Be Your Own Birder

Galapagos Birds: A Photographic Voyage

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  • Author: Mathew Tekulsky
  • Publisher: Goff Books
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Pages: 128

Be Your Own Birder’s Thoughts

For a quick but richly visual getaway, birders can escape to the Galapagos Islands without leaving their homes in the pages of Mathew Tekulsky’s Galapagos Birds: A Photographic Voyage. Featuring 54 photographs telling a variety of stories of the archipelago’s diverse avifauna, the book takes readers on a pleasant walk, encountering a variety of birds and their daily activities – nesting, feeding, courting – along the way.

From the famous boobies to frigatebirds, gulls, penguins, flamingos, herons, and finches to albatrosses, hawks, pelicans, oystercatchers, turnstones, and more, each bird is classically portrayed in Tekulsky’s photos. Rather than still portraits or contrived shots, the photos capture each bird’s genuine behavior and activities, truly bringing readers to the islands.

The accompanying text is simplistic, and while it lacks exposition, it serves as picture book-style captions to describe the photos and identify each bird. This allows readers to form their own impressions of the birds without feeling weighed down with expansive text, detailed discussions, or ornithological data. Rather, readers are treated to a pleasant, relaxing excursion through a day of birding on the Galapagos – a destination coveted by birders around the world.

Tekulsky clearly conveys his intimate Galapagos experience through the book’s pages, highlighting a trip he was able to take with his mother, to whom the book is dedicated. The book’s introduction describes the trip, including his perceptions of the birds and their unique reactions to visitors. The afterword discusses a bit more about the origin of the islands and their ecological importance, while the plate list details Tekulsky’s camera settings for the photographically inclined.

While birders interested in more intense detail and a comprehensive look at the birds and wildlife of the Galapagos Islands may be disappointed, Galapagos Birds: A Photographic Voyage is a visual treat for anyone eager for a simple, gentle getaway. It’s a book that can easily be enjoyed over and over as readers seek to return to this once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Worth Reading? Sure – 6/10!


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