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Attracting Birds to Your Backyard: 536 Ways To Turn Your Yard and Garden Into a Haven For Your Favorite Birds (A Rodale Organic Gardening Book) Hardcover – October 15, 1998
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“Our newest favorite book about attracting birds to the yard and garden. Sally Roth's clear, down-to-earth writing expresses her hands-on involvement and her passion.” —Sharon Dunn and Michael Dunn, owners of Duncraft
“A must for anyone interested in birds. I love it.” —Jim Brett, curator emeritus of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
“An entertaining approach to attracting and learning about birds. The alphabetical approach--from acorns to zinnias--and short entries make it a perfect book to pick up and browse at any time.” —Don and Lillian Stokes, hosts of PBS's Birdwatch with Don and Lillian Stokes and authors of Stokes Field Guides to Birds
“Attracting Birds to Your Backyard provides all the essential techniques and information for success in feeding, housing, and gardening for birds. Sally Roth has done a great service to backyard bird watchers.” —Bill Thompson III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest and author of Birdwatching for Dummies
About the Author
Sally Roth is a lifelong naturalist and gardener, is the author of Natural Landscaping and Taylor's Guide to Ornamental Grasses. She is a contributing editor of Fine Gardening magazine and writes a weekly column about nature for several Indiana newspapers. She frequently lectures and leads workshops on natural history, gardening, and native plants.
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It's an A to Z format of topics from Acorns to Zinnias. Individual little sections focus on food sources (i.e. acorns, berries, cherries, salvias, suet), common individual backyard birds (bluebirds, cardinals, swallows, etc.), procedures (banding, feeding, first aid), and more. The topics are logical and easy to read and provide lots of little useful tips and tidbits for attracting birds to your yard.
The sections on individual birds generally include getting to know them information and a brief summary of how to attract them as well as some brief information on various types and where they are found.
As an example of the plant sections, the ornamental grasses section gives a short overview of gardening with grasses and best grasses for birds with a chart that includes the plant name, bird attracted, plant description and culture.
The back of the book includes sources, recommended reading, a USDA plant hardiness map and a zone map.
The information is not in-depth (most of the sections are 0.5-1.5 pages long), but it's fun to read and filled with ideas for creating a haven for birds. A few of the more popular sections are given a little more space (water gardens have six pages for instance).
It's stuffed with beautiful color drawings, side-bars, tables, and landscaping plans. The table of contents is a huge, comprehensive list of topics from A to Z, touching upon everything from bird anatomy to different types of feathers to the coloration and shapes of eggs to project lists to attract birds in all four seasons.
If you can have only one general book on birding, I would recommend this one. With its clear writing and all its illustration, it would be suitable for motivated fifth-graders on up. It also covers so many different common birds that it's not limited to just one American region. Highly recommended. Longer review at OrnateBirdGarden-dot-com.