Wednesday, April 29, 2015
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: For a quarter of a century, Tony Angell and his family shared the remarkable experience of closely observing pairs of western screech owls that occupied a nesting box outside the window of their forest home. The journals in which the author recorded his observations, and the captivating drawings he created, form the heart of this compelling book—a personal account of an artist-naturalist’s life with owls. Angell’s extensive illustrations show owls engaged in what owls do—hunting, courting, raising families, and exercising their inquisitive natures—and reveal his immeasurable respect for their secret lives and daunting challenges.
Angell discusses the unique characteristics that distinguish owls from other bird species and provides a fascinating overview of the impact owls have had on human culture and thought. He also offers detailed scientific descriptions of the nineteen species of owls found in North America, as well as their close relatives elsewhere. Always emphasizing the interaction of humans and owls, the author affirms by his own example the power of these birds both to beguile and to inspire.
RECOMMENDATION: If you enjoyed the author's other works you should enjoy this book.
2) Karlson, Kevin and Dale Rosselet. Peterson Reference Guides: Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardbound: 286 pages. Price: $30.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Birding is an extremely rewarding and fun hobby, but some situations can be frustrating or unsuccessful because of a variety of challenging viewing conditions. This guide to identifying birds offers the holistic “birding by impression” method, which not only helps with these difficult conditions, but also develops an efficient mental identification process using left- and right-brain skills. It begins with a conscious assessment of a bird’s unchanging physical characteristics, including general size, body shape, structural features (bill, legs, neck, and wings), and behavior. Using this approach, birders can quickly assess all birds and distinguish new and uncommon species from familiar ones. They can then examine more detailed field marks to fine-tune the identification. Rather than a traditional field guide, this book presents an interactive how-to approach to a more complete identification process.
RECOMMENDATION: This well illustrated guide would be best for intermediate level birders.