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12 thoughts on “Owls of the North: A Naturalist's Handbook

  1. says:

    A beautiful and informative handbookThis charming little book will fit easily into your backpack, although not into your back pocket Naturalist David Benson s keys to identification make Owls of the North a good field guide, and his sidebars on related facts make for some interesting reading But the real strength of the book is in the photos of the owls They are absolutely captivating.The photo credits are given on page 84 Benson comments If we add up all the hours in the field it took to get the photos in this book, the number would be nearly unbelievable Not to mention the conditions these photographers endured cramped blinds, soggy feet, blood thirsty mosquitoes, finger numbing cold But the results are spectacular They are There is something about the owl countenance that is thrilling the big eyes, the rounded face, the invisible mouth suggesting strong reticence, I guess , the strong beak in the middle They are simultaneously cute and seemingly wise as they look into our souls.Fortunately Benson does not wax so anthropomorphically His text is informative and interesting He explains the ear tufts on some owls or actually he explains that we don t really know for sure what they are for He explains their acute hearing and how their ears are placed that help they home in on the faintest of sounds, such as voles moving under the snow He touches on how their talons work and he identifies their habitats, their food, and many other bits of fascinating information There are little global maps showing the range that the owls occupy Interesting enough at the center point of the maps is the North Pole The range of many of these northern owls extends from the US and Canada over the Pole to Europe These are some of the best cold weather adapted creatures on the planet.Seeing owls is a sometime thing I can tell you, and I congratulate Benson for his time in the field In all my nature studies over the years I have seen perhaps two or three owls Of course I usually do not go out at the most opportune times, that is to say at night The owls I have seen appeared at dusk.I highly recommend this book not only for those who want to know about owls, but birders in general I did find one small error On page 32 Benson writes Red shouldered Hawks aren t found west of the eastern Great Plains Believe me, they are I see quite a few along the riparian trails here in the Sacramento area.By the way, the cover photo shown here on is not the same as on the cover of the book I have I like the one I have even better But the cover photo does appear in the book Dennis Littrell, author of the mystery novel, Teddy and Teri

  2. says:

    It was a quick and fun read I was surprised at how many of the owl vocalizations described are sounds I regularly hear outside.

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