Owls of North America and the Caribbean, by Scott Weidensaul. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. (Peterson reference guide series) ISBN: 9780547840031.

Andersen Horticultural Library Book Review by Lee Anne Laskey, Library Assistant

Oh, how I love owls, as many of us do! I have favorites I enjoy in person, like the Barred Owl, but when you just need an owl fix and want to feed your desire to learn more about them, this reference book is one of the best on the subject.  I discovered it while hearing the author speak at a birding event.  I found the “How to use this book” section so helpful before diving in, which makes it easier to narrow in on the specifics you are interested in the most. The photos are not only stunning, but original. One of my personal favorites is the full page photo of the Northern Pygmy-Owl (p. 153).

I particularly enjoyed reading about owl habitat.  For example, I learned that a survey done in Pennsylvania, where Weidensaul is from, found a connection between territorial male Saw-whet Owls and the presence of singing frogs and toads, suggesting male Saw-whets prefer river bank areas with open water.

One of my dream species, the Snowy Owl, is also of much interest to the author. Weidensaul led the formation of Project SNOWstorm, one of the largest Snowy Owl research projects in North America. No wonder this chapter of the book is outstanding, especially the photographs of the chicks and eye-opening facts about how this species could be the most affected by climate change.

Treat yourself by perusing this fascinating book and savoring the outstanding photographs to be found throughout.

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