Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bird Songs:250 North American Birds in Song by Les Beletsky

This is a combination of a beautifully illustrated book and an electronic device that plays birds songs. It is a great coffee table book and conversation piece. The size makes it easy and inviting to flip through and the addition of the bird songs makes it very entertaining as well as educational. The book covers 250 species which are divided into habitats such as water and shore birds or forest birds rather than arranged by taxonomy.
The pictures are outstanding and often include both a male and female of the species. The sound quality of the bird songs is so clear that we had to forbid playing hawk and owl sounds when we saw our poor bunny cowering in fear.
If you are thinking of taking 250 bird songs into the field, you had better hit the gym, because it is big and heavy. It is really not made to be a field guide but rather an interesting and enjoyable book to read and play.
I first saw this book at Borders last fall and spent a long time playing with it. I delighted to receive it as a gift last Christmas. The novelty of the bird songs hasn’t worn off. My daughter and I play the songs and try to quiz each other on them. It is really a lot of fun.

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