Photo by Barry the Birder
Above is a photograph of the cover of THE GREAT HORNED OWL, a new book by Scott Rashid. The publisher asked if I might be interested in reviewing it for the readers of this blog. I said yes. I will start be saying I have learned more about the Great Horned Owl in these 112 pages than I have in 25 previous years as a serious birder. This is not a book just for the ornithologist. It is written for and designed to appeal to a very broad audience of birdwatchers. It does not resemble a textbook so much as it does a distinctly personal diary, capturing both facts and feelings; not to mention over 130 photos and selections of artwork. Scott Rashid has written and published work about owls previously, but he is not primarily an author. He is however a person with a background in many related things that have contributed to this effort, in which he takes the reader along as a partner on a highly personal, comprehensive and intensive mission to learn everything about this intense predator. Great Grey Owls are bigger, Snowy Owls are heavier, but no owl is as domineering and widespread in the western hemisphere as this brute, which, by the way, kills and eats other owls. Rashid is succinct but intimate in bringing forth all the information about Bubo virginianus that he has observed and collected over many years. It makes for informative and fascinating perusing. I have come away from reading and absorbing this book in one evening, feeling that although I may know a few things about a large number of bird species, I now know a helluva lot about the Great Horned Owl. Thumbs up on this one by Mr. Rashid and Schiffer Publishing. ($35 U.S.)
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