Songbirds of the West includes more than four dozen songbirds that occur within the western United States. The majority are found in America’s western National Parks, especially in parks where the author worked for more than a quarter of a century. Big Bend National Park is where he encountered Black-capped and Gray Vireos, Vermilion Flycatchers, Curve-billed and Crissal Thrashers, Hepatic and Summer Tanagers, and Black-vented, Hooded and Scott’s Orioles. Black-billed Magpies were encountered at Great Sand Dunes, Clark’s Nutcrackers at Crater Lake, Cave Swallows at Carlsbad Caverns, Cactus Wrens at Saguaro, Phainopeplas at Organ Pipe, Steller’s and Gray Jays at Yellowstone, Black-throated Gray Warblers at Mesa Verde, Townsend’s Solitaires at Timpanogos Cave, and Canyon and Rock Wrens at Zion. Great Kiskadees, Green Jays, and Altamira Orioles were encountered in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The discussion of each bird is based on the author’s personal encounters. These range from casual observations to scientiﬁc studies that were undertaken in both the U.S. and Mexico; still others involved visits to the West Indies. The bird’s life history, behavior, and status are included.
About the Author
The author retired from the National Park Service after a 32-year career as a park ranger and biologist. He worked in 7 national parks – Crater Lake, Death Valley, Pinnacles, Zion, Big Bend, Great Smoky Mountains, and Virgin Islands – and as Regional Chief Scientist in the Southwest Region Oﬃce in Santa Fe, New Mexico and as Chief of Resource Management and Chief Scientist for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. Since retirement he has written 28 books on the National Parks and the wildlife, and two novels: Natural Inclinations, One Man’s Adventures in the Natural World and Ruins to Ruins, From the Mayan Jungle to the Aztec Metropolis. Ro lives in Bryan, Texas.