Book Review

Don Reimer’s book, Seen Anything Good?, tells you a lot about how to identify birds and where to find them. But it’s much more than that.

I really enjoyed Don’s stories of his birding adventures all over Maine and elsewhere. And I appreciated his strong encouragement for conservation.

Don has written columns for many years for the Rockland Free Press, and the book features some of those columns. Here’s how he explained his interest in birds: Through my persistent study and observation, birds became a touchstone of my later life. I paid them special notice every opportunity and in every conceivable setting. In adulthood, I would even pursue some of them from a vastly different perspective, as game birds.

And he explained the birding experiences of my wife Linda and I very well: Birding is a fascinating pastime for a good number of reasons. Since it connects birds, people, and the given circumstances of the moment, any day afield can bring unexpected adventures and some surprising outcomes.

Enjoying the birds always added to the trips Linda and I took all around our country and Europe. And the birds we saw on our trip to Costa Rica were amazing.

Don tells about a whale watching ocean cruise he took, bringing back great memories of the time Linda and I did that, seeing not only whales but also lots of birds. Our cruise was out of Campobello Island, near Lubec, and our boat cruised right up beside a whale which blew and soaked everyone on board. Yup, that was a memorable trip!

I loved the story where Don looks through his high school yearbook and tries to fit birds into categories like most athletic and most likely to succeed. Don includes bird photos throughout the book, but my favorite is on the front cover of a large bird carrying a big fish. Yes, some birds are very good anglers!

Kristen Lindquist, who contributed to the book Birdwatching in Maine and often posts photos of birds on Facebook, describes this book very well on the back cover: Whether you’re a hardcore birder, a backyard birdwatcher, or just like a darn good story that happens to have birds in it, you’ll find this collection of midcoast Maine’s own “bird magnet” an engaging and informative read.