Author Info

Les BeletskyLes Beletsky is a professional wildlife biologist and freelance natural history writer. After receiving a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 1983, Les enjoyed a long post-doctoral period at the University of Washington in Seattle, conducting many years of field research into the ecology and behavior of birds.  He also taught undergraduate courses for several years, as a Lecturer, in the University of Washington's biology and zoology programs.  During his academic career, Les authored or co-authored about 40 scientific reports and 2 technical books about birds, The Red-winged Blackbird: Biology of a Strongly Polygynous Songbird (Academic Press, 1996) and Red-winged Blackbirds: Decision-Making and Reproductive Success (University of Chicago Press, 1996). The latter book won an annual award from The Wildlife Society as "Outstanding Book in Wildlife Ecology and Management."

Turning to full-time writing in 1996, Les began a series of field guides for international travellers, which eventually came to be called Travellers' Wildlife Guides. During the following five years, acting as both series editor and primary author, Les oversaw the planning, development, and writing of more than 10 of these complex books, which are part travel book, part natural history primer, and part richly illustrated field guide (each with 80 to 110 color plates showing illustrations of 400 to 650 animal and plant species).  Presently, these books are published by Interlink Books of Northampton, Mass.

Les currently devotes part of his time to assisting Interlink Books with publishing new volumes in the Travellers' Wildlife Guides series and part to new writing projects. He recently completed a large-format, heavily illustrated "Birds of the World" book, and is currently working on a book that describes all of North America's birds and also plays their songs. Les and his wife, Cynthia, divide their time between Seattle and Whidbey Island, Washington.