Down and Dirty Birding: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous (1996),
by Joey Slinger

Down and Dirty Birding is a treat. Six spritely chapters:

  1. Birders — how to recognize birders and how to be one.
  2. Bird behavior — what birds do.
  3. Bird parts — bills/beaks, feathers, feet, cloaca (general-purpose canal/sewer), skeleton, skull, syrinx (tube from each lung entered by air crossing a membrane), wing, etc.
  4. Deep background — how birds began; the extinct; the introduced; the passerine.
  5. The hit list — how to figure out what bird you have: pp. 177-209 are the very practical and useful core of the book.
  6. The ten North American hotspots a birder absolutely has to see before dying —
    1. Aransas, Texas. Whooping cranes (Dec to May) and almost 270 other birds.
    2. Cape May, New Jersey. Over 320 bird species. Fall hawk migration.
    3. Cheyenne Bottom, Kansas.
    4. Churchill, Manitoba. "Every bird is a quality bird, particularly the Arctic species."
    5. Ding Darling (Sanibel) and Corkscrew Swamp (Naples), Florida. Two sites in this hotspot.
    6. Jamaica Bay, New York.
    7. Point Pele, Ontario. Includes 41 warbler species. A 100-species day is a "slow day".
    8. Ramsey Canyon, Arizona. Only 150 species on its list, but some good ones: Elegant trogon; 14 species of humming birds.
    9. Salton Sea, California. 227 feet below sea level and saltier than the sea. Species list of 380.
    10. Witless Bay, Newfoundland. Puffins. Leach's storm-petrel. other birds.

Also see:

The bottom line: A delightful way for you to enter the birding world — or for you to pull in an innocent friend or relative.

Weather Glossary

Glossary: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

Links and References

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