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100 Birds to See Before You Die by David Chandler and Dominic Couzens Books in Review
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100 Birds to See Before You Die - The Ultimate Wish List for Birders Everywhere
by David Chandler and Dominic Couzens
Thunder Bay Press
ISBN 978-1-59223-958-0
Published January 2009 - Softcover - 224 pages - $19.95

As an amateur bird fancier (there is so much to learn), I always enjoy looking out for and photographing, whenever possible, new birds.  I'd like to think I've seen, if not photographed, a great many birds, but there is an even larger number I'll never see, which is why I love books like this one.  Gorgeous color photographs abound of even more gorgeous birds, not necessarily "beautiful" (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, don't forget), and learning of their unusual skills, plumage, habitats or abilities (nest building for one) is astounding.  Now, although most of us aren't thinking about trips to some of the more exotic locations some of these birds call home, this book will save you the journey.  You'll discover incredible information about each bird featured (size, habitat, classification, population and conservation status, breeding, etc.), find their spot/s on the world map (very useful, thank you), and marvel at who we share our planet with.  Take the first bird featured, the Arctic Tern, who winters in Antarctica!  That's a long flight from the north of the northern hemisphere.  You'll come across such interesting information like the incredible song of the Common Nightingale (400 phrases in a hour, from a soundbank of 250 or more different phrases!), the 7-8 foot wingspan of the Magnificent Frigatebird, the ruthless Cuckoo, the pussy-cat-looking Snowy Owl, the exquisite Broad-billed Tody, the remarkable Golden Bowerbird, the Enormous Shoebill, the endangered Regent Honeyeater, and the exquisitely "rainbow-ish" Gouldian Finch.  You'll also learn about the type of nest each bird builds, as well as what they eat and what their courtship rituals are like.  We're also clued in as to the endangered (or not) aspect of each bird.  I'd love to visit Costa Rica and Hispaniola in the Caribbean — I'd have a blast taking photos and reveling in Nature's bird bounty.
Conclusion - Absolutely enchanting, captivating, and infinitely inspirational.  This book is a thing of joy and definitely worthy of a "must-have" rating!  I didn't want this book to end!

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