Texana - Texas Books and News
Original Book Reviews


Texas Book Reviews
Reviews of Texas General, Texana, Texas wine books and Guides

Cookbook Reviews
All our reviews of cookbooks

News Stories
Stories on major events, people and culture

Notable Native Texans
The famous and infamous born in Texas

Texas Sports Store
Clothing for UT, Texas A&M and Texas Tech

Free Newsletter
Register to receive our free Texas Cooking / Texana newsletters

Message Boards
Ask questions, discussions

Visit & Bookmark:
Texas Cooking
Recipes, food articles, barbecue, chili, desserts

Betting Exchanges

Texas Cooking Main > Texana > Texana Book Reviews
Hummingbirds of Texas

Hummingbirds of Texas: With Their New Mexico And Arizona Ranges

by Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay and C. Mark Klym
with photographs by Sid and Shirley Rucker
Illustrations by Clemente Guzman III

Please select edition to check the price:
     Hardcover - Canadian Residents
Original review By Steve Labinski

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.

Rufous Hummingbird
A male Rufous Hummingbird
There is information about the Texas Hummingbird Roundup to make anyone start planning to participate. In 1994, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department began a state-wide survey of hummingbird activity in all 254 counties of the state. Volunteers monitor their gardens, backyards and ranches, identify the specific hummingbirds and record their sightings. In a show of true dedication by the participants, the people pay a fee to participate in the program.

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!

Hays County, Texas 1995


I have a feeder at my kitchen window, and she (a Black chinned) would be there every morning waiting for me. She would talk to me when the feeder was low. One morning she was chattering more than usual and would fly up to the feeder, but would not feed. That morning she hovered longer than usual and was much more vocal. I went outside and found a large house spider that overnight had built a web on part of the feeder. After I disposed of the spider and the web, Bandit returned to her normal chatter and would perch to drink from the feeder. I was really sorry to see her leave this fall, and I hope she can find her way back again next spring.

Ector County, Texas 1995

Broad Tailed Hummingbird
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.

Hummingbird Books:
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
by Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay and C. Mark Klym
with photographs by Sid and Shirley Rucker
Illustrations by Clemente Guzman III

Please select edition to check the price:
     Hardcover - Canadian Residents

If you have a comment or review of this book, feel free to discuss it in our Texana Message Forums © 2013 Mesquite Management, Inc. -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Texana is part of the Texas Cooking website network.