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Butterflies through Binoculars: The West A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America (Glassberg Field Guide Series) Paperback – July 26, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0195106695 ISBN-10: 0195106695

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Butterflies through Binoculars: The West A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America (Glassberg Field Guide Series) + Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Field Guides)
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Product Details

  • Series: Glassberg Field Guide Series
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195106695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195106695
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Books like these could open the world of butterflies to much more of the general public...Overall, I like this guide's arrangement...Binoculars supplies descriptions and, most important, scientific names and range maps on pages that face the photographs, which saves a lot of page turning...Lastly, Butterflies Through Binoculars has a wonderful section on conservation." -- Paul R. Ehrlich, Science


"Bird watching has been popular for many years, but now it's time for butterfly watching to take the spotlight! With the help of this 'Butterflies Through Binoculars' this latest trend in nature study is made understandable through text and photographs."--Y.E.S. Quarterly


"Prayer answered! Six hundred twenty-five color photographs of butterflies in the wild! Color range maps that show where each species occurs, and when! Descriptions, punctuated with the diagnostic field marks in boldface! Timelines of peak flight abundance! And a quirky author's voice throughout that communicates Glassberg's infectious love of his subject, something that makes this more than a field guide: it's a field companion."--Bird Watcher's Digest


"The best way to find out if a nature guide is any good is to test it in the field....Our test of Butterflies through Binoculars: The West out in the laboratory of Big Bend National Park proved that it's an exceptionally useful field guide. Those who seek to know the kind of butterflies flitting over hill and dale will want to own a copy."--Gary Clark, Houston Chronicle


About the Author


Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg is President of the North American Butterfly Association and editor of American Butterflies magazine.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is the best field guide that I have ever seen for butterflies.
David B Richman
It's great to have photos, field marks, maps, and there are pictures that show variations among different species.
M. Naylor
This book was recommended by a person who was experienced in butterfly identification.
Cynthia A. Andrews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne Homeyer on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This field guide is designed to encourage sight identification of butterflies by using field marks and habitat clues, just like birdwatchers do. Jeffrey Glassberg's photographs reveal butterflies in their natural settings as they are actually seen. Glassberg is a superb photographer and he groups similar butterflies on the same page, making comparison and contrast easier. Glassberg has provided all information on facing pages: range map and text on the left, photos on the right. There is no need to flip to another page. The introductory text contains use information on conservation, habitat, binoculars, photography, and tips for improving sight identification. Glassberg's mission, as founder and President of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), has been to promote the nonconsumptive enjoyment of butterflies by the public. This field guide, and its companion Butterflies through Binoculars: the East, do the job.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne Homeyer on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This field guide is designed to encourage sight identification of butterflies by using field marks and habitat clues, much as birdwatchers do. Jeffrey Glassberg's photographs reveal butterflies in their natural settings as they are actually seen. Glassberg is a superb photographer and he groups similar butterflies on the same page, making comparison and contrast easier. Glassberg has provided all information on facing pages: range map and text on the left, photos on the right. There is no need to flip to another page. The introductory text contains useful information on conservation issues, habitat, photography and tips for improving field skills and sight identification. Glassberg's mission, as founder and President of the North American Butterfly Association, has been to promote the nonconsumptive enjoyment of butterflies by the public. This field guide, and its companion Butterflies through Binouclars: the East, do the job.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David B Richman on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A while back I wrote a review of the Peterson Series "Field Guide to Western Butterflies", which I had used in the field during the 4th of July Butterfly Count in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico. I gave it five stars as I thought it the best field guide to actually use in the field. The rival Audubon guide to butterflies left me cold because it simply does not show enough detail for identifying hard species. I thus dismissed photo guides because of this bad experience, thinking that artists did better work in illustrating these beautiful insects. I was wrong! There is a way to produce a photo guide to butterflies that actually works and Jeffrey Glassberg has done it! This is the best field guide that I have ever seen for butterflies. The photos, mostly taken by the author, are simply superb! The best thing that Glassberg has done is to standardize the photos so you can compare the same characters. This is a major innovation and must certainly have taken a lot of time. The placing of maps and descriptions opposite the photographic plates is also a major change from the other popular guides. It sure saves a lot of page flipping!

I am often laughed at because I still use a 35 mm SLR for photographing insects, but Glassberg's photos (all with a 35 mm SLR) show why it still may pay. Digitals are, I know, the coming thing and will soon overtake SLRs, but most digitals still cannot match an old Nikon FM2n with a 55 mm macro or an Olympus with a 90 mm macro, both of which I use.

Glassberg's remarks about how much space digital shots take up (5 MB roughly for a decent high resolution) are probably dated because of gigabyte technology which allows as much as 200 shots at a time, even at high resolution.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "cherryjewels" on July 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
WOW. Great book much better than any other I have seen. The descriptions between different frittillaries is amazing. Down to the small missing line that distinguishes great spangled from nokomis. Did I know that before I got the book? DUH.. NO!!! The best thing about this book is it shows SIDE view AND a TOP view... Many times you only see or photo either top or side. I was very frustrated with other books. I intend to recommend this book on my website theoutdoorgirls.com
Cherry Emerson, Ph.D.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Forrester on March 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a beginner, I was able to pick up this book and start identifying butterflies in the field right away. The pictures are great and make it very easy to see the key features. The descriptions are clear and the additional information on range, habitats, and seasons very helpful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lenny VINE VOICE on December 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A quick summary for anyone who doesn't want to read my ramblings. This is a great identification reference. It is intended only as an identification guide. And as that, it is excellent. But with so many butterflies described, the casual butterfly observers may want a smaller book / chart with only local species for easier lookup (perhaps in addition).

First, it is important to know what this is. It is a field guide to aid in identification of butterflies and skippers, with very good photos for that end. The photos may not be artistically pleasing to everyone, but they are taken in such a way to best present the butterfly for identification. Unique identification characteristics of individual species are pointed out when they will aid in the identification. Size and geographical distribution is also given. On each photo the author also tells you how large the photo is compared to a real specimen.

This is not a butterfly reference book. You will not find detailed information about the butterflies in this book. Instead, you will be able to identify what you find, and then use the name to look up more details on that butterfly in another book / the Internet.

This is also not a coffee table book with large glossy photos of butterflies. Due to the sheer number of species described in the book, each photo is rather small, and as mentioned earlier, may not be artistically pleasing to everyone. Little attention is paid to the background, since that is not very important to identification. When the plant the butterfly frequents is important to the identification, it will be mentioned in the text.

The sheer number of butterflies in this guide can be overwhelming to the casual observer. I don't know if I'll ever see more than 1% to 2% of the butterflies listed here.
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