Review: “Birds of the Northwest”

Discover the joys of birdwatching with “Birds of the Northwest” 

Natalie‌ ‌Dean‌ ‌|‌ ‌Entertainment‌ ‌Editor‌ ‌ ‌

Birdwatchers throughout the Pacific Northwest can rejoice: the visual identification guide “Birds of the Northwest” just made birdwatching so much easier. Award-winning photographer ⏤ and author of over 175 field guides and other literature ⏤ Stan Tekiela shows just how easy it can be to learn about native birds. Based on his best-selling bird field guides, this condensed copy manages to cover 130 species of birds found in Oregon, northern California, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. 

Readers can find key details about the birds and their behavior, such as which ones will eat from backyard feeders, how to tell the variation in a male and female bird and how to tell the difference between their counterparts. There is also an additional section on feeding birds, which are broken up into categories ⏤ Bluebirds, Chickadees & Nuthatches, Doves, Finches, Hummingbirds and Woodpeckers.

The guide is a very condensed pocket sized format, yet manages to go fairly in depth on the variation of identification marks for a bounty of birds. It has useful sections based on the main color of the feathers, going from mostly red, to yellow, green-blue, black and white, gray and fully black birds. Along the bottom of each page shows the average height of the birds in question and their silhouettes for quick comparison, and Tekiela gives brief descriptions of important characteristics for proper identification. 

He uses to-the-point phrases, like for the Pacific Stellar’s Jay, which is described as having blue streaks on its black head and a large crest. Normally, it’s around 11 inches tall and will eat from bird feeders. Learning to name and place birds is a timeless skill, and makes going outside that much more immersive. It takes patience and a handy guide, but in time, anyone can practice their birdwatching skills.  

Review: I would have to give this a 4.5/5 because the book is so handy and detailed, which makes it essential for beginner birdwatchers. Before buying this book, it was difficult to correctly identify each bird I saw since there were so many. After getting the guide, it’s become increasingly easier to find the right fowl. 

Contact the author at ndean17@wou.edu

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