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National Geographic Birding Essentials: All the Tools, Techniques, and Tips You Need to Begin and Become a Better Birderby Jonathan Alderfer
Synopses & Reviews
Birding is the fastest growing wildlife-related outdoor activity in the U.S., with at least a million new birders a year estimated to join an already robust group some 80 million strong. For these beginning and intermediate enthusiasts, National Geographic Birding Essentials is a must. Comprehensive and authoritative, yet engaging and user-friendly, it teaches readers how to begin and improve their birding... what to look and listen for... and how to make sense of what they see and hear. A unique visual component shows actual field guide pages and how to read them, while another compares the same bird in photography versus artwork and explains how to use both for species identification. National Geographic's quality photography is a major highlight of the book, supplemented by pencil drawings and full-color maps to give the novice and intermediate birder a full range of visual information.
Field Ornithologists Jonathan Alderfer and Jon Dunn have crafted a masterful guide, striking just the right balance of practical information and reader-friendly tone. Chapters discuss the pleasures of birding, equipment needed, how to read range maps, birds' physical features, how to identify birds, identification challenges, bird classification and suggested books and journals for building a fine birding library.
National Geographic has established a stellar reputation among birders with our blockbuster Field Guide to the Birds of North America. The tradition continues as we serve an entry-level market that continually needs the helpful, up-to-the-minute information found in National Geographic Birding Essentials.
Book News Annotation:
To satisfy the aesthetic, scientific, and treasure hunt impulses behind birdwatching, contributors to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America introduce all aspects of birding from observing birds at home feeders to identifying species in the wild. The guide includes species profiles with color photos, a glossary, and further reading. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A guide that helps intermediate birders advance their skills by teaching principles that apply to all groups of birds in addition to details about the most challenging groups to identify.
Birders can memorize hundreds of details and still not be able to identify birds if they donand#8217;t really understand whatand#8217;s in front of them.Today birders have access to almost too much information, and their attempts to identify birds can be drowned out by excess detail. The all-new Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding takes a different approach, clarifying the basics and providing a framework for learning about each group. Overall principles of identification are explained in clear language, and ten chapters on specific groups of birds show how these principles can be applied in practice. Anyone with a keen interest in identifying birds will find that this book makes the learning process more effective and enjoyable, and that truly understanding what we see and hear can make birding more fun.
About the Author
Jonathan Alderfer is chief consultant for the National Geographic Birding Program and a widely published author and field guide illustrator. Most recently, he was co-author of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Fifth Edition (Fall 2006).
Jon L. Dunn is an expert on the identification and distribution of North American birds. He has a long history with the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, having served as chief consultant on four previous editions and co-author on the fifth edition (Fall 2006).
Table of Contents
Editorand#8217;s Note: Learning from the Birds 5
1. An Integrated Approach to Field Identification of Birds 6
2. Principles and Pitfalls of Field Identification 18
3. How Birds Are Built: Terminology and Bird Topography 44
4. Plumages, Molt, and Wear: Understanding What You See 74
5. Behavior and Voice: Understanding and Using Them
in Identification 92
6. Identification Beyond the Species Level 106
7. Techniques and Resources for Learning Bird Identification 130
8. Learning to Identify Waterfowl 141
9. The Scaup 160
10. The Winter Loons 168
11. Learning to Identify Seabirds 182
12. Learning to Identify Herons and Egrets 186
13. Learning to Identify the Diurnal Raptors 188
14. The Accipiters 198
15. Learning to Identify Shorebirds 210
16. The Small Calidris Sandpipers 226
17. Learning to Identify Gulls 242
18. Learning to Identify Terns 272
19. The Medium-sized Terns 285
20. The Jaegers 300
21. Learning to Identify Owls 316
22. Learning to Identify Hummingbirds 318
23. The Challenging Small Hummingbirds 330
24. Learning to Identify Woodpeckers 342
25. Learning to Identify Tyrant Flycatchers 344
26. The Empidonax Flycatchers 347
27. Learning to Identify Swallows 388
28. Learning to Identify Warblers 390
29. The Blackpoll Trio 412
30. Learning to Identify Sparrows 419
31. The Spizella Sparrows 434
Photo Credits 441
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