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The Ardent Birder: On the Craft of Birdwatching Paperback – October 1, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A collection of 50 short essays on the common experiences of avid, intermediate-level bird watchers.

Includes 75 charming line drawings that cleverly complement the text.

Sections include Leading Better Club Trips; Gear; and Our Day, Our Year.

About the Author

TODD NEWBERRY’s writing has appeared in Omnivore, The Antioch Review, The North American Review, and Three Penny Review. He joined the University of California, Santa Cruz, at its heady beginning, and as an emeritus professor still teaches there —at last, about birds. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

The artist GENE HOLTAN has devoted a long life to the visual arts, painting and drawing in media ranging from paper to canvas to pottery to children ’s books. After many years in Santa Cruz, he now lives in Oakland, California, with what appear to be the same birds.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580087159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580087155
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. E. Wright on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
The hard core will find little new in this book, but intermediate birders looking to improve their skills will enjoy and profit from the short essays. The author's style is easy and pleasant, reminding me a bit of Milton White's low-key (if not low-affect!) "Listen, the Red-eyed Vireo," a work Newberry cites several times. The final section, on leading successful bird trips, is likely to be the most practically useful (perhaps even to more advanced birders), but the sections on field craft can also be read with profit by the ambitious and the befuddled. The central section's "philosophical interlude" is no less well written, but not as incisive as, say, Levine's "Lifebirds" or Alan Powers's fine "Birdtalk."

I was particularly pleased to see the American Birding Association and its publications praised and recommended.

A good book for birders on the cusp of advancement!
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Format: Paperback
This book will be a future classic for birders. I read this book twice within a few days. I never do this! I started birding a few months ago and reached number 99 yesterday. Todd's book has been a great help for me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for anyone getting into birding. There's a certain etiquette and sensibility to birding that you might not otherwise know about, which can make your experience much more worthwhile. It's also nice to know what good behavior is when visiting another culture, and you might think of the habitat of birds in this way. The book is pleasure to read, even if you never get out there and look, but you will be inspired to do just that after reading this "future classic" as a fellow reviewer predicted - and which I second wholeheartedly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the result of decades of birding by a biologist with a poet's sensibility. It's warm, witty, intelligent, and useful. The drawings are charming, and they lead you happily through each of Newberry's short subject headings. The chapter on bird walks should be required reading in bird circles.

The book is not a guide, but it's helpful in many ways guides are not. It develops a big picture about, simply, how to bird. You'll learn small, surprising facts, and think big, unexpected thoughts. I just finished reading Sibley's "Birding Basics" and I feel I learned more from "The Ardent Birder." There are no charts or graphs--but a connection with what the very first birders must have been up to, long before the advent of standardized birding guides. It's a book about looking, experiencing, and enjoying the critters in the air around us.
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