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Western Backyard Birds Review by Kathy GelzerBy James Kavanagh
428 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
How often have you wished you could identify a particular bird when you were out and about? Well, wish no more. Western Backyard Birds is a sturdy fold-out, plastic-coated pocket guide to western birds. The categories are: waterbirds and near-shore birds; doves, woodpeckers, etc.; birds of prey; and perching birds. The bird illustrations are nicely detailed and include both male and female examples. The birds' common and Latin names and size are also included. For some of the birds, there are interesting facts or spotting helps. For example, for the Red-breasted Sapsucker it says, "Drinks sap from holes it drills in trees." And under the Song Sparrow it says, "Note central breast spot." There is a section devoted to attracting birds to your yard, with specific tips regarding food, water, shelter, and birdhouses.
The whole family can use this field guide. It's portable enough to slip into a purse, backpack, or glove compartment to accommodate bird watching on the go. I brought it along when the kids wanted to bike to a nearby playground, and we were able to ID some birds right then and there.