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Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior, Volume 1 Paperback – April 30, 1983


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Product Details

  • Series: Stokes Nature Guides
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reprint edition (April 30, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316817252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316817257
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This first volume in the Stokes Nature Guide series offers detailed descriptions of species-specific wild bird behavior. The twenty-five birds covered here include the Canada goose, the tree swallow, the mockingbird, the eastern kingbird, the common flicker, and the American gold finch. For an example of the kind of detail this book contains, one needs only to turn to the section of pigeons; it contains a chart showing which behaviors occur during which months, an illustrated section on visual and audio displays as well as their meanings, territory, courtship, nest-building and breeding, plumage, seasonal movement, and feeder behavior. This is not a field guide designed for identifying species, but is more of a course in animal behavior.

Stokes's passion for bird watching is contagious; you'll never regard any of these species in the same manner after reading this. No other book I've read has broken down bird behavior by species to such an engrossing degree. The social nature of starlings and their roosting parties contrasts with the solitary habits of the American kestrel. The playful acrobatics of the chickadee and its complex song contrast with the more mysterious behavior of the robin.

Because each volume of this series contains birds without regard to grouping (i.e. songbirds, or birds of prey, or aquatic birds), readers must first check with the table of contents to see whether a specific bird is included.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is part of a three volume set. Each volume covers 25 birds. The bird behaviors are described in detail and make fascinating reading. The illustrations are in black and white so this will not help you identify birds. Volume 2 contains more of the common backyard birds but if you want complete information you need to buy the set. The best books I've seen on bird behavior. Easy to read and covers all aspects of bird behavior.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Stokes Guides to Bird Behavior are great little references for backyard bird-watching. You may have to wander a little further than your backyard to observe some of these species, but the birds in your neighborhood are probably in one of the three Stokes volumes. Each Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior features 25 common North American bird species. For each species, the authors explain visual displays, auditory displays, territory courtship, nest-building, breeding, plumage and seasonal movement, and provide a calendar so that you can clearly see when these behaviors occur. I wouldn't take any generalizations about bird behavior too seriously because many birds are very individual, and their behaviors and social customs vary accordingly. But these books will give you a good basis for understanding and predicting the behavior of your avian neighbors. You'll enjoy watching your little feathered friends all the more with the added understanding the Stokes Guides provide.

My one complaint about these books is that the bird species are not in any particular order, and neither are they indexed. If you look at the table of contents you will see that the species are not in alphabetical or any other order, and there is no sense to which birds are in which volume or where they are placed in the book. In other words, you have to read through the entire list of 25 species in the table of contents, in each book, to locate the species you want. I have no explanation for this, and I made an index for the books myself to save me from the frustration involved every time I want to look up a species. That is the reason I gave the book(s) 4 stars instead of 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Leuchtenburg on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
A three volume set, with short sections on about 25 birds in each volume. There is no order to the birds (nor index), but the intent was to cover the familiar birds. Actually, this is a perfect companion to my next birding goal, to focus on a deeper understanding of birds that I have already seen (rather than just count new species.) Already, I have learned that individual Downies can be identified by the pattern at the back of their head, only female Mallards make the familiar quack and pigeons are an ideal bird to begin observing behavior. Lots of other tid bits. I am looking forward to dipping into these books frequently.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
50 birds are discussed in here, all of them are very common to North America.
I enjoy watching birds, but have never studied them. It's fun to read up about the common pigeon, and then see the interesting behaviors on your next walk through downtown.
If you do pick up this book, I recommend listening to some of the calls on allaboutbirds(dot)org of the birds you read about, so you know if a certain species is near on your next outing.
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