Discover the Joy of Birds This Spring!

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central LibraryStaff Picks

Discover the Joy of Birds This Spring!

National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America

Cover of book Pocket Guide to the Birds of North AmericaThis little book will surprise even experienced birders with its word and picture portraits of what makes 160 of our most common birds anything but ordinary.  It packs an amazing amount of readable -- and intriguing -- information into a very small space.  The pictures not only show typical behaviors but succeed as attention grabbers in themselves.  The text is unique among bird guides with its telling vignettes that surprise, amuse, and most of all, make you feel you want to know more.   

For example, on the Barn Swallow page, you can find a picture of a parent bird feeding an almost-independent youngster while BOTH are in the air. The text illustrates the adaptability of these widespread birds to humans with the story of a pair who nested for years in a home improvement store, accessing it by fluttering in front of the motion sensor on the door until it opened.

The Kingbird page shows the birds chasing away an eagle that came too close to their nest, while the text informs us that though they are pugnaciously territorial insect eaters while nesting in North America, during their winters in South America they are very sociable, flocking fruit eaters. 

The Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America covers the basics of identification, voice, and habits, points out field marks, and gives range maps.  It also is a book I found myself reading through page by page, because it's just plain interesting.
-- Patricia Wood