I had heard about the new Birdscapes book months ago before it came out, and yesterday I was finally able to get my hands on it. It may be the coolest bird book I've ever seen.
The concept is so fresh, I wish I would have come up with it--pop-up scenes of quintessential American bird habitats combined with the recorded sounds of the birds found there. As you open each page, the habitat pops up and the birds start to sing.
It is tempting to call Birdscapes a wonder rather than a book. The book is mostly just seven separate scenes, followed by a few pages of short notes about each of the 70 birds depicted in the various scenes.
As soon as I took it out of the box, my kids were all over it. They loved the complex pop-up landscapes, and the songs of the birds--especially the owls, which they know and love. And the puffins. My kids have only seen Atlantic Puffins, but they knew the Tufted Puffins as soon as they saw--and heard--them on the massive Pacific Coast bird colony pop-up.
Everyone at work was blown away by Birdscapes as well. As I said, it is much more novel and engaging book than its specs (it is only 18 "pages" long!).
Ever wonder what book to get someone who likes birds a little, but maybe doesn't quite "get it" when it comes to your birding passion? This would be the book. It will sit on their coffee table, they will pick it up, open it, and be awestruck again and again.
Then you can invite them out to actually see whichever of the Birdscapes can be found locally (take them owling!) and their life will never be the same again.
Consider it a down payment on their future connection to birds!
Update: I've also added another review of this book at Audubon Birdscapes.
Another Great Shorebirding Day at Jamaica Bay
10 minutes ago