Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: Shorebirds of North America

At a certain point in the journey of the birding addict, one gets serious about being able to distinguish the subtleties of sparrows, gulls, and shorebirds. Such seriousness demands great tools like the book "Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide".

Here is why I like this book:

1. The cover is card stock paper with a vinyl coating. Damp-proofness is essential when wanting to view birds in damp places.

2. The anatomy guide on pages 4 and 5 are perfect for novices like me.

3. Each species gets a thorough treatment ranging from one page to several pages.

4. The notes about shorebird behavior are particularly good. Behavior is often as good a characteristic to identify species as is their size and color pattern.

5. Good quality and quantity of photos of each species at various stages; juvenile, breeding, and non-breeding. The photos are taken from all over the country so regional variation is covered.

As a cartophile I am disappointed that there aren't a bunch of colorful range maps, but Dennis Paulson explains in his intro that all the other field guides out there already have accurate range maps. He wanted to dedicate more time to thorough text and leave room for as many photographs as possible. I concede his point. Well done!

Price: as low as $19 online

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