Item description for Smithsonian Handbooks: Birds of New England (Smithsonian Handbooks) by Fred Alsop, DK Publishing & Dorling Kindersley Publishing...
Overview Published in association with America's preeminent authority, the Smithsonian Institution. Authoritative text, crystal-clear photography, and a systematic approach make the Smithsonian Handbook to Birds of New England the most comprehensive and concise pocket guide to the birds of the region. Packed with hundreds of full-color photographs and artworks, this handbook paints a vivid portrait of nearly 500 species from herons to hummingbirds. Each full-page profile combines a precise description, annotated photographs, and artworks to highlight the key field marks of the species in each plumage. Similar species are shown, and distinguishing characteristics are noted.
Publishers Description The most comprehensive series of field guides to North American birds ever. This impressive collection highlights birds from all regions of the United States including localized areas such as the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest and New England. Whether birding in the foothills of New England, the prairies of the Midwest, or the beaches of Florida, Smithsonian Handbooks are the most comprehensive field guides to North American birds on the market. Looking for the Great Blue Heron or the Piping Plover while visiting the Great Lakes? Desperate to find the rare Long Billed Curlew or the Marbled Godwit during a hike in the Cascade Mountains? There's no need to look any further Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution, these amazing guides are an absolute staple for any birder or amateur ornithologist. Each local species receives its own profile, along with descriptions of habitats and annotated photographs that highlight specific characteristics and other points of interest. Take bird watching to new heights
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Reviews - What do customers think about Smithsonian Handbooks: Birds of New England (Smithsonian Handbooks)?
Too much Nov 4, 2006
It's probably my own fault but this book is a bit over my head. I just wanted a book to identify birds I might see in my area of NH or New England and this book has lots of birds I am sure I will never come close to seeing! If you are a serious birder and are on the lookout for rare birds stopping by during migration you would like this book, but many of them don't live in New England at all. I guess thats why the title has the word "of" underlined. Now I know. Descriptions are thorough and each bird gets it's own entire page full of information and the birds description sometimes helps more than the picture as some of the pictures are just not that good. There is a little box on each page that lists "similar birds" which helps in identification, but I just wish the pictures were more clear.
flawless guide to New England's feathered friends Aug 8, 2003
There are approximately 920 species of birds known to visit North America, and 302 of them are documented visitors to New England. All 302 are covered here, as well as 179 occasional species. This compact yet comprehensive book begins with 28 pages of introduction, including instructions on using the book, identifying birds and field technique.
Profiles are one page per species, and the quantity and quality of the information on each page is spectacular. Each entry contains the family and species name; the length,wingspan and weight of a typical specimen; plumage, habitat and migration information; and descriptive paragraphs about the species' song, behavior, breeding, nesting, population and conservation as well as a distribution map (with migratory information); and pictorial depictions of the species' flight pattern and nest identification. Also included is a scaled silhouette and at least one color photograph. (More pictures are included if the male/female/adolescents/seasonal plumage differ in appearance.) There are blank spaces to note the date, time and location of a sighting. After these 302 entries, smaller entries describe each of 179 bird species that are considered vagrant or casual visitors to the region, and contain the name, a color picture, a distribution map and the average length of that specimen. Entries are organized taxonomically, beginning with birds that do NOT perch and sing, and continuing with those that DO. The book concludes with a glossary (though nowhere does it define 'altricial' -- meaning born helpless, a word used frequently in the entries), a good index, and acknowledgments, including picture credits.
I'm an old reference librarian, and I have a shelf full of flawed naturalist guides, so I'm not easily impressed -- but this guide is spectacular. If you have any interest in the birds of New England, this should be the first guide you get.