Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review: Bird Watcher's Digest

As home building is at an all time low, my budget is a little tighter than usual, but when I saw Bird Watcher's Digest current subscription price special, I went for it!

My first copy arrived in the mail Saturday. I had read it cover to cover, word for word, including the ads, by Sunday night. I've been a fan of their website and its editor's blog for the last couple of months and now I'm a fan of their little magazine too! (Bird Watcher's Digest is much like Reader's Digest in size.)
The current issue is 113 pages of enjoyment. My favorite articles include "Bird Feeding from A to Z" by Julia Elliott which offered some great tips that I have already started to implement. Alavaro Jaramillo sagely advises me in his column how I might prevent myself from further public embarrassment by misidentifying a potentially rare bird and posting it on the IBLE only to discover that it is just a juvenile common bird. The artwork on the cover and an article opened me to the "minimal realism" world of art of Charley Harper, which I surprisingly enjoyed.

The spotting scope review section has been very helpful as I am currently in that market...looking for a high-end scope that will hopefully last me the rest of my life. At the same time dealing with a thin wallet and looking for the best value of performance and quality. I know now what I am going to save up for.

"Birders Are Crazy Folks" by Andrea Southgate is a good natured and hilariously accurate caricature of those of us joined by this silly addiction called birding. A tale of turkey feeding, the rediscovered forest owlet, and an article about creating your own field guide of birding facts all fascinated me and leave me inspired to do more and better birding. I always love the Q&A sections and this magazine has a couple of really good ones. Kenn Kaufman and Julie Zickefoose had enjoyable and thought provoking columns. The product and books reviews were great too.

In the interest of intellectual integrity I must share my complaints about Bird Watcher's Digest: It could have been twice as long and should be issued monthly... I suppose it just leaves me hungry for more. I just need to pace myself and not devour it so quickly. But, better than Thanksgiving dinner treated me, Bird Watcher's Digest left me with no indigestion or heartburn.

No comments:

Post a Comment