ABOUT ME - My name is Amy and I'm a birder living in central Florida. On this blog I post book and birding product reviews as well as birder gift ideas and announcements related to my birder gift shop on this site. I also have a personal birding blog called Powered By Birds.

Recent Posts

Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /srv/users/mfb/apps/mfb/public/blog/wp-content/themes/mfb/header.php on line 183

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /srv/users/mfb/apps/mfb/public/blog/wp-content/themes/mfb/header.php on line 183

    Warning: mysql_num_rows() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /srv/users/mfb/apps/mfb/public/blog/wp-content/themes/mfb/header.php on line 205

Blog Categories

Recent Comments

  • Rachel Rasmussen: That can't be. The hummingbird was seen in British...
  • jeff harris: My favorite is the kestrel too .. ;) because it ...
  • Noah_Mitchell: What a cool item. I'd love to win this and head o...
  • ma: looking for the "Buy Now" button !! if only, huh?...
  • Soumyajeet: My favorite are kestrels. Darwin is a beauty!...
  • Dawn: Fun! Love the photo of you and Darwin!...
  • Deb Kral: Thank you for introducing your raptors, hoping to ...
  • Melissa: I always look for hawks along the highway on long ...
  • Drew: When I worked at Hawk Mountain Santuary, one of my...
  • Laura: Darwin is so gorgeous - well, they all are, really...


Blog Disclosure

Unless otherwise stated, all books and other products reviewed on this blog were purchased or independently acquired by the reviewer. Readers who make a purchase by clicking on links in product reviews or featured t-shirt posts (T-Shirt Tuesday) may result in the blogger receiving a commission or referral fee.

Awesome art gifts from Wisdom book artist

Posted on March 22nd, 2013 in Art, Books, Products

A little while ago I reviewed Wisdom by Darcy Pattinson and Kitty Harvill. I recently learned that Kitty Harvill has an online shop with Zazzle and she has some of her fabulous art reproduced on a great selection of products. If you liked the art in Wisdom, you should definitely check out her shop! Here are some of my favorites that I found while browsing through her selection.

Heron Pillow
Little Blue Heron Fine Art Pillow

Hummingbird Clock
Saw-billed Hermit Hummingbird Clock

Valentine Card
Albatrosses in Love Valentine Card

Free eBook Alert: Birder Murder #1

Posted on March 20th, 2013 in Books, Free

Now through March 24th, the first book in the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series, The Boreal Owl Murder, is available as a FREE Kindle download! The Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series is currently five titles, with a sixth on the way. Here is your chance to try out the series from the beginning for free! So head over to Amazon to download the first book in the acclaimed series: The Boreal Owl Murder.

Raptors as Education Ambassadors

Posted on March 20th, 2013 in Books, Florida, Illinois, Rehabilitation

Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour

Thanks for visiting this stop on the Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour! I hope you’ll enjoy this look at some raptors I have come to know personally. Check out the bottom of this post to find a chance to win a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors.

The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is always to return the patients to the wild, but sometimes the injuries sustained by the animal are too severe. In the case of non-releasable birds of prey, life as an education ambassador may be in order. I am very lucky to be able to volunteer with a couple of great rehabilitation centers where permanently injured birds of prey are in residence. Let me introduce you to some of my feathered friends…

DARWIN the American Kestrel


This is Darwin, a male American Kestrel. He is imprinted on humans and cannot be released into the wild. Darwin is the first bird of prey I got to meet up close and personal.


It is always a joy for me to be able to handle a bird of prey on the glove like this. To see and study Darwin’s feathers up close is really special, and something I also love to be able share with others. During informal education programs, I have been able to talk with members of the public about birds like Darwin and the others in this post. I always hope that the time I spend sharing these raptors with interested people results in a positive impact on them and their outlook on birds, wildlife, and the environment in general.

Hopefully they come away with a new appreciation for birds — and they will seek them out in their future outdoor adventures. American Kestrels are found in both locations where I have had them in programs (northern Illinois and central Florida). Sometimes people are surprised to learn that these beautiful little raptors are indeed native to where they (the people) live, and that kestrels aren’t too hard to find. I love telling people where to look for kestrels and how to identify them.

Click to embiggen

ZEN the Cooper’s Hawk


This is Zen, a male Cooper’s Hawk. He has a permanent injury to his right wing, making him unreleasable.

Zen and me

Cooper’s Hawks are notoriously high-strung — as bird-eaters (and so bird-chasers!) it is just in their nature. So Cooper’s Hawks are not often glove-trained. Bringing Zen to a program is always special. Cooper’s Hawks are common visitors to back yard bird feeding stations, but people sometimes overestimate their size. So it’s especially fun to share beautiful Zen with back yard birders.

Cooper's Hawk-small
Click to embiggen

PICASSO the Red-shouldered Hawk

Picasso the Red-shouldered Hawk

This is Picasso. Picasso is a male Red-shouldered Hawk, and I have not yet had the pleasure to handle him. I hope that will change soon! Picasso is missing his right eye, and has a permanent injury to his left wing.

Red-shouldered Hawks are abundant here in Florida. Even though they are common, people are sometimes surprised to learn some of their basic facts: they are monogamous; females are larger than males (as with most birds of prey); they typically weigh no more than 1.5 lb.

