A while back I picked up “All About Georgia Birds” by Fred J. Alsop III (c 1997) from the local bookstore. The book showed $9.99 as the MSRP, but there was a stack of 50 or so for only $5, so I figured I would give it a go.
What do you get for $5? A 4.5” by 8.5” pamphlet size paperback book with plastic cover, with ~200 pages divided into three sections. Attracting Birds to Your Backyard, Photographing Birds, and Identifying Birds.
Attracting Birds to Your Backyard is ~65 pages dedicated to feeders, foods, and general tips on attracting birds to your backyard. There are also a few pages specifically dedicated to hummingbirds. The author discusses all manner of foods, proper nesting box entry hole size, and plants for attracting birds.
This section was easy to read, informative, and was easily worth the price of admission. Standard info, but it is always useful to think about what types of birds may be attracted to different feeder types. In other words, this section is all about h to make your backyard bird friendly and the like.
I found the section on Photographing Birds to be a sort of a throw away section. Old and out dated, but I guess if I were really into photography, I could find some use for it. Your mileage may vary.
The Identifying Birds section is decent, but certainly nothing special. The first few pages consist of basic identification tips, filled with some black and white drawings, followed by ~100 pages of actual birds. The individual bird entries have a color photograph, a summary, and a section on identification and distinguishing features – size, color, voice, range, habitat, eggs, food, and habits.
I have used this section more for entertainment value to learn about various birds. It would not be my first choice for identifying birds at the feeder.
Rounding out the book is the obligatory checklist (keeping track of what you have seen), a resource section, and an index. The resources are outdated (remember, this book was published 12 years ago), but really, how much can bird watching information change?
I suppose you could swap out a few birds, update the photography section and have a somewhat formulistic all about “insert state” birds book. An Amazon search will reveal that tactic, but all in all, a decent pickup for $5. I think I have gotten my money’s worth out of the book, and the section Attracting Birds to Your Backyard was easily worth the price of the book. I have turned to this section on several occasions as I think about ways to attract more birds to my backyard.
There are better backyard, bird watching, and bird identification books out there, but probably not too many that come with a cheaper price point.