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The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – April 24, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-As other guides have appeared in recent years, birders have latched on to their favorites, but none is aimed so directly at the fledgling birder as this one. The 300 species most likely to be encountered in North America are described on a page each ("adult" field guides usually list several related species per spread), accompanied by a color photo of the bird, two if males and females have different plumage. Notes on habitat and what to look for (markings) and listen for (songs, calls) will help birders confirm sightings. The taxonomic arrangement, covering from waterfowl to finches, is similar to many field guides, so it will be easy for novices to graduate from this title to more extensive guides. The list of resources includes organizations, field guides, audio guides, periodicals, and, in a nod to the times, apps. A great title for both school and public libraries.--Teresa R. Faust, Vermont Department of Libraries, Berlin α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From the Back Cover

Peterson Field Guides
Covering 300 of the most common birds in all of the United States and Canada, "The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America" is loaded with color photographs, drawings showing typical behaviors, range maps, an easy-to-use checklist, fun facts, and authoritative information about each bird, its vocalizations, and its habitat.
While other field guides might overwhelm kids who are new to birding, "The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America" was created with help from kids. Bill Thompson's own son and daughter and their elementary school classes helped select the content. Kid tested, kid approved!

[au photo]
BILL THOMPSON III is the editor of "Bird Watcher's Digest "and the author of "Identifying and Feeding Birds," "Hummingbirds and Butterflies," and "Identify Yourself." Bill is a highly sought-after speaker and trip leader on the birding festival circuit. He lives with his wife and their two children on eighty birdy acres in Ohio.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Series: Peterson Field Guides
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547440219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547440217
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

BILL THOMPSON III is the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest and the author of the Peterson Field Guide Young Birder's Guide to Birds of Eastern North America and Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges. He lives with his wife, author and illustrator Julie Zickefoose, and their two children in Ohio.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is an excellent guide which is easy to follow. My only complaint is that is not clear what order the birds are listed in - it is not alphabetical, or by color, but just seems random, which means you have to page through the entire book to try to find a bird. There must be some system but they do not say anywhere what the system is. I have looked in the "how to use this book" section and read the foreward etc, but it doesn't seem to say anywhere.
The maps are especially useful, about where and when the bird is found, and the photos are very clear.
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I've been reading field guides to birds for about fifty years. Bill Thompson's "Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America" is, without question, the best I've seen for beginning birders. I've purchased one for my granddaughter and another for a family of young nieces. I'm quite sure that they are not the last.

When Bill wrote the book, he got plenty of input from his son Liam, daughter Phoebe, and her 5th grade class. It shows. There is plenty of information for interested folks of all ages, but it is carefully written so as to neither patronize young readers, nor to be too far over their heads. I read my granddaughter's copy before handing it over, and there was a lot that was news to this old birder.

There are about three hundred species included, with identifying marks, information about habits, range maps and a variety of photographs, in addition to drawings by his wife, the wildlife artist Julie Zickefoose. The book is readable, portable, durable, and complete enough to satisfy most bird lovers who are interested in the birds in their backyards and local woods. It might require a bit of supplementation when the Spring and Fall migrants are moving, but in most situations it will get the job done. More importantly, it entertains as well as informs.

The author is editor of "Bird Watcher's Digest," and leads birding trips all over the world. He, Julie and the kids, are well-known in birding venues. He also plays guitar, sings and writes for The Rain Crows, a band popular in Eastern Ohio and in birding sites across America.

Disclaimer: the Thompson family are friends, but I was not asked to write this review. If I hadn't liked the book, I would simply not have written anything.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This a beautiful book! Gave it to my 10 year old grandson and he is enjoying it. Just enought information, but not too much. Each page has some interesting tidbit about the bird species. Quite complete, not childish. Great job!
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Format: Paperback
The young birder's guide covers 300 birds for the continent. Though I
have 300 US birds in my life list, there are birds here I have never
found. So it is more of an advnced beginner book. Not necessarily for
children only. And well beyond back yard birder. They layout is ideal,
with a page for each bird. A color picture and a black and white
drawing of behavior. Seasonal plumage appears sometimes in pictures but often only in text description.

Well done! Need more of these simple guides. Many guides have too much
info. I just want to ID the bird with minimal marks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for the 11-year old daughter of a woman who was hanging wallpaper for us. I was showing her all the birds in our yard and she was very interested and picked up on them quickly. I ordered the book, had it in 2 days with Amazon Prime, and gave it to her the next time she came over with her mother. I also handed her a pack of those little colored Post-It tabs that you use to show someone where to sign a document. I told her she could mark the pages of the ones she liked. As she went through the book she would say "OHHHHHHHHHH!!!" at each bird that caught her eye and would pull out a tab and stick it on the page. A few more pages and another "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!". When she left there were about 25 tabs sticking out of the top of the book. I think she'll have it a long time. Probably the best investment I've ever made.
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I kept the book on the kitchen table, where we could see the birds at our feeders while we ate. Each time the 7 year old asked, "What's that bird?" I'd find the page for him and then he would take it from there. By the end of the week, he knew all our birds (chickadees, titmice, sparrows, hummers, cardinals, blue jays, nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens), and the "Wow" facts about them. He also often picked up the book to find other birds, and when he would swear to me he'd just seen an eagle, I'd smile and enjoy his newfound interest in my lifelong hobby.
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The kids were able to look up a bird easily. They liked the "wow" facts given for each bird. (We did find that American Tree Sparrows were not included!) Range maps on each page are helpful. This guide covers 300 species from all over the country. I found the binding rather stiff; it's hard to keep the book open.
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I really like this guide. It is simple but has enough information to be useful. It has neat tips which adds to the interest factor. The photos are clear and catch the special qualities of each species. The size of the book , light and compact, makes it great for hikes and birding trips. It even fits in a baggie, which makes it a nice addition to a canoe trip.There is nothing babyish about this book. It has solid information and technique that can be used by anyone. I highly recommend it.
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