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The birder in your life likely covets "The Breeding Birds of Minnesota: History, Ecology and Conservation," from the University of Minnesota Press.

The two-pound doorstopper has 1,145 color images of birds, including loons, thrushes and sandhill cranes. Authors Lee A. Pfannmuller, Gerald J. Niemi and Janet C. Green explore the history of Minnesota birds, including tales of extinction avoided (those cranes) and other species that are currently waning, including the Eastern meadowlark.

Chapter headings such as "Biogeography of Minnesota Birds" may sound dry, but the book is a lively introduction to the diverse bird population of our state. A couple pages are devoted to each creature (I'm partial to the simply named redhead) and, given the wealth of detail offered about each, it reads almost like a hook-up site for our feathered friends. "Breeding Birds" tells us where in the state they like to hang out, when they're apt to be there, how long they'll stay and what they're looking for while they're in town.

The Breeding Birds of Minnesota
The Breeding Birds of Minnesota

At $59.95, "Breeding Birds" is an investment, but it weighs about five times the average book, so pound-for-pound, it's a deal — especially if you have a birding dad or grad on your gift list.

The Breeding Birds of Minnesota

By: Lee A. Pfannmuller, Gerald J. Niemi and Janet C. Green.

Publisher: University of Minn. Press, 616 pages, $59.95.