Crossley Red-shouldered Hawk-small
Click to embiggen

0511 the Red-tailed Hawk


This lovely female Red-tailed Hawk is named 0511. She is also an imprint; she was found begging for food while perched on a car mirror as a juvenile bird. She is the first Red-tailed Hawk I was able to hold on the glove.

It is fun to speak with the public with 0511 on the glove. People relate to her, since Red-tailed Hawks are quite common. She is mostly correctly identified by passers-by — especially if I turn her around so her beautiful tail is visible. During programs, lots of people want to share their own stories about seeing Red-tailed Hawks in the wild. It is always fun to hear of their encounters, answer their questions, and encourage them to love raptors as much as I do.

Crossley Red-tailed Hawk-small
Click to embiggen

These are just a few of the raptors I have been able to meet up close and share with others. Of course, I love them all!


Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

Thanks to Princeton University Press, I am excited to announce that I have a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors to give away to one lucky reader!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post below. Be sure to include a valid email address where you can be reached in case you win the random drawing. I will use a random name selector to pick the winner on Wednesday, March 27th, so please have your comment entry posted by 12 midnight EDT Tuesday, March 26th.


And after you’ve left your comment, be sure to visit the other great blogs participating in the raptor love-fest known as The Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour!

Yesterday the following blogs …

Greg Laden’s Blog and Birdfreak

… handed off to myself and today’s co-hosts …

Another Bird Blog and Radley Ice

… who next pass on the tour to tomorrow’s blogs …

BRDPICS; Thermal Birding; and NatureShare

The blog tour wraps up with a fun live online event on Friday. Click to learn more about the Raptor Happy Hour Shindig Event!

Thanks again to my readers for visiting this post. And a big THANK YOU to Jessica Pellien at Princeton University Press for arranging this mega raptorfest blog tour!

Giveaway Alert: NEW Stokes Guides!

Posted on March 17th, 2013 in Books, Contest, Giveaway

Don and Lillian Stokes are giving away 10 sets of their new Eastern and Western Field Guides via their blog. Visit the blog each day starting TODAY and for the following nine days; you can participate in a mystery bird photo quiz each day (so ten entries) but you are only eligible to win the drawing once. Check out the first quiz blog post for more details and to guess the first quiz bird!

Giveaway Alert: Birdwatcher Mug

Posted on March 16th, 2013 in Giveaway

Two-Fisted Birdwatcher Mug

Two-Fisted Birdwatcher is giving away a blog-branded mug. Find this month’s hidden bird (Red-winged Blackbird) to be eligible for the drawing. This regular giveaway usually ends by the end of the month, so be quick and submit your answer before March is over! See the contest page for details.

Crossley Guide Blog Tour rolling through!

Posted on March 13th, 2013 in Books

Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

If you love raptors, and I know you do, you should really be following the Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour! The tour is to celebrate birds of prey and the upcoming release of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors later this month. Today is the third day of a two-week tour with an astounding twenty-five birding blogs participating! If you look closely at that list you’ll see that this very blog will be up one week from today — with a great giveaway contest to boot!

Giveaway Alert: The Unfeathered Bird

Posted on March 10th, 2013 in Books, Contest, Giveaway

Good Reads is giving away two copies of Katrina van Grouw’s The Unfeathered Bird.

There is more to a bird than simply feathers. And just because birds evolved from a single flying ancestor doesn’t mean they are structurally all the same. With over 385 stunning drawings depicting 200 species, The Unfeathered Bird is a richly illustrated book on bird anatomy that offers refreshingly original insights into what goes on beneath the feathered surface.

Learn more and submit your entry here before the end of the day tomorrow.

Giveaway Alert: Kaufman Advanced Birding

Posted on March 10th, 2013 in Books, Contest, Giveaway

Audubon Magazine is giving away five copies of the Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding.

This book is an update and reboot of the first edition, published in 1990. Kaufman on this new edition: “[…] So in this edition I have taken a different approach altogether, and the focus here is on how to identify birds, or how to learn to identify birds. In other words, it’s not about memorizing field marks, it’s about truly understanding what you see and hear.”

Get your entry in by midnight on Friday, March 29th. Visit the contest page to learn more.

Raffle Alert: Birding with Kenn Kaufman

Posted on March 9th, 2013 in Raffle

A raffle to benefit the organization Friends of Ryerson Woods offers a great prize: a morning of birding with Kenn Kaufman at Ryerson during the peak of spring migration on May 18th, 2013. Single raffle entries are $20; get three entries for $50. This is a great prize and I am definitely going to enter! Ryerson Woods is a great spot to find migrating warblers and if I win it will be a perfect excuse to visit my family in mid-May! Ryerson Woods is located in Riverwoods, Illinois, north of Chicago. Purchase your raffle tickets before 5PM on May 3rd; see the official Bird with Kenn Kaufman raffle page for details.

Giveaway Alert: Awesome Crossley ID book PLUS EXTRAS prize package from Princeton University Press

Posted on March 9th, 2013 in Books, Giveaway

Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

Register for your chance to win a fabulous prize package from Princeton University Press. The package includes signed Crossley Field Guides, Nikon binoculars, a bird feeder and much more. Enter each day now through March 22nd to increase your chances of winning! Learn more and register to win here.

This prize package sweepstakes giveaway is to celebrate the upcoming book release of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. A two-week-long blog tour begins on Monday; be sure to check it out! The blog tour finishes with a live online event with the book’s authors; find details about the live online shindig here.

Plates: Crossley ID Guide: Raptors