CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Speirs, J. Murray.

Toronto, Natural Heritage/Natural History, c1985. 2v., cloth, volume I, $49.95, vol. H, $24.95, ISBN 0-920474-38-1 (vol. I) 0-920474-39-4 (TOl.ll). CIP

Grades 5 and up
Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

Birds of Ontario: Volumes I and II are complementary volumes, but not necessarily inseparable ones. There are over four hundred birds recorded as being observed in Ontario. Volume I lists all these birds and has 344 colour plates that show the birds in their habitats. A brief annotation is given for each bird, usually in two paragraphs. The first paragraph generally gives the probable site locality and abundance of the species. The second paragraph gives its description, with an emphasis on the field markings that would assist in positive identification. The bird's call is often included. This book would probably not be used as a field guide, but rather as a superior reference to confirm a sighting. For each bird, the common and scientific names are given as listed in the American Ornithologists' Union 1983 Check-list. This is truly a beautiful volume.

Volume II has no photographs. It summarizes the status of each species, using maps to record the average population for the ten-year period (1968-1977). Both the Christmas count and the summer breeding period have been used. In addition, documented observations are given for all the four seasons, as well as bird banding information, such as occurrence, weight, length, and wingspread. A bibliography, explanatory notes, and index are included. There are two introductions; one by Robert Bateman and the other by the author.

J. Murray Speirs and his wife Doris are authorities recognized by those who enjoy bird-watching. It was indeed a delight to receive these two volumes for evaluation. It is not difficult to praise excellence. Any serious bird-watcher, and certainly all libraries, should include these two volumes in their collections.

Hugh A. Cook, Calico P.S., North York, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works