Book reviews from The Free Lance-Star.
Not just pretty photos
By Nancy Moore
For The Free Lance–Star
THIS 389-page, glossy publication, “The Bird Watcher’s Bible,” is more than just a coffee-table book. Beyond the fascinating facts and photos, the book offers a lot of information and advice for bird watchers, especially beginners and backyard birders.
It focuses not just on U.S. birds but on birds of the world.
Open the book at random and you’ll discover fascinating facts. Bet you didn’t know that:
Baby wood ducks (you can see them along the canal path in Fredericksburg) jump to the ground from their nest high in a tree the day after they hatch.
You’d have to travel to foreign countries to see 11 of the top 12 birds with the best plumage. The flashiest U.S. bird is the Mandarin duck, which can be seen in California wine country.
Indonesia is the place to go to see the most species of birds: 325 of them. The U.S. isn’t even on the top 20 list.
Birds with long, tapered wings are best equipped for long migrations. Arctic terns are the champions of bird migration, making round trips of 49,000 miles between Greenland/Iceland and Antarctica.
Male birds with the best song repertoire are much more likely to attract a female. Scientists think good singing skills are a sign of a bigger bird brain.
Bird fanciers will find much to like and learn about in this beautiful book.
Nancy Moore is a freelance reviewer in Fredericksburg.
BIRD WATCHER’S BIBLE
Edited by Jonathan Alderfer
(National Geographic, $40, 389 pp.)
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