Arizona is renowned as a premier birding state, a place where many species rarely seen anywhere else in the country reach the northern end of their migratory range. Jim Burns' Arizona Birds is a lively portrayal of the habits and habitats of seventy-five of these unique southwestern species. Burns has written much more than a field guide, site guide, or scientific survey. He has compiled and expanded upon his feature column Arizona Special Species to create an original kind of birding book that is more at home on your bedside table than in your backpack. Bird-watchers new to the game will find a wealth of knowledge on and insight into some familiar favorites, as well as an idea of what it takes to accomplish more uncommon sightings.
Veteran birders will appreciate Burns' unique incorporation of natural history and other details beyond the usual taxonomic data, and will enjoy reminders of their own triumphs and heartbreaks in his colorful personal accounts of vehicular breakdowns, photographic faux pas, and egregious identification errors in the field. Illustrated in full color by seventy-five of the author's own outstanding photographs, this book also features a five-level rating system, beginning with birds you can see in your own backyard and ending with those requiring either pure dumb luck or years of study and perseverance to spot. But whether you have spent years in search of the Flammulated Owl or are just curious about the wildlife in your desert backyard, this book will have you laughing, learning, and reaching for the binoculars in hopes of creating your own encounters with Arizona's incredible bird species.