Russell and West present us with a unique opportunity to experience the cultural traditions of how a population of Alaska Native peoples relate to birds. Calling on her many years of work with local peoples, Russell exhibits a special gift to discover the details of how the Stony River Dena'ina think about birds, how they harvest them, and how they use various parts of birds in their daily lives. She spent many hours in the field living and working with the people and conducting informal interviews to record their thoughts about the place of birds in their world and to observe the ways they interact with and use birds.
West applies modern ornithological science to the way the Dena'ina classify and name the birds in their area. All species that occur in the Stony River area are described, illustrated, and most have Native names. James Kari has added a wealth of information on the etymology of the Native names of birds and bird parts.