You can think of Birds of Cape May as a large, annotated photo album. It is not a field guide, nor does it even attempt to depict all of the birds that are found at Cape May. Rather, it is the author’s “personal celebration of thirty years of enjoyment of this special location”.

As such, it contains well over 400 photographs, most of which were taken by the author. Karlson is one of North America's leading bird photographers, so it's no surprise that the images here are very nice. There is a wide selection, from intimate portraits of birds to sweeping shots of flocks, as well as the amusing, instructive, or just plain spectacular. Some other wildlife and scenery are also included, along with the occasional birder.

Each photo has a short caption that tells a little about the bird, especially as it relates to Cape May.

This is a fairly large book. Full page photos are stunning, but most pages have two or three pictures. The two-picture pages usually have a lot of wasted white space due to the book's unusual format that is wider than it is tall. I think a different page size or layout (or probably some combination of the two) would have suited the book better.

Overall, this is a very good showcase of the avian richness possessed by Cape May, New Jersey. It's more expensive than your usual souvenirs, but it would make a good reminder of a trip to this birding hotspot.

Here is my full review of Birds of Cape May