Synopses & Reviews
Expert Kenn Kaufman helps active birders improve their skills
Birders can memorize hundreds of details and still not be able to identify birds if they don't really understand what'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 more enjoyable, and that truly understanding what we see and hear can make birding more fun.
[run page 71 from book]
One of the world's best-known bird experts, Kenn Kaufman is the originator of the Kaufman Field Guide series, which includes books on birds, butterflies, mammals, and insects. He has also written Lives of North American Birds and two birding memoirs, Flights Against the Sunset and the classic Kingbird Highway. A frequent contributor to birding magazines such as Birder's World, Bird Watcher's Digest, and WildBird, Kenn is also a field editor for Audubon. He and his wife, Kimberly, live in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
$21.00 U.S./$TK CAN.
Cover design: Stoltze Design
Front cover and spine photos: TK
Author photo: Jeffrey A. Gordon
"Stumped by seemingly indistinguishable immature gulls covering the beach? Wonder whether the accipiter raiding your feeder is a female sharp-shinned hawk or a male Cooper's hawk? Well-known birder and author Kenn Kaufman presents some of North America's most challenging bird-identification conundrums in this guide for the advanced birder. Each chapter covers a group of difficult-to-identify or similar-looking birds, with analyses, tips, and drawings to aid in positive identification. Improve your birding skills and add more species to your life list with this excellent resource." Amazon.com
"Another winner in the esteemed series, this one telling how to solve the most challenging bird identification problems of North America. The guide covers the 35 most difficult groups of birds, explaining what the problems are in each group, and systematically showing how to solve them." Booknews, Inc.
"When it comes to books on nature and the environment, Houghton Mifflin's tradition is hard to beat." Publishers Weekly
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.
In 2000 Houghton Mifflin first published the Kaufman Focus Guide to the Birds of North America. Critically acclaimed for its innovative design, the Kaufman guide began introducing a new generation to birding. In 2005, this new Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America is now the most up-to-date field guide, including dozens of changes by the American Ornithologistsand#8217; Union in official names of birds; the addition of new species to reflect the latest scientific discoveries; and dozens of updated range maps. Additional information helps beginning birdwatchers get started, all in the same compact format that has made this guide the easiest to use for fast identification in the field.
Now revered as one of North America's top birders, Kenn Kaufman hit the road at age sixteen and spent a year crisscrossing the country to see as many birds as he could, in a birding competition known as a "big year." In what has become a classic among birders, this memoir chronicles the subculture of birding in the 1970s and a teenager's search for his place in the world. In a new afterword, Kaufman looks at the evolution of bird-listing since his own big year.
This is the book that goes beyond the field guides: not a guide for naming the birds, but a reference for understanding them -- a complete, handy, one-volume encyclopedia on the fascinating lives of our birds.
* Includes information about more than 900 birds: complete life histories for 680 species that occur regularly in North America and shorter accounts for more than 230 others that visit occasionally, with more than 600 beautiful photographs and more than 600 range maps.
* Gives every important detail about the lives of birds: what they eat, where they build their nests, how many eggs they lay, what habitat they choose, when they migrate, what their current conservation status is, and much more.
An all-new holistic approach to identifying shorebirds.
Join the experts in birding by impression, a revolutionary approach to bird identification. Experienced birders use the most easily observed characteristics and#8212; size, structure, behavior, and general color patterns and#8212; to identify birds even before looking carefully at plumage details. Now birders at all levels can learn how to identify shorebirds quickly and simply. This guide includes more than 870 stunning color photographs, starting with a general impression of the species and progressing to more detailed images of the bird throughout its life cycle. Quiz questions in the captions will engage and challenge all birders and help them benefit from this simplified, commonsense approach to identification.
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.
Birding,one of the fastest-growing hobbies, is also one of the most rewarding. Birds brighten our world with their colors and songs and with their amazing variety: anywhere in North America, at almost any season, it is possible to see dozens of different kinds of birds. All a birder needs is a good guidebook in order to identify them.
Some bird guides published in recent years have been bulky volumes with confusing amounts of detail, hard to carry and hard to use. This Kaufman Focus Guide is a true field guide: a pocket-sized book organized for easy reference, providing just the essentials for quick and accurate identification. Its revolutionary approach to illustration -- using digital images based on photographs -- provides the most lifelike and accurate pictures in any field guide. More than 2,200 full-color images depict every species of bird that occurs regularly in North America.
