Read It: Birding Arizona

Leah LeMoineOctober 2019
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“For birders, there is no better place to live or visit than Arizona.” Native son Charles J. Babbitt – a member of Arizona’s pioneering Babbitt family – begins his book, Birding Arizona: What to know Where to go (R.W. Morse Company, $19.95), with this biased boast and spends the rest of the text making a case for the Grand Canyon State’s avian superiority. Birding Arizona is written for beginner and intermediate birders, with an eye toward visitors who may not be familiar with our winged wonders. Babbitt unpacks everything from migration patterns to habitat preservation in a chatty, personal and illuminating volume. Particularly charming is his list of phonetic representations of the songs and calls of a slew of species. Birder or not, it’s fun to imagine a brown-crested flycatcher crying out, “What! What! Beer! Beer! Where is it? Where is it?”

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