Molly's Reviews

The Little Guides: Birds
Joseph Forshaw (Editor)
Fog City Press

Order from Amazon

Informative Read ... Highly Recommended... 5 stars

As with others in the Little Guide series "The Little Guides: Birds" is a 300+ -page work divided into sections. Part 1: THE WORLD OF BIRDS presents a three section overview for UNDERSTANDING BIRDS. In section one birds are introduced with pictures of tiny humming bird and much larger ostrich presented on the same page to indicate the wide diversity of the group. Origins of Birds, Naming of Birds, Bird Anatomy, Feathers and Plumage, Flight, and Habitat, are all discussed in detail from pages 11 26. Section two: begins on page 27 with an overview of bird behavior. Finding food, Displays, Songs and Calls, Territory and Pair Formation, Nests and Eggs, and information regarding Migration, complete the section. Section three: pages 43 - 56 offers detailed information pertaining to integration of Humans and Birds. Basic Birding, Identifying Birds,Photographing Birds, and Birds Under Threat complete Part 1 of the book.

Part Two: KINDS OF BIRDS gets down to specifics regarding birds, how to recognize and understand the various groups common to the world around us. Waterbirds, are found on pages 55 87, Seabirds and Shorebirds 89 123, Birds of Prey 124 161, Flightless and Ground Dwelling Birds 162 183, Other Non-Passerine Birds including those Driven to Extinction 184 125, Passerine 126 - 287, Finches and Seedeating Passerines 289 307. A Classification Table and Index round out the work.

Using language easily understood by novice and experienced birder alike Editor Forshaw presents a good concise overview of birds in general and specific birds, their habitat, habits and needs in particular. The book is filled with good clear illustrations of the various types of birds comprising the avian group. Because I live in a migration route for the Canadian Goose I particularly enjoyed reading the section on Migration. The pages pertaining to Birds of Prey help me understand better the Hawks who fly over my pasture. As a person who is known to set out suet cakes, feeders of seed and water for the birds in my back yard I particularly enjoyed this book.

"The Little Guides: Birds" is detailed enough to fit the needs for use by the more advanced bird enthusiast as well as being simple enough for those of us who have an interest in but are not widely experienced in birding. The section on Non Passerine birds helps me know what plants and commercial foods are needed for my own backyard bird feeding/habitat program. "The Little Guides: Birds" is an excellent choice for anyone who has an interest in the birds who share our planet.

The sections on bird behavior, finding food and habitat are particularly useful for the reader who would like to the offer birds a place to live and prosper in their own back yard. A good addition to the home and personal library as well as the high school biology department library. Middle grade youngsters will use the book with some guidance from parents, teachers, scout leaders and the like.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.




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2005 by Molly Martin