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Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching…

Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West

by Frances L. Wood

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There are certain books that appeal on a level beyond words, sentences and chapters; books that feel good in the hands or evoke some kind of deep down feeling. While Brushed By Feathers didn't turn me into a birding fanatic I was moved by it by appearance alone. With its journal-like pages and illustrations it is a book that goes beyond simple content. Its presentation is near perfection. Had it been bound with a soft cloth cover, one that would feel good in the hands, I would have said this is one book to hold onto - literally.
I also loved the presentation of the content. Each chapter is a different month of bird watching in the Pacific northwest region of the Unites States (Wood lives near Puget Sound). Wood begins each chapter with an overview of the sights and sounds one might expect to find during that particular month and then chooses a bird to detail (eagle, hummingbird, etc). She adds personal stories to connect with her audience and not be completely didactic. Also included in the beginning of each chapter is a checklist of the new birds introduced each month with room for notes about each species. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Feb 21, 2013 |
#10, 2005

This is a book about birds of the western United States, presented as month-by-month essays. I did enjoy the book - it's filled with lots of facts and stories about some of our native birds - but I also found it slow reading, and a bit boring in places. It reads like a personal journal (reminds me of some of the things I've written in my birding records, come to think of it), and at times I found it a bit . . . well, sappy is not quite the right word. Maybe too informal is a better description. Not that I expected something "scholarly," but at times I found some of the author's musings to be a bit trite. I suspect, however, that others might find the book charming for the same reasons I found it a bit slow. ( )
  herebedragons | Jan 17, 2007 |
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With intriguing factual essays, beautiful line drawings, and quotes from naturalists Brushed by Feathers is a study of Western birds that will appeal to the casual nature lover as well as the experienced bird-watcher. The month-by-month introductions include birds from backyard feeders to wetland, forest, and waterway inhabitants. There are more than 150 western United States and Canadian birds, in locales from Kenai, Alaska, to southeastern Arizona included.

Line drawings in black and white blend with naturalists' quotes and reflections on birds, presenting many fine first-person relections on what makes a bird-watcher, amazing migration feats, unusal nesting habits, and more—all imparted with a tender first-person reflective tone. A lovely gift..."
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