I have been on an absolute owl tear lately. I have found and photographed Northern Pygmy Owl and Great Gray Owl along the Bitterroot River. I accompanied owl researcher Denver Holt on one of his owl trapping/banding field days where I got up close and personal with a Long-eared Owl. All of these experiences have serviced to only ramp up my owl lust. When the sun fades I the evening, I am not thinking about crawling into a warm and cozy bed, I want to be out in the dark and cold listening to Boreal Owls at some high mountain pass. If you were to ask my partner, I am sure she will tell you I have gone a bit around the bend in my quest for owls.
So, what does a confirmed owl nut do when he is not chasing owls? That’s easy, he reads about owls from around the globe, and starts to daydream about fantasy birding trips. Heimo Mikkola’s Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide from Firefly Books is the perfect gateway book for this type of dreaming.
The guide covers all extant owl species in the world, which is such an overwhelming undertaking. The species accounts are thorough and well-written. However, it is the images that separate this guide from others. I cannot imagine the hours of researching it took to obtain images of living birds for almost all of the world’s owl species.
My recommendation is to run, not walk, and get this guide (or better yet click on the Amazon link below, and have it delivered). Mikkola places the entirety of the owl family into an easily digestible format that I have personally gone through several times. I now have a new favorite owl, the Hume’s Owl of the Arabian Peninsula. Its orange eyes and desert-like coloration really put the hook in me. Look on page 312, and you will see for yourself.
A complete guide to identifying the world's owls.
Photographers spend hours waiting to capture them and birders seek them out with determination, but owls have been tough to identify--until now.
Owls of the World is the ultimate resource dedicated to the identification of these charismatic birds of prey. Dozens of the world's finest photographers have contributed 750 spectacular photographs covering all of the world's 249 species of owls.
The photos are accompanied by detailed text describing:
Owls are shown as adults from a perspective that clearly shows markings which assist in identification. Photographs of similar-looking species are included where identification is particularly difficult.
For photographers, birders, naturalists, researchers and any fan of these birds, Owls of the World is the definitive work on species identification. It is also a comprehensive encyclopedia for reference and leisure reading. No bookshelf should be without it.