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Publication Reviews

The Man Who Loved Birds: Pioneer Ornithologist Dr. Frank M. Chapman (1864-1945)

By James T. Hoffstodt
Independently published, Aug 19, 2022

What were ornithology and bird studies like in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s? How does it relate to our modern-day studies and conservation? James Huffstodt takes us on a journey of the life, accomplishments, and legacy of Dr. Frank M. Chapman.

Today, Chapman is best known as the Father of the Christmas Bird Count, but there is so much more: ornithologist, museum curator, researcher, explorer, artist, photographer, speaker, and conservationist. He wrote popular articles, books, and guides, and began Bird-Lore magazine which later became Audubon. A Renaissance man of the bird world, his life’s work had a great impact on modern-day research and conservation efforts.

Mr. Huffstodt’s biography offers a well-researched, satisfying, and rich overview of Chapman’s work, influence, and research. He creates a narrative that takes you along with the great explorer and has me wanting to read Dr. Chapman’s acclaimed works. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves birds.

Reviewed by Jackie Blurton

New Mexico Bird Finding Guide, 4th Edition

By William H. Howe, editor
Published by Outskirts Press, Dec. 15, 2021

The 4th Edition of New Mexico Bird Finding Guide is published and available to purchase from the New Mexico Ornithological Society website nmbirds.org. Visit the link to purchase.

Completely updated with new content and detailed new maps. The book is available on Amazon and also on the author website at Outskirts Press for 10% off. The primary authors are John Parmeter, Sandy Williams, and Bill Wittman. Bill Howe served as editor, Pat Mehlhop created the maps, Sandy Williams wrote the annotated checklist, and Nancy Hetrick developed the index and assisted with final edits. The book has full color photos by Dave Krueper at the start of each region and line drawings by Dale Zimmerman throughout. Many other people contributed to the chapters.

- Reviewed by Dave McDonald

Butterflies and Dragonflies of Southwest New Mexico
Where and When to find them

By Tony B. Godfrey & Shela D. Godfrey

This handy book is the second in the Field and Site Guide Series. The authors, Tony and Shela Godfrey, are familiar to many of us from their time at City of Rocks State Park, where Tony was park technician and his wife, Shela, a volunteer in the Visitor’s Center. Alas they have been transferred to Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton but have left us with a couple of publications to remember them by.

This guide, like the first about birds, describes ten convenient locations that provide a look at the diversity of locations in this region, from desert to mountain to lakeside, for good viewing of butterflies and dragonflies. Visitors to Southwest NM will find useful the directions to each location and the facilities they offer. A nice feature for both tourists and locals is the guide to the common species to be found at each location based on the month.

The highlight of the book is the excellent photographs. If you have seen any of Tony’s presentations at our meetings, you know that he is an outstanding photographer. The book includes photos of over 130 different species, with a brief description of the habitat you might find them in, and when and where to look. Also handy are pictures of the basic anatomy of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.

This book is not meant to replace a comprehensive field guide, but it could become a valuable addition to your library and would also be a great gift to entice visitors to enjoy our region. The book and companion field and site guide to birds is available at City of Rocks State Park Visitor’s Center or by visiting: FieldAndSiteGuides.com.

Reviewed by Terry Timme

Common Birds of Southwest New Mexico
Where and when to find them

By Tony B. Godfrey

This handy book is the first in a series by Certified Interpretive Guide and park technician at City of Rocks State Park, Tony Godfrey. The guide describes ten convenient locations that provide a glimpse at the diversity of birding spots in this region – from desert to mountain to lakeside. Visitors to Southwest NM will find useful the directions to each location and the facilities they offer. A nice feature for tourists and locals is the guide to the common birds you can find at each location based on the season.

The highlight of the book is the excellent photographs. If you have seen any of Tony’s presentations at our meetings, you know that he is an outstanding photographer. The book includes photos of 157 species with a brief description of the habitat you might find them in and when and where to look.

This book is not meant to replace a comprehensive field guide for identifying birds, but it could become a valuable addition to your bird book library and would also be a great gift to entice visitors to enjoy the birds of our region. A parallel volume titled Butterflies and Dragonflies of Southwest New Mexico is also likely to be just as beautiful and useful.  Information on obtaining both is available at City of Rocks State Park or by visiting, FieldAndSiteGuides.com.

Reviewed by Terry Timme