Date of this Version
Published in Great Plains Research 19.2 (Fall 2009): 257-58.
Some newcomers to—or even long-time residents of—Kansas (or the Great Plains in general) need an inspirational introduction to the wonderful natural history offered by midcontinental North America. The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots by Bob Gress and Pete Janzen accomplishes such an introduction. Though photographic bird guides have their limitations in illustrating plumage variation, the outstanding color photographs by Gress are exceptionally sharp, colorful, and do well in depicting field marks with frame-filling views of each species profiled. The photos are vast improvements over any preceding bird guide specific to Kansas (e.g., Thompson and Ely, Birds in Kansas, 2 vols., 1989-1992), and the updated birding tips and “hot spot” descriptions surpass the earlier contribution by Zimmerman and Patti (A Guide to Bird Finding in Kansas and Western Missouri, 1988).