinella's own stories of finding a buffalo skull in Montana, visiting historic buffalo jumps, and hunting for buffalo in Alaska. 

Even as someone who has read a fair bit about buffalo in the past, I found some fun new facts in American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon. For example, George Washington once considered raising a herd of buffalo for their coats (shearing them like sheep would have been quite the challenge). 

Reading Rinella's book reminded me of some excellent videos about bison that I've shared in the past. Meet the American Bison does a fine job of showing younger students basic facts about bison. If you look carefully, you'll also notice that it does a great job of modeling how to cite the sources of images used in a video.


Older students who want to learn about bison should turn to the resources available on the Yellowstone National Park website. Those resources include the following video about the challenges of bison conservation.