Review of National Geographic’s Global Birding

The thrill of arriving in a new and vastly different geographical area from your home to search for birds is one of the most invigorating desires of birders. It isn’t so much that their “home turf” is boring, but that the mere idea of nearly every possible bird seen being brand new and often wildly exotic is impossible to ignore.

National Geographic’s Global Birding: Traveling the World in Search of Birds is a world overview of places every ABA-area birder dreams of going. Les Beletsky along with 36 fun narratives by David L. Pearson, provide a portal into many familiar places birders have heard of as well as numerous other, not-so-known destinations.

An introductory chapter covers “The Geography of Birds” which examines the most bird-rich areas as well as explain why certain places have more bird diversity than others. Les explains what endemic birds are and the allure of searching for them.

Endemics aren’t necessarily difficult to find (although many colossally are) but often have limited geographic ranges (many found on islands) and the only way you’ll find them is by traveling to faraway places (they aren’t migratory).

After the introductory chapters whet your global birding appetite, Global Birding has full sections on each large geographical region:

  • Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies
  • South America and Antarctica
  • Europe and the Middle East
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australasia and the Tropical Pacific

Each region is broken further down into sub-regions and covers significant bird groups you are likely to encounter. Some of the top, must-see species are showcased with jaw-dropping color photographs. There are also “Significant Species” sections that list some of the coolest birds of each sub-region that you most definitely will want to look for.

Mixed throughout each region are sidebars with info covering birding and conservation organizations as well as field guides and other useful books. Pearson’s narratives are sprinkled throughout and recount trips he’s taken to find some spectacular birds.

Global Birding: Traveling the World in Search of Birds not only provides a great resource on where to go to find cool birds. It offers a powerful and dangerous urge to book a trip as soon as possible and find yourself surrounded by an onslaught of new birds.

Disclaimer: We were given this book for free from the publisher to provide a review.

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