Celebrating Birds

Natalia Rojas, Ana Maria Martinez, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology / Harper Design / 351 pages 

If you have been searching for an engaging new hobby to help you recover from the COVID-19 doldrums, Celebrating Birds: An Interactive Field Guide Featuring Art from Wingspan is an ideal entry point into the world of birdwatching. In the past year, the popularity of bird watching has soared as people have looked for new ways to get out of the house and explore the world around them in a safe, socially distanced way. As spring begins, and legions of birds begin to return to our neighborhoods and open spaces for breeding and nesting season, now is the perfect time to pick up a field guide to help you identify the birds that you see on your outdoor excursions. 

Celebrating Birds is an accessible, engaging guide to the birds of North America, with lovely, hand-drawn illustrations first featured in the popular board game Wingspan. This book is ideal for children in middle and high school, as well as adults who are new to birding. Each of the 181 entries contains interesting information on the species’ lifecycle and habits, as well as a “cool fact” that would expand the knowledge of even expert birders. This guide also contains a fun birding challenge, which is a perfect way to entertain younger members of the family. 

Notably, the illustrations primarily depict the males of each species, so identifying a female of a species with significant differences in plumage between the sexes may be difficult or impossible using this guide. Moreover, if you are trying to identify a species based on nests or eggs, you will need to look elsewhere. Regardless, this beautiful guide should provide all levels of birdwatchers with insight and a new perspective on the fascinating bird species that call North America home. 

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