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September 10, 2011 / Leslie

Review & Giveaway: The Joy of Birding

The Joy of Birding: A Beginner’s Guide
by Kate Rowinski

Genre: Non-Fiction, Birds
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publish Date: February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback | 256 pages
Rating: 4 of 5

As soon as I began reading this book I could tell author Kate Rowinski is someone who is enthusiastic about birds. As a hobbyist and not a biologist or researcher, she speaks to the novice bird watcher in a welcoming and easy to comprehend manner.

The book begins with the basics. Where do birds live, what do they eat, where do they nest, what do their different songs and calls mean; understanding the bird is your first step. There are chapters on bird identification, basic anatomy, bird feeding basics such as where to place your feeders and what to feed them. Yes, placement and types of food make a big difference in whether or not you will have birds in your yard. There are chapters on bird photography, how to make your yard a more friendly place for birds and information on binoculars and other field gear. All written in plain english.

One of the chapters lists the 25 Backyard Birds You Should Know. There are beautiful color photos of each bird and a few paragraphs of interesting facts and information. I have seen many of these birds in my yard or within a few miles of my house. These are birds that have a wide range across the US and southern Canada and are good choices to begin learning to identify. You don’t even need a backyard to enjoy watching the birds, you can find them at a local park or nature area.

While I already have bird books, I’m always looking for new ones, especially ones I can recommend to others. I was impressed with the coverage of birding basics, the colorful photos and overall easy reading style. This is an excellent guide for the beginning birder. Add a good field guide and you will be on your way to identifying, enjoying and even photographing birds.

I picked up an extra copy of this book to give away to one of my Weekend Birding readers. As regular visitors already know, I love birds and I’m always encouraging people to enjoy them.

Giveaway Information

  • Giveaway is open to those in the continental US and southern Canada as that is the birding range this book covers.
  • Leave a comment to enter. You can tell me about your birding experience or lack of it, or just let me know you like birds and you’d like to enter the drawing.
  • Giveaway will run through Sunday, September 18th. On Monday when I turn on my computer I’ll draw the winner.


Leave a Comment
  1. Jennifer Ryder / Sep 10 2011 9:16 am

    I’ve loved watching birds since I was around 5 years old, thanks to my late father.

    jryder416 at yahoo dot com


  2. Erika / Sep 10 2011 9:30 am

    Birds are so beautiful. I especially love red cardinals and titmouse. I know very little about birds though. I would love to win this book. Thanks!


  3. windicindi / Sep 10 2011 10:32 am

    I first went on an Audubon bird count in our area, when I was in college…
    My friend’s parents knew one of the professors I had and we went along
    early one morning! It was very interesting and I learned so much. Also,
    my parents taught me to have a love of nature and I adore Black Capped
    Chickadees and Yellow Finches. I grew several flowers for Finches and
    Hummingbirds! I would love to win this book to share with my 93 year old
    Dad. Many thanks, Cindi


  4. Alyce / Sep 10 2011 1:38 pm

    I’d love to be entered, and I have hardly any knowledge about birding. The only identification skills I have come from taking a marine biology class in high school. So if we’re on the coast I have a small chance of being able to ID a bird. 🙂
    akreese at hotmail dot com


  5. WordsAndPeace / Sep 10 2011 2:01 pm

    Great giveaway, thanks! My husband and I love birding, we try to go hiking and birding every week-end. One amazing thing with birds just happened to my husband 3 days ago: he was sitting and reading on our tiny porch, in a Chicago suburb, and a chickadee came hopping on the porch railing, then on his knee, then on the table near his cup of tea! how cool is that. we just saw also 8 sparrows enjoy our bird bath at the same time, usually only used by robins. I always have a great laugh seeing how birds enjoy our bird bath. so yes i love birds, I also paint them, on rocks! here is my art link:
    Emma @ Words And Peace


  6. kimyunalesca / Sep 10 2011 11:34 pm

    I love bird watching my favorite is the swallow & eagle..I’d like to enter your giveaway to boost my knowledge more about different kinds/species of birds ^_^


  7. Dawn M. / Sep 11 2011 2:02 am

    My parents are the birders in my family but I’ve learned a bit along the way. My favorites are hummingbirds and painted indigo buntings. So pretty and fun to watch. :0)


  8. Debbie Rodgers / Sep 11 2011 12:41 pm

    I’ve tried for years to watch the birds, but am really frustrated at my lack of being able to identify them. If you think this book would apply to birds in Nova Scotia, please enter me. Thanks!

    P.S. A birding friend tells me that we often have birds here that the books say we shouldn’t…


    • Leslie / Sep 13 2011 9:29 am

      Birds will wander out of their normal range. And they don’t respect international boundaries so you will see them just not as many. The book doesn’t cover the shore birds but I think you would see over half the songbirds it includes. Plus a good portion of the book is how to attract these birds. So yes, it would help you. Far North, arctic circle, Alaska, probably not so much.


  9. Beth F / Sep 12 2011 7:51 am

    Oh my gosh. Perfect timing! I was just thinking that I needed to start learning more about the birds that visit my feeder. I was also thinking about adding additional feeders (I loved the photo you shared of the grackles because I could see your feeders).


  10. emily l / Sep 13 2011 5:16 pm

    I would love to read this! =)


  11. Anita Yancey / Sep 15 2011 9:57 am

    My husband and I love watching the birds. We fill our bird feeders, and hummingbird feeders, and sit in our living room and watch them feed every evening. Please enter me, I would love to find out more about the birds we are watching.



  12. Beverly Sizemore / Sep 16 2011 12:08 am

    I am a long time “bird watcher.” The last several days has kept me busy filling up hummingbird feeders. I’ve had so many that they have been emptying my five feeders each day!!!! There is a movie coming out in a few weeks with Steve Martin that looks like it will be fun. It is about bird watching! 🙂 Saw Steve in concert in Memphis this summer and he mentioned it. Can’t wait to see

    Thank you for the chance to win a pretty and informative bird book. 🙂



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