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Birder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk Paperback – October 21, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1st Ed. edition (October 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691123233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691123233
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Conservation of avian species is high on the priority list of many birders. Authored by a former National Bird Conservation director for the National Audubon Society, Birder’s Conservation Handbook is a unique guide to 100 of the most at-risk North American species. Written at a level accessible to the layperson, the species accounts were reviewed by 50 experts from many institutions. Introductory essays on topics such as birds as environmental indicators and conservation issues affecting birds offer background material. The taxonomically arranged entries, several pages in length, follow a standard format. A black-and-white illustration of the bird and a range map appear at the beginning of each entry. An overview of the species is followed by “Status and Distribution,” “Ecology,” “Threats,” “Conservation Action,” “Conservation Needs,” and “References” for additional reading. The selection of the 100 most threatened species consists of widely distributed species, such as the American woodcock, ferruginous hawk, Kentucky warbler, and rusty blackbird, as well as lesser-known birds, such as the bristle-thighed curlew, buff-breasted sandpiper, island scrub jay, and red-legged kittiwake. The “Conservation Action” section in each entry is one of the highlights of the book. For example, we learn that habitat restoration is important for conservation of many species, including the Bell’s vireo, California gnatcatcher, and red-headed woodpecker; slowing global warming may benefit such birds as the Florida scrub jay, mottled duck, and whooping crane; and restricting the use of lead shot could limit the decline of the California condor. The entries are followed by several appendixes containing tables of “North American Birds of Conservation Concern Listed by Different Agencies and Organizations,” “Hawaiian Birds of Conservation Concern and Extinct Species,” and “Mexican Government Official List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Bird Species” and a list of “Agencies and Organizations Involved in Bird Conservation.” A well-constructed subject index, using both common and scientific names, provides easy access to the contents. There is no other book specifically aimed at informing birders and researchers of threats to birds with suggestions of conservation actions to protect birds and their habitats. Highly recommended for public, academic, and special libraries. --Nancy Cannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"In addition to the species account and useful tips, Wells' book includes useful information on the status of many other species in the continental United States as well as Hawaii and Mexico, lists of environmental organizations and other useful links. This is a book you will want to use often. It is a welcome addition to bird conservation literature."--Tom Palmer, Lakeland Ledger

"An important summary of the state of bird conservation in North America....A reader-friendly and outstanding resource to bird conservation activity that could serve as a benchmark for many years to come. We strongly recommend this title."--Birding Community E-Bulletin

"If you love birds and birding, get this book....The Birder's Conservation Handbook should prove to be a valuable guide to us all toward a future where birds continue to be abundant and a source of inspiration to our society."--Mark S. Garland, Tigrina Times

"A no-nonsense guide to declining bird populations and what can be done to reverse their slide."--Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times

"A great resource for anyone interested in making a difference in the future of the continent's imperiled bird life."--Lexington Herald Leader

"A fine and needed reference."--Gerry Rising, Buffalo News

"A considerable amount of information about the perils facing some of our feathered friends, including the emperor goose, yellow-billed loon and rusty blackbird. Some may say conservation is for the birds, but would the world really be a better place without the elegance of the trumpeter swan?"--John Mark Eberhart, Kansas City Star

"[Wells] argues against gloom. New initiatives for saving wetlands or curbing energy benefit birds, and Wells calls for greener living as a vital act of bird conservation. He supports the theme by working through his list in a format that echoes a field guide. Each species gets an account packed with details of what's known about its problems and what conservationists are doing."--Science News

"There is no other book specifically aimed at informing birders and researchers of threats to birds with suggestions of conservation actions to protect birds and their habitats. Highly recommended."--Nancy Cannon, Booklist

"Birder's Conservation Handbook is chockablock full of information on 100 of North America's most vulnerable birds, and the references to back up their reported status."--Noreen O'Brien, Maine Coast Now

"This book details the conservation status of the 100 most threatened bird species in North America. Each concise account provides essential information on status and conservation, ecology, threats, conservation action, and conservation needs. This book is a valuable contribution to conservation literature, and one hopes it will find a wide readership."--J.C. Kricher, Choice

"A good summary of the biology and conservation status for 100 North American birds at risk. It also offers information on what we can do to lessen that risk."--Jim Williams, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"This book details the status of 100 of North America's rarest and most interesting birds. Each species receives two to six pages of authoritative and fully referenced text detailing its status and conservation needs, plus a line-drawing and detailed distribution map. This is both a vital conservation document and a fascinating book to dip into."--Steve Gantlett, Birding World

"This book is a major contribution to North American bird conservation. It should be in the libraries of serious birders, ornithologists, conservation and wildlife biologists, naturalists, and wildlife photographers. Academic and larger public libraries also will want to add the book to their collections. Most highly recommended."--International Hawkwatcher

"This book presents both an overview of bird conservation in North America and a clear game plan for each species, and gives birder¹s hope that their own grandchildren will be able to enjoy the abundance and diversity birds that we have the privilege of seeing today. The prognosis is not good, however, unless drastic changes are made in our resource consumption, pesticide use, and basic priorities. What is good for birds is good for people, and the proverbial canary in the coal mine does hold true. This book is a fundamental resource for birders and ornithologists, and should be owned by just about anyone."--Bridget J. M. Stutchbury, Journal of Field Ornithology

"I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in bird and habitat conservation."--Rob Warnock, Blue Jay

"Conservation professionals and birders will find this to be a valuable resource."--C.R., Southeastern Naturalist

"Ordinary people need to get involved. Birder's Conservation Handbook provides the details for what is needed for these at risk species. Buy it. Read it. And put the knowledge to good use."--Wildlife Activist

"The author has succeeded in producing a useful guide to some of the most threatened bird species in North America while at the same time providing specific recommendations for action and suggestions on how to become involved in the effort to protect this great natural resource."--Charles F. Thompson, Ibis

"This is an extremely useful and informative, if rather depressing, book and I would recommend it on those grounds alone."--Eva Durance, Journal of the British Columbia Field Ornithologists

More About the Author

Dr. Jeff Wells is the Senior Scientist for the Boreal Songbird Initiative. During his time at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and as the Audubon Society's National Conservation Director, Dr. Wells earned a reputation as one of the nation's leading bird experts and conservation biologists. He is now dedicated to understanding and protecting the land where North America's birds are born and raised, the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska.

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By Victoria Anderson on February 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really good birder book that my daughter, the ornithologist, wanted. She said it's just what she wanted and is glad to have this in her collection of birder books.
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