Birding is one of the fastest-growing activities in America, and this book is aimed at the millions of birders who want not only to identify birds but also to understand them. Key features of this comprehensive and indispensable handbook include: coverage of every species found in North America - more than 900 species, including accidentals and exotics - as well as the larger genus and family groupings; vividly written, detailed descriptions of each species, genus, and family: personality, habitat, feeding habits, nesting habits, migratory patterns, characteristic displays, and conservation status; color photographs and range maps for the more than 600 species regularly seen in North America; an introduction to birds and birding. Just as a Peterson Field Guide(tm) is an essential tool for birding in the field, Kenn Kaufman's Lives of North American Birds is an essential reference for anyone interested in birds in particular or nature in general.
At age sixteen, Kenn Kaufman left home to travel the world in search of birds. Now a grown man and a renowned ornithologist, he has come back to visit his ailing mother and explain to her what drove his obsession with bird life. His explanation forms a series of interlocking tales from the frontier where the world of birds intersects with the world of the humans who pursue them. The stories range over settings from Alaska to Africa, from trackless jungles to parking lots. They delve into subjects from first dates to last rites, from imagination and desire to sleep deprivation, from poignant encounters with eternal mysteries to comical brushes with biker gangs and secret agents. But as the stories unfold, the ornithologist comes to realize that he can still learn from his mother some things about life and even about the meaning of birds.
Flights Against the Sunset brings together nineteen essays, mostly adapted from Kaufman's long-running column in Bird Watchers Digest. They weave an original story that examines how we communicate about our passions with those who do not share the same interests and how to celebrate the world of infinite possibilities and wonder.
Beginner or expert, every birder needs a field guide that is accurate, readable, and easy to use. Birds of North America is a back-to-basics guide produced by one of the foremost birding experts, with a clear and direct approach to recognizing every North American bird. Kenn Kaufmanand#8217;s innovative technique of combining the best features of photographs and paintings results in the most accurate and helpful images ever to appear in any field guide. The photographs, by some of North Americaand#8217;s top nature photographers, are digitally enhanced to illustrate the field marks necessary for quick and easy identification. New hardcover and flexible bindings make this indispensable guide even more durable for hard use in the field.
Covering thirty-five of the most difficult groups of birds, from winter loons to confusing fall warblers, jaegers to chickadees, accipiters to flycatchers, this clearly written and beautifully illustrated field guide tells exactly how to solve the most challenging bird identification problems of North America.
The oneand#160;field guide to bring to identify the birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, sea shells, andand#160;sky of New England.
Whether youand#8217;re walking in the woods or along the beach, camping, hiking, canoeing, or just enjoying your own backyard, this book will help identify all your nature discoveries. With authoritative and broad coverage, using nontechnical and lively language and more than 2,000 color photographs, this guide is an essential reference for nature lovers living in or visiting New England.
At sixteen, Kenn Kaufman dropped out of the high school where he was student council president and hit the road, hitching back and forth across America, from Alaska to Florida, Maine to Mexico. Maybe not all that unusual a thing to do in the seventies, but what Kenn was searching for was a little different: not sex, drugs, God, or even self, but birds. A report of a rare bird would send him hitching nonstop from Pacific to Atlantic and back again. When he was broke he would pick fruit or do odd jobs to earn the fifty dollars or so that would last him for weeks. His goal was to set a record - most North American species seen in a year - but along the way he began to realize that at this breakneck pace he was only looking, not seeing. What had been a game became a quest for a deeper understanding of the natural world. Kingbird Highway is a unique coming-of-age story, combining a lyrical celebration of nature with wild, and sometimes dangerous, adventures, starring a colorful cast of characters.
About the Author
KENN KAUFMAN is the originator of the Kaufman Field Guide series and author of Lives of North American Birds, Kingbird Highway,
and Flights Against the Sunset,
among other books. Long recognized as an expert on bird identification, he has been teaching popular workshops on the subject since 1980 and has written hundreds of ID articles for Birder's World, American Birds,
and other publications. A field editor for Audubon
and a contributor to every major birding magazine, he has also led nature tours on all seven continents. He and his wife, Kimberly, make their home in northwestern Ohio.
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