Cover image for Birds of North America
Title:
Birds of North America
Author:
Kaufman, Kenn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Houghton Mifflin, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
383 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 20 cm.
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780395964644
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Kenn Kaufman's FOCUS GUIDE cuts through the clutter to focus on the essentials.
*More than 2,000 photographs selected and digitally edited to show exactly how to recognize each bird.
*Vivid descriptions capture each bird's key markings, habits, habitat, and voice.
*Clear, simple, and efficient organization: similar birds are shown together, and all the information you need can be seen at a glance. Color keys make it easy to find the right group.
*Range maps show where and when to see each bird throughout the year.


Author Notes

Kenn Kaufman is a legend among birders. At sixteen he hitchhiked back & 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" & 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 books include "Lives of North American Birds" & the "Peterson Field Guide to Advanced Birding." He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Every spring, tens of thousands of bird-watchers migrate across the country in search of vireos, towhees, and violet-crowned hummingbirds; these birders can be recognized by their binoculars, their respect for nature and their frequent stillness and near-silence. By next spring, many of them will be toting this guide. Author and illustrator Kaufman (Lives of North American Birds) has long been one of the birdwatching community's stars. His colorful, practical and very portable book aims to become the new standard in the field. The book is small enough for a big jacket pocket, and can be held in one hand; color-coded tags divide its 16 sections on 16 classes of birds ("Ducks, Geese, Swans," "Chicken-Like Birds," "Medium-Sized Land Birds," "Flycatchers," etc.). Each left-hand page describes three to six related birds, with range maps for each, color-coded for season and frequency; brief phrases give most species' song, voice or call-note. The corresponding right-hand page offers bright, high-resolution color pictures of the same birds, on a perch or in flight. Short inserts help explain, for example, how to distinguish among many similar sparrows. Kaufman's guide is revolutionary in that it's the first to use digitally altered photographs (more than 2,000 of them) rather than unretouched photos or paintings - in practice the computerized images look like extremely detailed paintings. Though he pays more attention to common birds, Kaufman is happy to cover rare visitors and migrants: here are a brace of robins, but also bluethroat (restricted to northwest Alaska, and "hard to see when not singing"), and 16 kinds of (introduced) parrots. The guide may not be the most comprehensive available, and its laconic descriptions deliberately avoid facts that won't assist identification. But Kaufman makes up for those limits with compactness, great design and ease of use - especially for beginners: an appendix leads new birders to further resources (some of them online). Major ad/promo; 22-city author tour. (Sept. 22) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

The "Peterson Field Guides" series have long served as the benchmark for field guides. Now come two new birding titles that certainly meet the Peterson standard of excellence, with such features as basic information, range maps, voice descriptions, comparisons with similar species, scientific and common name indexes, the specification of field marks, and the inclusion of exotics. Rather than using the typical drawings and paintings, birding expert and Audubon field editor Kaufman selected over 2000 digitally edited photographs, enhanced to improve contrast, color, and the like. The excellent result will appeal to beginning birders perhaps intimidated by illustrations. In order to make useful comparisons, Kaufman varies the organization a bit from the American Ornithological Union (AOU) standard. Helpful headers, color coded to groups (e.g., wading birds), break down further into categories such as huge waders and waders with odd bills. Kaufman's text is simple and uncluttered, a plus for novices. Noted avian artist Sibley provides more than 6000 detailed illustrations (including pictures of the flying bird from above and below, a first in a birding guide) that are as excellent as Kaufman's photos. His text is far more substantial in detail, including flight patterns, more plumage variations (young juvenile, juvenile, adult) for nearly all the birds, and more detail in range maps. Although it is larger and heavier that Kaufman's title, this guide will serve experienced birders extremely well, However, it might provide more information than a beginner needs. The bottom line: both guides are highly recommended for all collections, Kaufman to serve the novices and the unsure, Sibley to delight the more experienced as well. [Kaufman's book was previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/00; for more guidance on field guides, see Christina Peterson's "Tracking Nature Field Guides," LJ 6/1/00, p. 83-87.DEd.]DNancy Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Kaufman and colleagues offer a colorful book that should make bird identification easy. There are more than 2,000 photographs digitally edited to show exactly how to recognize each bird. Vivid descriptions capture each bird's key markings, habits, and habitat; and voice and range maps show where and when to see each bird throughout the year. The color illustrations are bright, and a marker points to key identification characteristics. At the beginning of the book the authors discuss birding basics such as bird topography and field marks, how birds are classified and named, and birds in place and time. At the end of the book, they provide sources of further information along with acknowledgments, photography credits, and an index of English names of birds. A good handbook for birders to carry in the field. Recommended for all bird sections of libraries. General readers; undergraduates through professionals. C. J. Pollard emeritus, Los Angeles Unified School District