By Edward C. Beedy & Edward R. Pandolfino, Illustrated by Keith Hansen
University of California Press, 430 pages, $39.95
Whether you are a hiker or a bird watcher, if you live close enough to the Sierra Nevada, Birds of the Sierra Nevada by E.C. Beedy and E.R. Pandolfino is a must on your bookshelf. Published as a trade paperback on high-quality paper, this aviary reference book is a revised and updated version previously published in 1985. Too bulky to be a field guide it is a book for reference to check on details of birds you come across on your hike.
“…we chose to prepare a richly illustrated book showing all the regularly occurring birds of the Sierra.”
A foreword and a preface are followed by an extensive thirty-five-page introduction including maps illustrating and describing in detail the many ecological zones in the Sierra on both west and east slopes. These are critical to know as they define bird habitats. The main body of the book describes birds in fifty-six families. The descriptions are one to one-and-half pages and include the origin of the birds’ names, natural history, status and distribution, and trends and conservation status. They are well written, very clear and each is illustrated by a small colored drawing of both male and female of the species. The book ends with an extensive checklist, glossary, references by families and index. This is a wonderful book.
Reviewed by George Erdosh