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Bird Tracks & Sign : A Guide to North American Species Paperback – November 1, 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

Bird Tracks & Sign : A Guide to North American Species + Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species + Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811726967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811726962
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

NOBA award-winning author Mark Elbroch has contributed to numerous research projects in North America, including the capturing and collaring of cougars and Glacier National Park's bear sign survey. He lives in Vermont.

Diane Boretos, a wetlands biologist, is a senior scientist with an environmental consulting service.

Eleanor Marks is an avid birder, veteran tracker, and writer. She lives in Massachusetts.

More About the Author

NOBA award-winning author Mark Elbroch has contributed to numerous research projects in North America, from fishers to black bears. He lives in Wyoming where he runs the Teton Cougar Project. He maintains the website http://wildlifetrackers.com/.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
The photography is stunning as well.
Ricardo Sierra
Seldom does a book live up to its description; this one went way beyond.
L. Musick
This book clues me in on the bird that matches those signs.
Virginia Allain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Peter V. Tamas on November 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a guide to identifying bird families or individual species by clues they leave behind of their presence. The title may appear, at first glance, to be a typo. It is not. As the authors explain on the first page: "Sign refers to all the possible signs of their passing: sign of feeding, gathering material for nesting, the nests or cavity holes themselves, pellets, droppings, feathers lost during molt, or kill sites."
This book appears to be packed with too much information for a beginner to digest. But its actually quite good for anyone who is interested in birds and would use such a book more than once or twice. The information is organized by types of sign - tracks, feathers, feeding signs, droppings, nests and roosts, etc., rather than by species. This allows you to read about whichever subject you're interested in and to take in the basics behind, say, interpreting signs of feeding, rather than getting bogged down by details specific to a certain species.

Due to the nature of the topic, the squeamish may not enjoy all the pictures. However, the pictures are certainly not as gruesome as they could have been.
In the introduction, one of the authors writes: "real tracking is bigger than one lifetime. Tracking, as our ancestors knew it, was a body of knowledge handed down from generation to generation. Each person added to this knowledge..." The authors clearly see themselves as a continuation if this process, referring to and giving credit to other excellent books, such a Rezendes' "Tracking and the Art of Seeing".
To my knowledge, this is the only book like this specific to birds. I feel this would be an excellent gift idea for that hard-to-buy-for bird watcher.
petervtamas@mail.com
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kim Cabrera on December 10, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a tracker, I find this book to be an invaluable reference. I have long thought that there was a need for this type of book as bird tracks have not been the focus of past tracking books. I find the illustrations and photos clearly laid out and easy to use to see details. There are sections on feathers, nests, feeding signs, skulls, scat, and more. I highly recommend this book to all trackers and naturalists and anyone who wants to be more aware of the world of nature around them. No other skill can give you that awareness of the natural world. This book will help you on your way to being a better tracker.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Collaborative written by Mark Elbroch and Elanor Marks, Bird Tracks & Sign: A Guide To North American Species is a gorgeous birder's guide filled cover to cover with full-color photography on thick, glossy, sturdy paper. From bird trails and feathers to pellets and nest, bird signs of every shap, size and format are presented, described, and lavishly illustrated. Portable, authoritative, and "user friendly", Bird Tracks & Sings is very highly recommended for North American birdwatchers and aspiring ornithologists of all ages and skill levels.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Raychelle Harris on December 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm a beginner birder and tracker - When I first saw this book, I thought, fat chance, I probably can't even identify the birds' feathers or tracks because I'm still so new to the birding and tracking worlds. Still, I kept it around just in case - and when I found a feather or a track, I'd look up it in the book. It would take me less than a few minutes to discover the owner of the feather and tracks! That's thanks to the handy quick reference chart on the inside cover of the book! I now know I can go out and have fun with this book!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Keith Badger on December 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been an educator for 17 years and have followed over the years the growing concern of our childrens lack of attention (ADD; ADHD etc..), the failures of education itself to ignite passion within students, and the rather alarming growth of cynicism toward the future within these young people whom we teach. This all sits side-by-side with our cultures diisconnect to the natural world, where more and more time is spent in front of electronic media, and little time spent within forms of human interaction that have been part of our species evolutionary development. Animal Tracking, one of the most ancient of skills, is emerging on the scientific, as well as educational scenes, with a renewal of promise to not only enhance and develop that human birthright(and capacity)called awareness, but is an excellent means for reconnecting us to the natural world. Mark Elboch's book on Bird Track and Sign (as well as his soon to be released Animal Track and Sign) is a wealth of information. It will set the standard for the Art and Science of Tracking, Ecology and Human Awareness Training. If your looking for an aid to reconnecting to the natural world, or if you would love to develop the capacity for sharing the natural world with your children - buy this book, bend the pages often, and be prepared to be opened to the mystery waiting for you just outside your door!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Sierra on October 8, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Call me cynical but in the last twenty years I have seen field guide publishers recylce the same old info over and over again, just adding a new tabulature or color photos. The text is minimal and always leaves me wanting more.
Not so with this book! Mark and Eleanor have created something that goes well beyond any field guide currently on the market concerning birds! This stuff is new and never before seen except for experienced birders in the field. It is easy to use, fun to use and it will help anyone learn more about birds, their habits and sign. The photography is stunning as well.
I cannot over-recommend this book. Go get it, now!
Ricardo Sierra
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