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4.7 out of 5 stars15
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on February 21, 2015
The best book available on the topic from one of the leading experts. Not everyone is interested in pelagic birds, but if you are then this book is a must-have.
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on November 26, 2014
This is an essential guide for any serious North American birder (and it is also highly recommended for beginner birders). Pelagic seabirds can be challenging - they are often seen from a far distance while struggling to focus binoculars while bouncing around on a small boat. This book makes a group of birds that was previously accessible only to VERY advanced birders, within reach of everyone. And highly advanced birders will most certainly be the FIRST people to buy this book as it is packed with volumes and volumes of absolutely solid information that will be of GREAT value to even the MOST experienced birder on the continent. The book gives amazingly thorough information on how to identify each species not only by their plumage, but also by their behavior, way of flying, etc. "Flight quick and erratic with deep jerky wingbeats and no or little gliding" is exactly the kind of information one needs, to correctly identify these seabirds, yet which cannot be found in the more general North American field guides due to space issues. In short, this book is an essential complement to either of the two top North American field guides detailed at . The book is full of a myriad photos that assist with ID. And, in the author's usual vein, the text also represents a formidable ornithological work - you'll learn not only how to identify these birds, but about their biology too. It's one of my "MUST BUY" books if you're a North American birder or if you plan to do even one American pelagic - and the text is so informative that its well worth having on your shelf even if you're based outside the region.
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on August 12, 2014
This is my first Kindle book and I will never buy another iBook again. I was going on a cruise in Alaska and I bought the same book in iBook format. My wife asked me about what I was looking at while at the airport on the way out. She told me that I'll be at sea and no connection for the internet or ibook and on the plane I wouldn't be able to look it over also. I bought this and downloaded as the plane was boarding it would have been fun to watch the drama while in the plane and I hoping some more people were late in boarding. I was a hit on the cruise as I had it on my iPad and other birders could look from their seats and see the pictures on my iPad.

Yes the pictures were right on and Mr. Howell presents some interesting reading on the distribution, flight paths and actual flying patterns of each bird. The flying pattern helped in nailing birds that were too shadowed or at a distant to visually ID.

I will buying more birding book in Kindle format for future trips now that I see how it works when there no reception. My wife buys nothing but Kindle books and she travels a lot and now I know she reads a lot on the planes.
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on June 18, 2014
This book on pelagics is quite good, about as comprehensive as you can get, and really helps with identifying, and learning about, pelagic birds of North America. Great book to get to study prior to any offshore excursion or pelagic trip (like off Hatteras), so you'll have a much better idea of what you'll see and when. Really helps in distinguishing between difficult IDs like storm-petrels or jaegers. Photos up the ying-yang, both close-up and more distant, both of which are useful.
Please realize that this in no way is a "field guide", unless you perhaps are 8 feet tall and routinely carry 200 pound loads in your super-sized pockets. Sticking this book in your carry-on luggage may make the difference between "too much weight" and okay, but lugging it around in your carry-on backpack is not a mistake you'll make twice. Oof.
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on December 28, 2013
This book is put together perfectly. The information pictures maps and organization perfect! The only thing to note is it is large. In most cases a guide like this would not be practical in the field as it is large but you will probably be using it on a boat instead of hiking so you could bring it with you without much problem.
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on December 25, 2013
I bought this book to study prior to a trip to Alaska and it proved an invaluable resource while scoping pelagic birds from the back of a Holland Cruise ship as we sailed across the Gulf of Alaska and down the inside passage to Vancouver.

In depth review of important field marks for each species and a very comprehensive overview of pelagic birding challenges,pitfalls etc. Highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to increase their pelagic birding skills.
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on October 11, 2013
This book is another gem by Howell along with Molt in NA birds and Gulls of NA. As usual complete, definitive and readable.
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on September 25, 2013
Great piece of work, can't wait to use it in the field. This family of birds is very foreign to me but hopefully not for long.
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on July 11, 2013
Tubenoses, the collective name for the birds who are the subject of this guide, live and thrive in a challenging environment, the open ocean. Equally challenging is the task of identifying these birds. From the deck of a pitching boat, looking at distant birds which usually are basic black, white and grey, the typical birdwatcher would find the task of identification of these species to be almost impossible. No longer. The arrival of this photographic guide, with excellent images contributed by some of the most experienced and skillful seabird photographers, makes that task much less daunting. There is no substitute for "time in the field", but this book distills many years of experience into a readable and usable guide to identification of these challenging birds. Furthermore, the cataloguing of a wealth of data about these species, organized into useful tables and well-written species accounts, makes the book invaluable for the land-locked bird enthusiast as well. Seabird physiology, life cycles, and conservation are all covered in the text. This book will be in the library of every serious birdwatcher, and will be used for many years to come. (This is excerpted from my review in Choice, the review journal of the American Library Association.)
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on July 10, 2013
A great book, very useful and infoativw.great descriptions and images. A book well worth purchasing. As a newbie it has come in very handy.
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