In addition to a very busy page, a few other small critiques can be made. Some of the birds seem a bit too dark, such as the Empidonax flycatchers, the Gray-cheeked & Bicknell's Thrush, and some of the warblers. Perhaps this may mimic realistic field conditions but, it does not always translate into an easier way of learning the bird. The inclusion of a photographed habitat in the background makes for an attractive photo while also giving a sample of the bird's typical habitat choice. It also adds to the busy look to the page, forcing you to search around for birds that may get lost in the collage - especially the little birds in the background. See if you can find all the Brown Creepers.
Accompanying the photos is the seemingly smaller amount of text. As noted in the introduction, the author prefers pictures and may find text to be boring. The material offered focuses mostly on description and on identification. After reading through many species, the smaller amount is actually strengthened by the conciseness and potency of the information given. This will prove to be very useful for beginning to intermediate birders. The text, backed up by the photo, points out the long undertail coverts of the Connecticut Warbler, the contrasting white undertail coverts of the Tennessee Warbler, and the dark eye of a first year White-eyed Vireo in the fall/winter. Additional notes that are useful are key comments on the bird's behavior and habitat.
The author said in the introduction "a picture says 1000 words", promoting the quick mental snapshot of an image versus reading and memorizing information. However, quickly interpreting a picture or a view of a bird in the field comes with experience - and frustration. The newer birder often does not know what in the photo may demand extra attention; what things must be compared; how to read relative sizes and shapes; etc. The beginner won't have the experiential knowledge needed to free him from the text and to rely on only the photos. Having just said that, any birder will still greatly enjoy this book so long as he knows what is and is not in this book. – (written by Jack at Avian Review, February 2011)