Cover image for National Audubon Society field guide to North American birds. Western region
National Audubon Society field guide to North American birds. Western region
Udvardy, Miklos D. F., 1919-
Revised edition, second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [1998]

Physical Description:
822 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 20 cm.
General Note:
"A Chanticleer Press edition."

Includes index.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL681 .U33 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The bestselling photographic field guide--a birding bible for more than four million enthusiasts.

Virtually every bird found in western North America is brought to life in this portable guide, an essential companion in the field and a staple in any birdwatcher's library. It features a durable vinyl binding and brilliant full-color photographic identification pictures arranged for quick access and definitive text, including information on the bird's voice, nesting habits, habitat, range, and interesting behaviors. Accompanying range maps; overhead flight silhouettes; sections on bird-watching, accidental species, and endangered birds make the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Birds the most comprehensive available.

Note: the Eastern Edition generally covers states east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western Edition covers the Rocky Mountain range and all the states to the west of it.

Author Notes

MIKLÓS D. F. UDVARDY (1919-1998) was born in Debrecen, Hungary. He received his doctorate in biology from the University of Debrecen in 1942. He has written more than a hundred papers on ornithology, biogeography, and vegetation classification.

JOHN FARRAND, JR. (1937-1994) studied at the University of Oklahoma and Louisiana State University. He served as Zoologist at the Smithsonian and was a curatorial assistant at the American Museum of Natural History.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

As with the first editions of these guides (The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, 1977), these titles are worth purchasing for their fine color photographs alone: 646 for the East, an increase of 60; 676 for the West, increased by 49. The authors are ornithologists of high stature. Their text reflects this. Nevertheless, the works still suffer from an organization that makes them harder to use than many modern field guides. First there are illustrative problems. Photographs are separate from the text. Many new guides have illustrations and text conveniently on facing pages. In addition, good, generalized paintings arguably better capture the essence of each species. Guides that use illustrations often depict more than the four or six birds shown on each page of the current guides' photograph sections. Like-looking birds are grouped together here, which means that for species with dissimilar looking sexes the photographs are not adjacent. Then there are textual problems. The first editions grouped the species accounts by habitat, a largely workable arrangement. In these new editions the text has the species in phylogenetic order, an improvement that is in line with most other guides. However, the photographs are arranged in generalized groupings, mostly by bird shape, sometimes by color within these. This means that photographs and text are not only separate but in two different kinds of sequence. A minor problem is indexing. Since the indexes are completely left-justified, with no indentations, they are harder to use than they could be. The species accounts are good and include for each bird, as before, name, description, voice, habitat, range, nesting, and general notes, the last full of interesting nuggets. Many guides do not include nesting information because it usually is not critical for identification purposes. The second editions have added helpful range maps. Other short sections of text--detailing parts of a bird, how to use the books, lists of rare (accidental) birds, silhouettes, a glossary, conservation status, and bird-watching tips--are well done. The new editions have many improvements, including new photographs, although those in the first editions were good to begin with. There is a great mass of useful information in these Audubon guides, but they remain hampered by awkward organization and format. They are best for browsing and as a supplement to better-structured guides. Most academic libraries should acquire these volumes in spite of the many flaws because of their reasonable price and the richness of their illustrations and accompanying text. H. T. Armistead; Thomas Jefferson University