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Hummingbirds of Texas: With Their New Mexico And Arizona Rangesby Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay and C. Mark Klym
with photographs by Sid and Shirley Rucker
Illustrations by Clemente Guzman III
Texans everywhere are noticing hummingbirds. Lo and behold here comes an impressive release from Texas A&M Press's Nature Guide series, Hummingbirds of Texas, which is not only a beautiful book, but also full of interesting information.
Much of Texas stands in a migratory path for hummingbirds, so more and more people are finding the time and taking the effort feed and observe the tiny birds on their visits. West Texas and the Davis Mountains are now considered one of the hot spots to watch hummingbirds, but the birds appear all over the state.
Hummingbird behavior continues to intrigue the interst of bird watchers. "The hummingbird's ability to fly backwards is unique among birds," writes Greg W. Lasley in the book. Their acrobatic prowess and beautiful colors capture the hearts and minds of birders and non-birders alike. It is easy to see how hummingbirds quickly draw the interest of spectators, especially how they appreciate people's efforts for feeding.
The first half of the book describes ways for interested people to improve their relationships with hummingbirds.
A male Rufous Hummingbird
It is a small fee, and over one thousand individuals participate. The book describes how the Roundup team has established that thousands of Texans have been feeding and enjoying hummingbirds for years. The books presents other ways for interested parties to attract and host hummingbirds. Here are some letters from Roundup particiants from over the years:
They are flying back and forth and squeaking constantly in the summer months. I tried a couple of months ago to eliminate one of the feeders by not putting it out in March. But the little guard saw me at the kitchen sink and would hover at the window in front of me, then fly to the bracket where I had hung it the year before and perch on the bracket before doing the same thing again. I hung a feeder where he wanted it!
A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird
The top birding destinations in Texas are the Gulf Coast, the Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend National Park. Recently the sparsely populated Jeff Davis County, which is situated just north of Big Bend, has become a hot spot. The wide-open, remote area lies directly in the migratory path of birds typically found in the Rocky Mountains.
The book informs the reader of numerous hummingbird spectacles around state, not only in Jeff Davis county, but also the Hummer/Bird Celebration in Rockport, Texas. Readers interested in drawing more hummingbirds to their kitchen window will find the book's section on building hummingbird gardens very helpful. The chapter comes complete with lists of feeding plants and tips on selecting a feeder.
The nineteen hummingbirds showcased in the second half of the book include a set of magnificent photographs and original artwork. Range maps, abundence graphs and additional information make this a complete guide for anyone in Texas seeking to identify who is visiting their hummingbird feeder.
A beautiful book for both the casual reader and the ardant birdwatcher, Hummingbirds of Texas reminds us why these tiny birds are one of nature's most fascinating creatures.
Hummingbirds of Texas: With Their New Mexico And Arizona Ranges
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