Book Reviews2020-03-11T17:17:02-04:00

Birding reviews significant books, films, websites, and other publications of interest to our extremely varied readership. Copies for potential review should be sent to:

Frank Izaguirre, Review Editor
3718 Orpwood St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA
and to:

Ted Floyd, Editor
2009 South Fork Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026 USA

When a review has been assigned, the editors will request a review copy be sent to the reviewer.

All Birding reviews before December 2019 are permanently archived at:

Frank Izaguirre is the Books and Media Reviews Editor at Birding magazine and a PhD candidate in English at West Virginia University, where he is dissertating on how field guides have shaped environmental values in America. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Adrienne.

A Grand Voyage to the “Grandest Island”

January 17th, 2021|

Reading New Guinea: Nature and Culture of Earth's Grandest Island during the quasi-lockdown phase of a global pandemic may make this distant location feel even more unattainable, but if it's the best one can do for now, it is an impressive second best.

A Brilliant Synthesis of Bird Behavior Research

January 14th, 2021|

This book is a testament to recognizing and saluting avian diversity in all of its forms. And above all, Ackerman relishes the pursuit of knowledge and the possibilities it uncovers: The more you learn about birds, the more they promise to astonish you.

The Great, Global Quest for Penguins

December 4th, 2020|

Here is a highly anecdotal, engaging story of the quest by Bergman and his wife to see the world’s 18 penguin species. Intensely personal, his quest is full of adventure, challenges, serious medical issues, danger, and descriptions of some of the most remote areas anywhere.

A Worldwide Look at How Birds Respond to Winter

December 3rd, 2020|

This book drives home from multiple angles just how pervasively winter influences almost all parts of the life cycle. Birders of all backgrounds are likely to find that Birds in Winter greatly expands their appreciation of the season's influence, and will no doubt enjoy learning more about the lives of both familiar species and those they may have never heard of before.

A Textbook with Opportunities for Birderly Learning

March 12th, 2020|

The 21 chapters of text encompass all of ornithology and address the obvious topics, covering the evolution of birds, anatomy and flight, physiology, brain structure, social behavior, genetics, the annual cycle, migration, courtship, vocalizations, nesting, population and community dynamics, and speciation.

A Must-Have Resource for Global Seabirding

March 10th, 2020|

Howell and Zufelt have undertaken a monumental task. Not only have they compiled a worthwhile collection of striking photographs of our global assortment of seabirds, they have also taken the time to wade through the most vexing taxonomy and put it all into a sensible, useful format.

Embracing Birds of the Pacific Northwest

March 8th, 2020|

Birds of the Pacific Northwest is a comprehensive field guide that all users can enjoy, from casual birders and backyard birders to hardcore enthusiasts. The details specific to the region make it a valuable resource to study at home, toss in a backpack, or keep in the car while on a birding trip.

The Impulse to Sing: Birders and Music

March 6th, 2020|

Birdsong is one of the most enchanting aspects of avian behavior, and birders especially love the times of year when birds can’t help but sing from dawn until dusk and even through the night. The impulse to sing seems just as strong in two passionate birders who are also talented and prolific musicians.

A Global Birding Pioneer Finally Tells His Tale

December 25th, 2019|

For every birder who faithfully devotes a half-shelf or more to global listing chronicles like Noah Strycker’s Birding without Borders or Phoebe Snetsinger’s Birding on Borrowed Time, Fisher’s book is an instant must-own.

Gulls, Obsession, and Trash in a Human-altered World

December 24th, 2019|

Taking us through a journey of landfill visits with some of Europe’s most prominent gull-watchers, the book unfolds in southern Britain, and it is here that the author experiences the subculture of gull obsession, taking part in capturing and banding gulls.

The Universal Pleasures of Birding Pt. 2

December 23rd, 2019|

Finding and appreciating birds in cities is fun. But there is one other major benefit to birding an urban area, namely, the people you meet. If you are wearing a pair of binoculars on public transportation, you will probably meet other birders on the way.

The Comeback Bird

November 20th, 2019|

When it comes to us and Ospreys, it’s deep and personal. Around 1970, a neighbor took an adolescent Carl to a secret fishing spot on an eastern Long Island pond. He saw a huge stick nest, and from what he’d been reading he knew some things: it was an Osprey nest, abandoned, and Ospreys were nearly extinct.

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