by Miklos D F Udvardy; John Farrand; National Audubon Society. Print book  |  Rev. ed
"Field Guide to Norh American Birds: Western Region"   (2013-07-24)
An excellent reference for studio use, but intended as a field guide, with photographs instead of paintings to identify the various species. Designed to encourage rapid visual classification, it is organized by shape, color and pattern, field marks, relative size, and behavior. There are 14 major groups, sorted by very descriptive headings, from “Long-Legged Waders” to “Chicken-Like Marsh Birds.”
Most of the 676 photographs are of adult males, but females, juveniles, and seasonal color phases are also included, when significantly different. There is a pre-photo index of silhouettes, and thumbprint-sized silhouettes are also featured on the center edge of the photo pages for quick-flipping reference. Each of the many birds included has a range map and very brief description of color, voice, habitat, and nesting behavior. An added bonus is the short but useful glossary.
As a desk reference, it is a wonderful addition to any bird lover’s library, but for use as a field guide, you might want to purchase two copies. The 822 pages come at a price; the text portion of the book is printed on very thin paper, and in the field, might prove a little less than durable. The reliance on photographs instead of artists’ renderings is a mixed blessing, but all in all, the Field Guide to North American Birds is still an extremely useful handbook.
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