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Species Profiles
Book Reviews




By William P. Johnson and Mark W. Lockwood

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Review by Bill Karnofsky

This is an absolutely terrific book. Any birder interested in waterfowl; ducks, geese & swans, would be well satisfied having this book in their personal library.

You do not have to be a Texan, nor someone planning a trip to Texas to benefit from possessing this book. On the other hand, if you do have a trip to Texas planned and you have some target waterfowl on your agenda, this book will tell you what areas of the state you can expect to find them, and at what time of year.

Even though this book has beautiful photos of each species, this is far more than a field guide. This is an informational book. You will learn facts about the 45 species in the book such as range and habits, diet, breeding, nesting, fledging, longevity, average harvests both in Texas and nationwide, and more. The data is not limited to Texas, but follows the birds to their nesting areas, regardless where that may be. Since most ducks do not nest in Texas, much of the information about the birds comes from anywhere in North America and beyond.

The authors filled the book with interesting facts about each bird which makes this book stand out from traditional field guides. They list total average populations over decades, current trends and the most recent population estimates. Although some species are not doing well, most are thriving or increasing in spite of hunting pressures.

The only fascinating tidbit of information I will share with you in this review is that occasionally Canada Geese females will parasitize (lay eggs in) other Canada Geese nests as well as nests of other species. Their eggs have even been found in Osprey nests. The authors did not mention, however, the fate of those hatchlings.

If you are a birder, you will certainly enjoy reading this book and having it in your collection of bird books.



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