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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2004
If you want to know the current status of any bird in Texas you need this book! Good range maps make it possible look at individual counties.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2004
Whatever your general guide for the identification of birds is while in Texas you need this this companion book. Current information as to the status of Texas birdlife written by two premier Texas birders. A percentage of the profits are given to the Texas Ornithological Society.
Jack Clinton Eitniear
Editor/Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society
[...]
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2004
The new TOS Handbook is an indispensable reference to the current status of Texas' avifauna. The range maps are excellent and show seasonal changes in gray scale. Anyone interested in birding in Texas will want a copy of this book. It is not a field guide, but a reference on status and distribution.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2014
I believe that the bad reviews are from people expecting this to be a field guide, which it is definitely NOT. If you throw out the Appendixes, all but 16 pages of this book are devoted to what they call an "Annotated List of Species." This simply tells you where and when each species is found, complete with range map. What few photographs it has aren't very helpful. For instance, there is a picture of a Whooping Crane, but the picture does not reference the page number for the text entry for Whooping Crane. Likewise, the text for Whooping Crane does not reference the photo plate number, nor does the index. In fact, the pages that include the photo plates do not have page numbers at all. Also, the index does not list Whooping Crane, but it does list it's scientific name, Grus americana. My point being that the photos are very incidental to the project, almost an afterthought. And there is a complete disconnect between the photos and the text. Honestly, I don't know why they even bothered with the photographs if they're not going to reference them. Also, there is no natural history information on any species. What I mean by natural history is there is nothing in this book about breeding, nesting, diet, etc. You will not learn much about the birds, themselves, from this book, only where and when they occur in Texas.

In my opinion, the term "Handbook" is potentially misleading. This is an Annotated List of Species as I described above and pretty much nothing else. If that's what you're looking for, it can actually be very useful. But it is a secondary reference in that you must already be able to identify the species either through experience or some other source. This is a supplement to a field guide, not the actual field guide itself. It will be a big help to experienced birders. Less so for novices.

I give this four stars based on what it is. I am withholding a star based on incomplete index listings and the disconnect between text and photo entries. As helpful as it is, there is definitely room for improvement.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2008
For Texas birders this book is a must. Ranges are much more reliable than any other guide available. Is great for travelling to an area to see what you might be able to see or to back something you have found.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2014
It wasn't what I expected. I think it suits a professional birder. It covered very few of the common birds I am interested in.
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on January 21, 2015
The authoritative text for breeding data on Texas birds, newly updated and annotated. The Kindle version adds the ability to search for topics - awesome!
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on August 11, 2014
This book is a valuable resource for intermediate to advanced birders written by extremely well respected birders in Texas.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2014
Was disappointed. Not nearly as good a bird book as The Audubon Society by Knopf.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2014
As a bird photographer, taking a photo workshop in South Texas was definitely on my 'bucket list'. I wish I had found this book before my trip to read up on the new species I would encounter. Great resource.
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