When the harshest conditions of winter descend on those of us who live in Canada and the northern U.S.â€”temperatures that go so low that snow makes a creaking sound as you walk over it, wind that cuts into the exposed cheek and drives grainy snow that stings the eyes—that’s when I am thankful for the few hardy birds that stay with us. Owls and woodpeckers are among those birds that can still be found and that often make for exciting mid-winter birding.
A new book “The Owl and the Woodpecker” explores these amazing birds through stunning and unique photographs and enlightening textâ€”not to mention the accompanying CD which lets you listen to their calls, songs, and in the case of woodpeckers, drumming sounds. The book has sections organized around different ecoregions of North American and includes a great chapter on the owls and woodpeckers of the Boreal Forest. Throughout the book I love how photographer Paul Bannick captures those split second moments that pull you in and make you feel as if you are right there experiencing the place–the sights, sounds, smells, and feelingsâ€”with the bird. I have many favorites like the mid-landing Northern Flicker (pg. 10), the bee and the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (pg. 146) and the Hawk Owl against the moon (pg. 156).
If you are looking for a last minute gift or just want a beautiful book to enjoy on a cold winter’s night, I recommend Paul Bannick’s “The Owl and the Woodpecker.”