Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles.

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

New Kaufman guide essential for nature lovers

Kaufman Nature of Midwest_300x508Even if Kenn Kaufman were not the author of “ID Tips” in every issue of BirdWatching and one of our longest-serving contributors, we would still love his series of field guides. The Kaufman Field Guides to birds, butter­flies, mammals, and insects use smart, descriptive, nontechnical text and well-chosen photos to give identification pointers that any reader can understand.

“Although the authors and editors go to great lengths to ensure that the books are accurate and complete enough to be trusted by experts,” Kaufman says on his website, “the number one goal is to make the books accessible and understandable for beginners, so that newcomers to natural history will be able to take their first steps with confidence.”

In 2012, Kaufman and his wife, Kimberly, executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, in northwest Ohio, took a new step in the series. The Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England didn’t focus on one class of animals but instead gave ID tips for a wide array of plants and animals in the region. Now they have teamed up with naturalist Jeff Sayre to produce a similar guide to the nature of the Midwest — specifically, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Many people, the authors write, “are strongly interested in a few aspects of nature but are at least mildly interested in everything else.” For those of us who already have a book or two about birds, this guide is perfect for when we need to ID wildflowers, grasses, trees, shrubs, butterflies, salamanders, and most everything else.

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest, by Kenn Kaufman, Jeff Sayre, and Kimberly Kaufman, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 416 pages, softcover, $20.


Kenn Kaufman describes his new Field Guide to Advanced Birding.
Read more articles by and about Kenn.

Read more reviews from our June 2015 issue

Author Deborah Cramer dives deep into the Red Knot’s complex story in ‘The Narrow Edge.’

New reference guide makes identifying birds as simple as recognizing family members.

A touching memoir from a hummingbird rehabber in Hollywood.


‘Project Puffin’ tells how a kid from Ohio brought puffins back to the coast of central Maine.

Picture book shows what we most want to know about nesting birds.

In new book, Tony Angell presents personal stories and stunning drawings of owls.

‘Feral Cities’ takes account of the wildlife right on our doorstep.


A field guide to five boroughs of feathered New Yorkers.

A new edition of the Costa Rica guide you can carry in the field.

Book tells fascinating history of the feeders, seeds, and suet in our backyards.

A guide to Minnesota’s bird-rich state parks.


Publishers and authors:

If you’ve brought out a book that we should consider reviewing, send it here:

BirdWatching Magazine
Madavor Media, LLC
25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404
Braintree, MA 02184
[email protected]

Originally Published

Read our newsletter!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, and more delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up for Free
Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and You can reach him at [email protected].

Matt Mendenhall on social media