Alexander Skutch has had a life long love affair with birds, particularly those of his adopted home Costa Rica where he has lived and worked for over 35 years. Costa Rica is one of the worlds biodiversity hotspots with over 850 species of birds recorded from within its relatively small area. Skutch is well known and respected as an ornithological observer and writer who has published many books and papers on ornithological, and other natural history subjects over the last 25 years. This work, probably his last, is an able contribution and addenda to his oustanding record.
This book is a aeries of 19 literary snapshots of ornithological behaviour from the Costa Rican wonderland. Though the range of species is pretty diverse, there are four chapters on hummingbirds, the Jewels of the Air, that I particularly enjoyed. Each chapter is well written in an easily readable style that results in one having a comfortable relationship with the book. Skutch's dedication to the study of birds, and his botanical expertise work well together to produce a synthesis of ornithological natural history.
Illustrated throughout by Dana Gardner's competant B/W sketches this book is a pleasing and educational read for anyone with an interest in the beauty of nature and or the ecology of birds.
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