Around the World in 80 Birds

Laurence King. Jun. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780857828958. $24.99. REF
Rather than compiling an exhaustive bird identification guide, conservationist Unwin (The Enigma of the Owl) focuses here on 80 species, selected for their visual impact, unique abilities, cultural importance (bald eagle; kiwi), and rarity. The geographically arranged entries describe each bird’s habitat, plumage, and feeding and life cycle, along with notes on species conservation, all composed with a storyteller’s touch. A characteristic entry begins, “No bird does red quite like the scarlet ibis,” before moving on to discuss the scarlet ibis’s breeding range and taxonomy. Miyake’s charming illustrations are crucial and add enjoyment.
VERDICT General audiences’ enthusiasm for bird books shows no sign of waning, and this volume delights on all levels.
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