Birds of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Rev. ed.
Contains Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
David Allinson is the president of the Rocky Point Bird Observatory in Victoria, B.C.
Lone Pine Publishing specializes in producing introductory field guides
on nature, local history, and outdoor recreation. This new title boasts
an impressive bird checklist of 409 species and the guide highlights 126
of the common or locally unique species that one may encounter. One
useful feature is a birding locale map that highlights 36 hotspots
around Vancouver. In general, the book captures well how birds appear.
However, there are limitations (which are typical of starter guides).
One such limitation relates to format. Birds shown on opposite sides of
a page are often similar in proportions when in reality they are quite
different; for example, the diminutive marbled murrelet appears the same
size as the rhinoceros auklet beside it. Although details about the size
of the bird are provided in the text, novice birders often have
difficulty judging size.
Finally, because one of the most common questions posed by feeder
watchers and novice birders concerns the identification of songbirds or
backyard birds, I would have preferred to see more songbirds represented
in this guide. That said, Birds of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland may
serve to stimulate appreciation for our avian friends, as well as
conservation efforts on their behalf.