Monday, January 4, 2010

Bird Guides of [xyz]

On January 2, my husband and I were treated to a "Breakfast on the Bayou" pontoon boat tour through a bayou here in southeast Texas. While it would have been a bit chilly by some folks' standards, my husband grew up in Manitoba, Canada, and I spent three years living in North Dakota, so believe me when I say that this was nothing, weather-wise! Besides, the cold air and the morning sun made the most unbelievable mist coming off the water.

The best part was that we got to see, up close and personal, many birds that seem exotic to me, having grown up on the East Coast. We saw Roseate Spoonbills, Egrets, Herons, two types of Vultures, Cormorants, and more.

Much later that day (after a nap of course!), we went to Barnes & Noble, and we got a tremendous kick out of consulting a miniature guide to Texas birds, looking up all the species we'd seen that morning. It occurred to me that field guides are likely available in any large bookstore for any part of the world, so look in the regional interest section the next time you're in a bookstore and see what you can find. It's fun to get to know the wildlife of your particular corner of the world, and birds truly are magnificent creatures. This guide to Texas birds shown above is 6 x 4.4 x 0.9 inches, making it the right size for a stocking stuffer, and I'm sure many of the field guides out there for other regions are stocking stuffer sized as well!

(And while I'm at it, I'm going to label this as an eco-friendly post, because the more people know about the creatures we share the world with, the more people are likely to try and take care of that world.)

What: Bird field guides
Where: Amazon or any bookstore
How much (as of today's post): varies (most under $15 or $20)

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