The Bird Photos in Life List are Stunning

The photos of birds in the book Life List are amazing, and even more amazing, all of these beautiful birds were photographed in Maine by author Ken Janes. And I have to thank North Country Press for publishing this stunning book.

Ken is a retired surgeon who, with his wife Sandra, moved to Kennebunk, Maine, where bird watching became a daily routine. And all the birds in this book were photographed in that area. My wife Linda and I birded a lot in that area, including the Laudholm Farm where Ken photographed some of his birds. At the farm you can bird through the fields and the forest and end up on the ocean beach.

I am wondering now whether the great horned owl photographed by Ken at Laudholm Farm is the same one we saw there!

A friend started Linda and I birding many years ago, and it’s been a lot of fun, including on all of our trips. From the beautiful Hoopoes in Italy to the exotic birds in Costa Rica to all the birds in Texas and Arizona, we have really enjoyed birding and we have seen nearly 500 species (and yes, avid birders keep track of the birds they see).

We have great bird habitat at and around our house, and have seen 18 kinds of warblers in our yard. I loved Ken’s photo of a pileated woodpecker, a large and beautiful bird that spends a lot of time in the trees beside our house. We have huge flocks of birds in our yard and at our feeders, and a bald eagle sits in a tree alongside our stream, right outside my office window.

Ken also tells us interesting things about all the birds in his book. I like this statement from Ken at the end of the book: “These pages are an attempt to highlight the many species of birds that are found in a small area of Maine and surely your neighborhood could be just as productive. It is only a matter of getting out there with binoculars and a bird guide, having some fun, and beginning your own list.”

I promise you that you will spend lots of time enjoying the beautiful photos in this book, as I have. Just be prepared, because this book will make you an avid birder!


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.