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A Field Guide to Western Birds: A Completely New Guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico (Peterson Field Guides) Hardcover – May 15, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is outstanding. It relies on illustrations rather than photographs to show markings and other details used to ID birds in the field. I find that photos are often sub-standard, not showing characters essential for identifying birds due to the position of the bird, markings of the individual chosen for inclusion in the book, etc.
In this book each entry includes a bird's common and scientific names, a brief physical description of the body and coloration, a drawing(s) of the bird, a brief description of habitats where they are likely to be seen, a blip about their geographic distribution, notes on their song, and reference to similar species (if any). The entry also refers the reader to a map number that shows the summer and winter ranges for each bird.
This is "the bird book" to have for western birds for the novice and experienced birder alike. If you've never had much luck figuring out which birds you are looking at try this book.
5 stars only because that's the highest rating possible.
Note: if you travel much throughout the USA, you ought to pick up the Peterson Guide to Eastern Birds as well -- it is the sister book to this one. With both of those books in hand you will be in good birding shape.
Alan Holyoak, Dept of Biology, Manchester College, IN
I started using Peterson guides in 1950 and have bought every update since. Never once have I failed to find a bird which I saw clearly in these books. I would not think of birding anywhere in the U. S. without a Peterson guide in my pocket.
The range maps are located at the back of the book instead of with the text, which is a minor drawback. But the key to the book's success is Peterson's paintings, which are precise and accurate in a way which no other painter has equaled and no photographer can hope to achieve.
Peterson is tops! Accept no substitutes!
With Peterson's guide that's not a worry. I have yet to find a bird that did not very closely match the artwork, which could be another book in itself (coffee table-type book).
The only exceptions to this would be in the instance of birds like Red-tailed Hawks, who have a great variety of coloration. I'm buying another copy because I've lost my first. Lament, chagrin, because I've marked my observations in the old book (back of the book). The maps are another excellent feature which have helped me determine exactly what I'm looking at.
With this book and a pair of good binoculars, a little patience, the whole of the Pacific flyway will be opened up to you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Peterson's Field Guide Western Birds replaces a lost copy of another Peterson Field Guide for Western Birds. Read morePublished 4 days ago by hffletch
Good buy! This is an older version, but has the nice glossy pages with tons of pictures.Published 2 months ago by Jessica
Replaced a book that I had lost. It was a better book than the one I lost.Published 8 months ago by Robert Dell
The first copy of this book was missing, in that the package had split open. It was promptly replaced. I keep it near my window overlooking the bird feeders. Read morePublished 10 months ago by lester f. lomax
We looked for this book for relatives in stores and could not find it anywhere! We have had this book for years and loved it! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Wendi Vandenberg
The standard. I had to have a new one because the one I use out in the field was getting pretty bad. This one stays in the bookshelfPublished 18 months ago by Douglas O. Fuqua