I recently purchased THE AUDUBON BACKYARD BIRDWATCHER, as well as WHERE THE BIRDS ARE published by the National Wildlife Federation and BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA from the Smithsonian. All three books have something to recommend them, and if you are an avid bird watcher or want to become one you will want all three. The Audubon book will have the greatest appeal to the backyard bird watcher who has neither the time nor inclination to travel to the wonderful sites listed in the NWF publication. The Audubon book is not exhaustive or even nearly so. For a more complete listing of birds, turn to another Audubon publication or the Smithsonian publication I mentioned above. Audubon offers complete listings of birds by geographic regions in other publications. You'll find only birds adapted to areas inhabited by humans in the AUDUBON BACKYARD BIRDWATCHER -- familiar friends like Robins and Finches, Pine Siskins and Chickadees. Each bird entry contains a photograph of the bird under discussion, sometimes in flight, sometimes posing and sometimes feeding itself or it's young. This book is wonderful for kids and I am using it to teach my grandchildren about birds just as my grandparents taught me!! The book contains sections on bathing, bird calls (including call notes and mimicry), and baby raising, and all are illustrated with many wonderful photos including some amazing shots of babies hatching, babies being fed, and babies launching into independence. Sections on bird pests, bird deaths, and bird rescues explain foiling predators, warning birds about glass windows, and banding and tracking birds. The child exposed to this book will learn someting about birds and life. Probably one of the most informative sections for the new birder or even old birders like me includes suggestions about what to grow in your own backyard to attract the birds. It's not enough to put out seed in a birdfeeder if you want diversity, though the book covers what to use in bird feeders. If you want to see anything other than seed eaters however, you'll have to provide other types of foods including bugs and berries. Usually where you grow berries, you'll have bugs. The book contians sections on hedging, vegetation variety, leaf litter (for cover, food, and nest-building), dust for baths, and water requirements. While the Audubon book isn't a gardening book per se, you'll find more information about building a bird friendly garden in this book than in most gardening books. I recommend the Audubon book as a teaching and instuction tool for the new birders and old birders alike. Oh--my favorite baby picture? -- the short-eared owls. If you don't think owls can come to your back yard guess again. I've had them in my backyard and I live 10 minutes from the White House. I won't tell you want owls eat. You just go right on thinking it's mice.