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Smithsonian Birds of North America: West (Smithsonian Handbooks)by Fred Alsop
Synopses & Reviews
Published in association with America's preeminent authority, the Smithsonian Institution, this comprehensive handbook to the birds of North America: Western Region includes 696 species — all birds known to breed east of the 100th meridian on the United States and Canada, as well as regular visitors and vagrants to this region. The Smithsonian Handbook is the first identification guide that includes details of the bird's life history in a concise and user-friendly format. Each full-page profile combines a precise description, annotated photographs, and artworks to highlight the key field marks of the species in each plumage. Similar species are shown and distinguishing characteristics are noted. Further information on the bird's habits describes the typical song and other vocalizations, behavior, breeding, nesting, population, and conservation concerns. Typical flight patterns and nest locations and shapes are described with clear icons, and amplified in the text. Each bird's range during summer, winter, and on migration is clearly shown on a map.
Book News Annotation:
Alsop (ornithology and biological sciences, East Tennessee State U.) has produced a field manual with a flexible plastic cover for bird watchers and others interested in identifying birds of western North America. After several sections explaining the field's terminology and the book's codes, he profiles each species in one page. Color drawings, including gender, age, and season variations if important and similar birds not to be confused; a color range map; a diagram of flight pattern; a scale guide; nest information; and other data accompany the terse text. The birds are arranged by taxonomic order, and indexed by common and Latin names.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The winning photo-encyclopedic formula of the DK Handbooks, which has sold more than five million copies worldwide, is taken to a new level of excellence in this comprehensive handbook to the birds of North America: Western Region, and every species that occurs west of the 100th meridian in the US and Canada receives its own full-page profile.
Each species entry combines a precise description with annotated photographs to highlight the key field marks of the bird and points of particular interest. An introductory paragraph covers the general gestault of each bird. The following text is broken into six sections, which deal with the song and other vocalizations, behavior, breeding, nesting, population, and conservation. Details of the bird's flight pattern and nest identification are shown with icons and described verbally. Similar birds are shown and their distinguishing characteristics are described. Each profile includes a map showing the bird's range during summer, winter, and on migration. Female and juvenile plumages are shown and discussed if they differ substantially from the male plumage.
The Smithsonian Handbooks of Birds of North America--Eastern Region & Western Region are a must for bird lovers and omithologist alike. Over 700 species are featured in each book with full-page profiles that highlight precise descriptions and important characteristics of every bird.
About the Author
Frederick Joseph Alsop, III Ph.D. is an ornithologist and a professor of biological sciences at East Tennessee State University. He received his doctorate in zoology from the University of Tennessee, and specialized in the ecology, distribution, life history, and taxonomy of birds. In addition to studying the effects of pesticides on eggshell thickness and endangered and threatened species, Fred Alsop is an avid field biologist and birder, and photographer, and has identified more than 3,200 species worldwide. The Smithsonian Institution — the world's largest museum complex — includes 16 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. The total number of artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian's collections is estimated at nearly 142 million. The bulk of this material — more than 124 million specimens and artifacts — is part of the National Museum of Natural History. Smithsonian collections serve as the intellectual base for exhibition, education, scholarship, and discovery. The National Zoo was founded in 1889 by an act of Congress for, "the advancement of science, the instruction and recreation of the people." It is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and conducts programs in public education, wildlife conservation and works to advance a number of fields in the biological sciences. Approximately 3,600 animals of 475 different species live at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park. About one-quarter of the animals are endangered, and many are part of conservation efforts to preserve disappearing species.
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