Cover image for Hummingbirds of North America : the photographic guide
Hummingbirds of North America : the photographic guide
Howell, Steve N. G.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Academic Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
ix, 219 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL696.A558 H69 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book is the first ever, comprehensive photographic guide to the identification of all 24 species of hummingbirds to be seen as breeders or vagrants in North America.

For all their startling colors, the speed of hummingbird flight and the often drab coloration of females and immatures make this group especially difficult to deal with in the field. The simple field marks are often poorly lit, hard to spot, or simply not shown by any particular individual under observation. But accurate identification of these popular and beautiful birds brings both real satisfaction and a welcome challenge to most birders.

Steve Howell, a well-known and respected bird tour leader and author, has made a particular study of the finer points of hummingbird recognition and has specially chosen over 200 stunning photographs to complement the information given in his text. Some species feature as many as 14 photographs each. A detailed introduction covers the basics of hummingbird anatomy and plumage variation, allowing the observer to effectively focus on points that are of value in the field. New field marks are provided and old myths dispelled in this ground breaking and essential new guide.

Key Features?

Contains up to 14 full-color photos for each species, with detailed photo captions
Detailed introduction covers fundamentals of hummingbird identification, including discussions of anatomy, plumage variation, and molt
Comprehensive species accounts describe all plumages, compare similar species in depth, and discuss voice, displays, behavior, geographic range, and seasonal distribution
Emphasizes difficult to identify plumages, such as females and immatures
Features 200 stunning photos picked specifically to show identification criteria

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The 24 species of North American hummingbirds are a distinctive and diverse group, with many admirers among the birding public. Although easily recognized as "hummingbirds," species identification of these small, fast birds is often a considerable challenge, particularly with juveniles and female birds. Howell's comprehensive guide, with more than 200 excellent photographic close-ups, illustrates all of the specific plumage variations by sex and age. Also discussed and shown, when appropriate, are variations related to geographic forms, hybridization, molt, and abnormal pigmentation. The text reviews identification characteristics of each species in detail, with particular emphasis on voice, behavior, and field appearance. (Howell is a well-known expert on the field identification of birds.) Other helpful information includes range maps, tail-pattern drawings, and references. With its good introductory chapter, this book easily can guide observers enjoying or working with these avian gems. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. C. Leck emeritus, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Table of Contents

List of Species Coveredp. vi
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Introductionp. 1
How To Use The Bookp. 35
Species Accountsp. 39
Abbreviations and Terminologyp. 210
Literature Citedp. 212
Indexp. 217