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A reference atlas combines full-color photography, current maps, and essays from leading ornithologists, conservationists, and other prominent experts to provide key information on a wide range of species as well as effective bird-watching techniques.
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Go to your shelf and take a look at your National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (2002). What you'll find is a detailed listing for each of the more than 800 species of birds that one can expect to see visiting or living in North America. But what about birds more generally? What of the particular characteristics of grebes or finches or crows? How are we to understand the general ranges, overlaps, and connection between closely related species within such groups? Baughman, of the National Wildlife Federation, has brought together an impressive array of experts to create this useful and fun volume, which will be a welcome companion to the Field Guide.
The volume begins with an informative essay on bird physiology, evolution, behavior, and classification. Each of the ensuing chapters treats one of the 42 major groups of North American birds, comprising 78 individual families. Following a general essay about the group, chapters provide details on each family, including classification, physical structure, plumage, behavior, ranges, observation tips, and conservation status. Major species are represented with outstanding illustrations, and sidebars treat special topics. A basic glossary of bird terminology, a brief bibliography, and an index that will be familiar to users of the Field Guide round out the volume.
The volume is populated with hundreds of very useful maps. Each chapter contains maps that chart the ranges and migration patterns of major species or families. In the "specialty maps" section, there is a wonderful map of "important bird areas in the contiguous United States" (great for vacation planning), and nearly 600 of the small range maps from the Field Guide are reproduced.
This is an outstanding companion to the Field Guide, but it also stands on its own as an excellent introductory text to the world of birds. It will be at home in public and school libraries and also belongs in all serious recreational and academic collections that serve those interested in birds and birding. More advanced readers may also want to consider the Audubon Society's Sibley Guide set (Knopf, 2000). RBB
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Book Description National Geographic, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0792233735
Book Description National Geographic, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0792233735