Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona


Non-Fiction - Animals
128 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Garry Rogers is a Physical Geographer and advocate for wildlife and nature conservation. He writes fiction and nonfiction books about animals and natural habitats. His work is detailed on his Facebook page (GarryRogersPage), his Twitter feed (garry_rogers), and his website (http://garryrogers.com). Join his 36,000+ followers to learn more about conservation of natural systems.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona is a non-fiction regional ornithology guide written by Garry Rogers. Rogers owns a 20-acre farm that borders on the Agua Fria River in Dewey-Humboldt. Since 1997, he's made a study of the wildlife species that are known to visit or inhabit the area, including insects, mammals, reptiles and birds. In 2014, he published The Arizona Wildlife Notebook, which contains the listings of those animals and other species. Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona is taken from that earlier publication, and the author has added commentary as well as photographs of the species he's observed in the wild. His book includes both the scientific and common names of each bird, and the index he includes in the back of the book is listed by common name for easy reference. He includes status listings for each bird as given by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) and lists a key of status abbreviations in his introduction. Arizona is home to 551 of the approximately 1000 bird species and sub-species found in the United States, though 58% of Arizona’s native species are declining according to the AZGFD.

While I've long been a fan of the Peterson Field Guides for Eastern and Western America, I've not encountered a birding guide for Arizona before finding Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona. As a birder and wild-life photographer with especial interest in raptors, I was thrilled to find raptor species I hadn't known existed before in this comprehensive and detailed guide. The photographs Garry Rogers includes in this field guide are brilliant. While I'm very familiar with American Coots and their migratory patterns, I had never seen their offspring before, and it was a real eye-opener. And while many species are already on my life-list, the not-so-common Common Black Hawk, Crested Caracoa, Gray Hawk and Zone-tailed Hawk are birds I'll be watching for. Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona is most highly recommended.

Kayti Nika Raet

Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona by Garry Rogers is a comprehensive checklist of the diversity as well as the conservation status of over five hundred birds observed in the Dewey-Humboldt area of Arizona. In a book filled with crisp photographs, Garry Rogers notes the decline in native fowl in the area, filling the first few pages with shocking statistics of numbers totaling at fifty percent between 1970 and 2010. Despite the rapid decline, only a few birds have gained enough attention to be placed on the threatened or endangered list, despite the fact that many species go extinct every day. He then offers up the status of each bird photographed, as well as how frequently they visit.

Rogers studied vegetation ecology and historical landscape changes in the deserts of western North America, and his devotion to wildlife and nature conservation shows. In the back he encourages bird watchers to contact him if they spot some of the more rare birds in the area. Despite not being native to the area, I feel that Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona by Garry Rogers has a lot to offer, filled with information that both showcases Rogers's authority and passion on the subject. He also gives a lot of information that is really eye opening and should encourage not only bird watchers, but people everywhere to realize how much birds are an integral part of life on earth. Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona by Garry Rogers is definitely a book for bird watchers, be they experts or amateurs. And a must-have for any enthusiast living in the Arizona area.
 

Marta Tandori

Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona is a chapter taken from the author’s earlier book, The Arizona Wildlife Notebook, published in 2014, which the author states is a compilation of lists that he began in 1997 of birds and other wildlife he saw around his twenty-acre farm on the Agua Fria River in the town of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona. The Arizona Wildlife Notebook includes comprehensive lists of eleven groups of animals and gives their common and scientific names and estimates of species' health and stability. Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, on the other hand, focuses only on the birds in and around Rogers’ immediate universe.

The author states that his book is a report to his community that he hopes will stimulate others to record their bird sightings. It’s clear from the author’s rhetoric that he believes humans have failed at nature conservation in the last century, and that humans are slowly but surely imposing a mass extinction that will eventually eliminate most of the animals that inhabit our earth. Rogers has meticulously watched the bird populations in his immediate area steadily decline, due to factors such as habitat destruction, habitat deterioration, and habitat poisoning with pesticides and toxic wastes.

Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona is clearly an ode to the life-long love the author has for wildlife, especially birds, and a dedication for wildlife conservancy that shines through. His research is meticulous, and he provides bird lists with sighting information which he couples with vivid third-party photographs of the birds that jump out at the reader. Unfortunately, the scope of the author’s readership may be limited, given that the book’s focus is directed to the birds of a certain region in Arizona, but may still be a draw for bird and nature lovers that go beyond the borders of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona.