Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest: 85 Unforgettable Species, Their Fascinating Lives, and How to Find Themby Sarah Swanson, Max Smith
Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest is a lively, practical guide that helps readers discover 85 of the region’s most extraordinary birds. Each bird profile includes notes on what they eat, where they migrate from, and where to find them in Washington and Oregon. Profiles also include stunning color photographs of each bird. Birds are grouped by/i>
Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest is a lively, practical guide that helps readers discover 85 of the region’s most extraordinary birds. Each bird profile includes notes on what they eat, where they migrate from, and where to find them in Washington and Oregon. Profiles also include stunning color photographs of each bird. Birds are grouped by what they are known for or where they are most likely to be found—like beach birds, urban birds, colorful birds, and killer birds. This is an accessible guide for casual birders, weekend warriors, and families looking for an outdoor experience. Eight easy-going birding weekends, including stops in Puget Sound, the Central Washington wine country, and the Klamath Basin, offer wonderful getaway ideas and make this a must-have guide for locals and visitors alike.
“Looks like a field guide, reads like a travel book. This accessible guide will appeal to less experienced birders as well as visitors to the Pacific Northwest.” —Library Journal “A delightful work by two exceptionally talented natural history writers that will not fail to enlighten the reader—regardless of his or her previous experience with the region—about the fascinating birdlife to be found in one of the world’s most beautiful and naturally diverse areas. It is whole-heartedly recommended to all.” —Bird Watcher’s Digest “Some of us don’t know a cedar waxwing from a belted kingfisher—but Sarah Swanson sure does…Besides profiling 85 flying fiends of the Northwest, the book traces eight weekend birding vacations.” —Seattle Met Blog “Oregonians Swanson and Smith take a practical approach to regional bird-watching with 85 lucid descriptions of notable Northwest species.” —Alaska Airlines Magazine “Divided into sections such as “Beach Birds,” “Big Birds,” “Tree Trunk Birds,” and “Urban Birds,” their tome tells the stories of each species, illustrated by sumptuous photographs and, most helpful, where to find them. It closes with eight distinct weekend birding trip itineraries.” —Cascadia Weekly “This bird book is blissfully unscientific. It’s not that science is bad when birds are involved, it’s just nice that someone has found a new way to present descriptions of 85 of our favorite birds in Oregon and Washington…among them are big birds, colorful birds and urban birds.” —The Oregonian “The photos are gorgeous, and the informative writing is a true pleasure to read. . . . This book will get you outside, make you slow down, look and listen.” —Travel Oregon “Must-See Birds lists some of the prime locations for spotting each species, and also proposes several weekend birding trips. . . . whether you have a yen to spot a pelican, a wigeon, or a woodpecker, this is a congenial book—interesting to read through, and even more fun to put to use!” —The Bellingham Herald “A charming guide presented somewhere in between a handbook and a bookshelf reference, and it feels just right. . . . Swanson and Smith would be good fun on a weekend birding trip.” —The Register-Guard “This book is about the experience and the fun of looking for birds and appreciating them as part of our small but spectacular region of the world.” —Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas
First-time authors Swanson and Smith have written a photographic guide to be consulted for familiarization, before the business of finding the birds begins. The book targets those interested in opportunities unique to Oregon and Washington, but it is specifically friendly to beginning and intermediate birders in those areas. This title is not a comprehensive catalog but rather offers a selection of birds the authors deem important to see, so they have omitted species that they find fascinating but which are either too rare to find reliably or too challenging for nonexperts to identify. Their equipment recommendations are sensible and take into account factors that a novice (or someone unfamiliar with the Pacific Northwest) might not take into consideration, such as the wisdom of purchasing waterproof binoculars. Coverage of birding ethics again deals with territory that a beginner might not consider, such as the need to limit recorded songs to lure birds and the inappropriateness of using binoculars to view birds on a private residence. Each entry includes information about food and foraging, pairing and parenting, migrations and movements, where to find the bird, and other birds to look for in the vicinity. The text is accessible: the authors keep jargon to a minimum, and all vocabulary is defined on the page. The color photographs are more utilitarian than spectacular, allowing readers to get a good look at each species so they'll know what to watch for in the wild. The book concludes with details on eight weekend birding trips. VERDICT Looks like a field guide, reads like a travel book. This accessible guide will appeal to less experienced birders as well as visitors to the Pacific Northwest.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole P.L., MA
- Timber Press, Incorporated
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- 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Read an Excerpt
In the Pacific Northwest, a seabird lays its egg in a nest on the mossy branch of an old-growth tree and flies out to the ocean each day in search of fish. Songbirds sing throughout the year, and tubenosed birds visit our shores from as far away as New Zealand. Even our largest cities attract spectacular flights of migratory birds. Birding hotspots include forested mountains, valley wetlands, Pacific shores, inland seas, and desert basins—enough to provide a lifetime of birding adventures. The geographic boundaries of the Pacific Northwest vary widely depending on your purposes. This book is for people interested in birding opportunities unique to Oregon and Washington. For this reason, we include the portions of each state that contain types of natural areas that are unique to this part of the country. They include the Pacific Coast, the Salish Sea (Puget Sound and surrounding waters), the Willamette Valley and Puget Trough, the Cascade Range, and the eastern Cascade foothills. We do not include the easternmost portions of each state, because those areas include plant and bird communities that are characteristic of other regions such as the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin. We include several sites in Oregon and Washington where you’re most likely to find interesting birds. We do not list sites for very common birds. These sites are not, by any means, the only places to find these birds in the Pacific Northwest. And we can’t guarantee that the birds we mention will be present when you are, but that’s part of what makes birding exciting. Most of these sites are specific, well-traveled locations such as parks, wildlife refuges, and waterways. Some locations require a parking or admission fee. A few are along rough roads, so always use discretion when it comes to road conditions and your vehicle’s abilities. This book introduces you to 85 of the Pacific Northwest’s must-see birds and shares some remarkable information about their lives and must-visit places to find them. Although this book does not include all of the birds you’ll see in the Pacific Northwest, we hope that it gives you the inspiration and information you need to go out and enjoy the many must-see birds of Oregon and Washington.
Meet the Author
Sarah Swanson has worked as an environmental educator for the Audubon Society of Portland. She loves teaching adults and children about natural history by leading field trips and classes.
Max Smith is a wildlife biologist currently working with the U.S. Forest Service. Since 2003, he has studied the mechanisms through which invasive plants and wildfire influence the reproductive success of birds.
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