Birds of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)

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9780618073245: Birds of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)

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.

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Review:

World-renowned birder Kenn Kaufman addresses a long-running paradox of bird field guides with his Focus Guide. While beginning birdwatchers prefer photographic guides like those by Donald Stokes, the physical traits that make identification easier are more readily discerned in the idealized paintings of illustrative guides like those by Roger Tory Peterson and National Geographic. Kaufman's groundbreaking work combines the best of both approaches by digitally enhancing photographic images to show the characteristics that are sometimes not apparent in photographs.

Some other distinguishing features include:

  • The guide is organized by bird family groupings rather than strict taxonomic classification; this is a feature that will appeal especially to beginners.
  • Text descriptions and range maps for each species appear on the page facing the plate of respective bird images.
  • Important field marks are highlighted.
  • Color-coded tabs identify each grouping of birds (waders, warblers, sparrows, etc.) for quick thumb indexing.
Kaufman's efforts follow the auspicious tradition of Roger Tory Peterson, whose portable field guide system was the first of its kind to meet the needs of the average birdwatcher. "It's the guide I've always wanted," says Kaufman, "and I suspect most birders will feel the same way."

About the Author:

Kenn Kaufman is a legend among birders. At sixteen he hitchhiked back and forth across North America, traveling eighty thousand miles in a year, simply to see as many birds as he could; he came back to tell the story in KINGBIRD HIGHWAY. A field editor for AUDUBON and a regular contributor to every major birding magazine, he is the youngest person ever to receive the Ludlow Griscom Award, the highest honor of the American Birding Association. His natural history pursuits have taken him to all seven continents, but he has made a special study of North American birds. His books include LIVES OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS, the PETERSON FIELD GUIDE TO ADVANCED BIRDING, and the FOCUS GUIDE TO BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA. He resides in Tucson, Arizona.

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Kaufman, Kenn
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2001)
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Kenn Kaufman, Kenn Kaufman (Editor), Nora Bowers (Contributor), Lynn Hassler Kaufman (Contributor), Rick Bowers (Contributor)
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