Thursday, June 16, 2011


1) Thompson, Max C. et al. Birds of Kansas. 2011. University Press of Kansas. Hardbound: 528 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Ever since the Lewis and Clark Expedition spotted its first Wild Turkey in Kansas, the state has celebrated a rich ornithological history—especially in light of its habitat diversity and its location within the Central Migratory Flyway. That birding bounty is now given its due by a respected team of authors, all recognized avian authorities, in a beautifully produced large-format volume highlighted with professional-quality color photographs and maps.
     The first such survey in twenty years, this remarkable book depicts every one of the state’s now-documented 473 species. Designed for all knowledgeable birders and professional ornithologists, it provides scientifically accurate information on distribution, breeding, and behavior for each species. It not only significantly updates the previous two-volume field guide Birds in Kansas but also reflects a more than 10% increase in known species—47 more than previously listed, including the Long-billed Murrelet, Ross’s Gull, and Broad-billed Hummingbird.
     The contents are arranged by family—from abundant groups like plovers and sandpipers to the lone Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) recorded in the state. For each species, a map shows the counties in which it has been reported, and many species include maps for both breeding and banding. Use of color in the distribution maps allows depiction of seasonal bird distribution. The text also includes a brief life history for most regularly breeding species, as well as information on migratory routes explaining where the birds travel when they leave Kansas.
    Birds of Kansas will be a vital addition to the library of anyone who seeks a better understanding of the diverse and ever-fascinating Kansas avifauna.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in the birds of Kansas! Birders from surrounding states will find it useful too.

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