Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version


Document Type



"Book Reviews," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1991) 59(2).


Copyright 1991, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Dr. Scott Nielsen. A Season with Eagles. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press. 96 pp., 70 color photographs, index. $21.95 hardcover.

This is a photographic record, with textual commentary, of a Bald Eagle's nest in Wisconsin, from the arrival of the pair in the spring to the departure of the birds in the fall. Dr. Nielsen gave up dentistry for taxidermy and photography. In pursuit of the latter, he obtained the necessary permissions and built a blind in a tree 220 yards from a known nest, installed a 50-pound telephoto lens, and memorized the climb to the blind (he had to get in and out in the dark). Fortunately, the Eagles elected to use the nest that year, so we have a very interesting photographic and textual record of an Eagle's nest. It should be of particular interest to members of NOU because of this year's hatching of a Bald Eagle in Nebraska-the first hatching in Nebraska in this century, and one of the few on record in all time (Ducey, Nebraska Birds, Breeding Status and Distribution).

--R. G. Cortelyou, 5109 Underwood Ave., Omaha, NE 68132

Jane L. Dorn and Robert D. Dorn. Wyoming Birds. Illustrated by Jane L. Dorn. 140 pp. Index, some illustrations and charts. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing, [publisher address: PO Box 1471, zip 82003].

Wyoming Birds is the Dorns' guide to finding birds in Wyoming. Using their own observations while doing both plant and bird research since 1960, and researching sighting information from other sources, the book gives distribution and migration data on all species which regularly occur in the state.

The book is divided up into three primary parts, starting with an introduction outlining the Dorns' methods and purposes and including a map of rattlesnake distribution in the state provided for birder safety. The second section, which encompasses the majority of the book, gives information about each species. These accounts are divided up by family with some information given about the typical traits of a family, much in the same way that other guides do. Common and scientific names are given at the top, and a distribution "map," a graphic table which shows a species' status within each latilong is provided (a latilong is an area approximately 70 by 50 miles, partitioned according to longitude and latitude; there are 28 in Wyoming with some authorial adjustments for geopolitical boundaries). Once deciphered using the code in the introduction, this graph can be helpful, though constant reference to the map on the back cover is needed. A brief note on identification in each section is provided, and similar species are also discussed (the Dorns have warned in the first sentence of the book that their guide should be used with a more comprehensively illustrated field guide). The next part of the species breakdown deals with status and seasonality. This section uses the latilong system, so it does correspond to the graphic illustration above it, and some overall general comments are made. Dates are given for migrants and migration peaks. The habitat of the species is then noted, and a brief section on the best places in Wyoming to find the bird concludes each section. Interspersed within this section are illustrations and charts which provide useful information about identification.