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The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America (Stokes Field Guides) Paperback – October 25, 2010


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The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America (Stokes Field Guides) + National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition + National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America
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Product Details

  • Series: Stokes Field Guides
  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Pap/Com Or edition (October 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316010502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316010504
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Birders worldwide will eagerly welcome this comprehensive and all-inclusive new field guide from Donald and Lillian Stokes. Brimming with 3400 stunning photographs illustrating 854 species, this is unequivocally the most spectacular compendium of North American bird identification photographs ever assembled between two covers. ...this monumental volume offers birders the most up-to-date information on field identification of North American birds currently available. ...[it] significantly resets the bar for North America field guides."

Wayne Petersen, Massachusetts Audubon Society

"This is by far the most comprehensive North American field guide I have in my possession. [It] is so chock-full of quality photos, complete descriptions, maps and so forth...There are so many nice modern features that make this field guide extremely useful and user-friendly. I could go on and on...Yet another quality product from the Stokes, the endearing Ma & Pa of the birding world."—Robert Mortensen, Idaho Birding Blog

"[I]f one is going to own a photographic field guide for the birds of North America, the Stokes now have the most complete book on the market...The list of each species subspecies and hybrids is a wonderful touch; I can't think of any other field guide that ever included such information...you can't go wrong with this guide."—Cory Finger, 10,000 Birds Blog

"This is a glorious book put together with loving attention to detail...a superb, good-value field guide."—Mark Cocker, BBC Wildlife

"The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America is an easy-to-use, superbly designed field guide that is detailed enough to be useful for birders of all experience levels. Highly recommended, this field guide is sure to be a delightful addition to any birder's library."—About.com Birding Guide

About the Author

Don and Lillian Stokes are widely recognized as America's foremost authorities on birds and nature. Their books include the bestselling Stokes Field Guide to Birds, the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds, the Stokes Nature Guides, and the Stokes Backyard Nature Books. They live in New Hampshire and Georgia.

More About the Author

Don and Lillian Stokes are widely recognized as America's foremost authorities on birds and nature. Their books include the bestselling Stokes Field Guide to Birds, the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds, the Stokes Nature Guides, and the Stokes Backyard Nature Books. They live in New Hampshire and Georgia.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 138 customer reviews
This book was very detailed with high quality pictures.
KBS
Most birders will want this reasonably priced book for the 3400 photos alone; more and better photos than any other general birding field guide.
Paul M. Roberts
Everyone has their favorite and folks will go to the matt arguing which is best.
D. Blankenship

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By YoungTJ on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
As one who has nearly two entire bookcases full of bird books, I believe it's fair to say that I'm not easily impressed; however, the Stokeses have done what I did not think was possible: blow me away with a field guide to birds. What I love best about the new Stokes Field Guide is the photography, of which there is an exceptional amount (more than in any other field guide) that is, furthermore, of eye-poppingly outstanding quality. I'd call it a visual smorgasbord--particularly the section on warblers!
And, as usual, the Stokeses provide a wealth of information in a sensible, uncluttered layout. The guide is comprehensive and fully up-to-date with newly split species (e.g. Pacific Wren, formerly a subspecies of Winter Wren); subspecies (if any) for each species; and current range maps that reflect breeding/winter range extensions and retractions.
As if all that weren't enough, a CD with the sounds of 150 species is enclosed to get the reader started learning to identify birds by ear. Bravo, Don and Lillian!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By imatwicker on October 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received this book and was mesmerized. Wonderful photos and descriptions. Being a bird nerd, I found that the book is too large and heavy (almost 3 pounds)for carrying in the field. I will keep it in my vehicle for an excellent reference source.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jane Alexander on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't know how the Stokes' do all that they do but this newest guide from them is the most comprehensive of all. The pictures are excellent showing plumage variation from different regions, seasonal differences, and the juveniles. A bonus CD comes with the book of the calls and songs of 150 common birds. This is a big field guide at almost 800 pages but it is an important addition to any birder's library.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Roberts on October 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America is a jewel. Most birders will want this reasonably priced book for the 3400 photos alone; more and better photos than any other general birding field guide. The photos are also larger and generally in habitat or in flight and appear to include all the subspecies. The text is as good as the photos. Stokes' offers substantially more text on identification of each species (and subspecies) than any other general guide. They also focus increased attention on identification by shape, since that is often what birders see best. Whatever level of birding experience one has, you can use this book as a key reference for the variety of plumages found in the field.

I have not had time to read and use all the book yet; primarily the raptor, shorebird and gull sections, which amaze me for their extensiveness and substance. For example, there are four pages devoted to Red-tailed Hawk, with 23 photos, 12 in flight and 11 perched, covering the subspecies. There are two pages with 9 photos of Swainson's Hawk, and a full page on Roadside Hawk. I haven't even mentioned the downloadable CD of 600 bird songs of 150 common birds, which could be worth the price of the book alone. (Have not used this yet.)

My criticisms so far are few. For raptors and shorebirds in particular, I would like to see a range for length where there are dramatic differences within a species (e.g. accipiters and Dunlin) that can cause confusion with other species. I'd also like to see wingspread ranges for birds often seen best in flight, such as hawks, cranes, etc.

This is not a Stokes' pocket guide. You can't have 3400+ quality photographs produced at an adequate size and substantial text in a book with the same dimensions as the original Peterson.
Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Pete on July 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a beginner but grew up with an uncle who was an avid, lifelong birder. He always had a Peterson field guide and I never had trouble identifying unknown birds with it. I think it's because it was grouped by the "looks" of birds, and also it was an Eastern guide which narrows down (dramatically) the choices.

I bought the Stokes guide after reading the reviews here and I have NOT found it easy AT ALL for identifying birds of which I am not familiar. It is grouped by "families" of birds (not by "looks") so I feel I need to know what family an unknown bird is in in order to find it (Catch-22).

I am writing this review because I just came back on Amazon to check out the latest offerings by Peterson and Sibley (the latter recommended by my birder uncle). He also recommended an "Eastern" edition to cut down on the info noise.

Now, I don't want this review to sound too negative (I gave it 4 stars) because I think this Stokes book will be a wonderful addition to the Peterson or Sibley that I anticipate purchasing. Once I identify the bird I can look it up in the Stokes and see the beautiful "real" photographs of the bird.

For me:

(1) Peterson or Sibley first (the latter I have never used; again, just my birder uncle's recommendation);

(2) then the Stokes.

I hope this helps someone.

Happy birding!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bev on October 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This new guide shows years of meticulous research and great care in selecting and enhancing photographs. It will meet the needs of birders regardless of their level of expertise. The organization of the text is consistent throughout. I appreciate that each entry begins with shape. The many great photos are not cluttered with arrows or text and in many cases show both adult and immature plumages. The flight pictures are a great help as so often that is where you see a bird. While it is true that the book is too heavy to carry in the field, I find that in the field it is best to jot down observations and then check the guide afterward, so keeping it available in the car is not a problem. The Stokes have done the birding world a great service in producing a wonderful guide.
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