Article in: Book Reviews
September 10, 2007
The following is a review of Bird – The Definitive Visual Guide
On Friday evening after work, I opened a padded envelope from DK Publishing and slid out a large book with an extreme closeup of a Blue-footed Booby on the cover.
My first impression of this book was a big WOW! While the old saying goes “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” it is OK to do so with this book. After opening the book, the feeling of wow stayed strong and I had yet to read a single page.
Bird is a collective effort between Birdlife International and Audubon to create a visually appealing learning experience of the world’s birds. While not a traditional guide book or encyclopedia of birds of the world, Bird features every bird order and family with profiles on 1,500+ individual species. The focus is not only on some of the world’s most fascinating birds, but also on a wide range of species, some extremely common and others the rarest of the rare.
Not Just Species Profiles
The individual species profiles would make Bird an excellent read, but it is all the other wonderful information that makes this book stand out. Sections on bird behavior, migration, geography, nesting, flight, song, displays, conservation and a whole lot more start of the book. Next, a large section on habitat types follows, highlighting all the major habitats and the birds that are found there.
Each of these sections are well-written and fun to read. Pictures mesh well with the text, allowing any age reader to enjoy without losing interest.
Our 9-year old niece studying the new book on her own
- Gorgeous color photos, many showing unique bird behaviors
- Accurate and up-to-date information on bird families and species
- CD of 60 bird songs accompanies the book with birds like Eastern Whipbird and White-bearded Manakin among the featured birds
- Large introduction with wonderful information on their wings and flight, bills and feeding, breeding displays and nesting, migration and conservation, plus much more
CD loaded with 60 amazing bird sounds
Who Should Purchase This book?
Everyone! This is a perfect book for anyone who loves birds, whether you are a world traveler or someone who just started birding yesterday. Even if you already own encyclopedic volumes of birds, this is a must-have for the visual experience and detailed information.
This would also be a perfect gift for a budding young birder. It was hard for me to get a hold of this book long enough to review it, as my niece and nephew were busy studying it.
It is hard to find any faults in this book. The information is accurate and the photos stunning. Some family and species accounts could have benefited from more information. But to include every family and order, I am sure it was necessary to limit how much was said on each.
The price – listed at $50.00 – might be a turn-off to some. But when compared to other large, photo-heavy nature books, the price is on the mark.
Final rating: 10 out of 10 feathers!!