Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 40(1/2): March/June 2008, pp 60-61


Texas has an incredible diversity of birds. This diversity is a result of its geographic location, size, and diversity of habitats. Given this wealth of birds, there is a wonderful opportunity in Texas for both residents and visitors alike to learn and appreciate the birdlife found there. Basic Texas Birds has been written to provide a foundation for anyone who is either new to bird-watching or has been bird-watching casually for several years. The book covers 161 commonly occurring birds in Texas and includes an additional 23 species that are considered Texas specialty birds, those that occur regularly in Texas but nowhere else in the United States. This book is filled with beautiful pictures, clear and accurate range maps, and an abundance of interesting natural history information in an easy-to-handle small form. Each species gets two pages worth of coverage, which includes the species' background, identification, similar species, habitat, status, and distribution. Unfortunately, I believe the. book has several shortcomings. The 184 bird species that Basic Texas Birds specifically covers pale in light of the 600+ species that have been recorded in the state. I cannot recommend this book as a primary guide for bird identification. But outside of that issue, it does provide good natural history coverage of each species in a consistent and thorough manner within the space available.