Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Backyard Birds - Looking Through the Glass

A lovely treasure arrived in my mailbox this afternoon, and I read the whole thing and enjoyed every image from cover to cover in one sitting.

Glen Apseloff the author and photographer is a gentleman in Ohio, fairly new to birding, but not a stranger to working behind a lens. Once he made the conscious decision to notice what was happening outside of his windows, he was impressed, especially with the birds, the varieties and colors, that he never would have imagined could be in his own backyard.

He then set out on a mission to photograph as many backyard birds as he could, with self imposed rules, that it had to be through the glass windows and no flash photography. He and his wife set themselves to installing feeders and plantings to attract a wide variety of species. He was hoping to get enough images to make a calendar for friends and family, but a calendar could not contain the awesomeness of his backyard birds, so it become a book.

Most birds portrayed have a really nice image or two, some several; some are breathtaking. Apseloff shares fun facts about each species and makes a few comments on identification, molt, and sexual dimorphism and does so with a tone of a sharing friend. It's not heady and it is very pleasant to view and read.

This book does not read like a traditional birding book from a traditional publisher. It's more know...real and raw...and delightful. There are plenty of great books about backyard birding. This book is not the "how to". This book contains the results of doing it right.

I'm inspired by Apseloff to begin this mission of photographing my backyard birds as he did. I'm inspired to pursue bird friendly gardening with renewed vigor.

Birders are often too judgmental about how other people enjoy birding. (Have you seen diatribes on the ABA Facebook page over the last couple months? Yikes!) Who would have thought that one man's enjoyment of backyard birds could be this wonderful and inspiring. This charming book brought me back the basics of why birding is fun. Thanks Glen. Great work!!!

Backyard Birds - Looking Through the Glass is published by Ohio Distinctive Publishing and can be purchased from their website.


  1. Knowing the passion and knowledge of Glen’s photographic works I am sure Backyards Birds will be an extraordinary publication, guaranteed.

    José A. Córdova

  2. Robert, wonderful book review! I had not heard of it. Perhaps I will check it out! I am glad you enjoyed it and I have not read or heard of the diatribes and I hope I never will! Birding belongs to each person at their won level as far as I am concerned. Trying to get someone to bird like you do is like trying to force your religion on someone. Each to their own, I say! I suppose that is why birding is still fun for me too! I take it as it comes.

  3. I have this book too, and I love it! I have a few reference books but this is the first bird book that was interesting enough to make me want to read it. Great photos!