Jeffrey Fisher’s “Birds”

Chronicle Books published an enchanting book “billed” for bird-lovers’ libraries, yet I – neither a bird lover nor a bird watcher – can’t stop picking it up.

Birds features 46 hand-painted, winsome portraits of our feathered friends. Christine Fisher, Jeffrey’s wife, writes short, colorful descriptions that are utterly delightful as they entertain and inform. Hence, another reason for my tendency to reach for the book.

She writes about the Swift: “If grounded, swifts have difficulty becoming airborne. They can fly very high due to a special blood adaptation and have the ability to enter a state of torpor if weather conditions deteriorate while the swift is nesting.”

My copy of the book roams the house, from kitchen counter to desktop. To look at the portraits or read the words in a stolen moment of the day is like giving myself a spur-of-the-moment, delicious sweet.

The Chronicle website displays Fisher’s portraits of the swift, bullfinch, galah, green woodpecker and grey heron.

Update: Fisher’s portrait of the swift on TLC was replaced with the current book jacket November 9, 2010.