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The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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[Yow] allows readers to share his discoveries and enjoy the surprises that each bird can bring. . . . [and this book] will help them gain a new appreciation for the unique characteristics that set shorebirds apart and make them so enticing to birders.--About.com
This book can be very funny, but it's way more. . . . [Yow's] well-chosen quotes from the masters add a smart heft to his clear and often fascinating narrative. His writing is as important as his watching. . . . This book has plucked me from my backyard perch . . . and dropped me into an oceanside beach chair to marvel.--Clyde Edgerton, Garden & Gun
You don't have to go coastal to fall in love with this literary compendium of birding, easily as "charming, witty, anecdotal, [and] readable" as its forefathers.--Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Yow ventures from his porch to take readers hunting for shorebirds . . . . [with] his folksy, humorous, and erudite style.--Publishers Weekly
Through enchanting descriptions and personal anecdotes, Yow makes characters--the villainous ruddy turnstone, the "drunken" reddish egret--out of his subjects, carefully highlighting each species' subtleties.--Audubon Editors' Choice
In this informative, chatty, anecdotal and eminently readable tome, Yow takes us season by season into the watery environment enjoyed by its feathered denizens.--The Rocky Mount Telegram
Audubon Editors' Choice
Witty, irreverent, and perennially entertaining, The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal is--like its author John Yow--a great companion for a ramble along the beach or into the tidal marsh. Yow mixes science, history, culture and his own experiences as an 'idiosyncratic' birder to create a delightfully readable peek into the lives of the Southeast's most familiar water birds.--Scott Weidensaul, author of Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding
Top Customer Reviews
Maybe I missed the irony in the term “armchair birder”: almost all the information here is quoted from other sources. Each of the forty or so species is the subject of a 7-8 page essay that follows the same plodding format: migration, breeding and defensive behaviours, sandwiched between banal details of the author’s half-hearted attempts to do some actual birdwatching himself, usually ending with some repetitive platitude about conservation.
The problem is that none of the behaviours listed in numbing detail are likely to be observed by the casual observer that the title implies. Far more practical would be details on what makes each species distinctive in its appearance, flight and feeding patterns. Instead, the author seems to throw up his hands over the difficulty in differentiating some of the species he has selected. I suppose this is in keeping with the “armchair” approach. And amazingly for a field guide, not only are the illustrations crude ink sketches, but several chapters lack any illustration at all! Having shelled out for what I thought might be a fun, practical bird guide, I admit my feathers feel ruffled. It would be better to go directly to the sources he admiringly quotes, such as Sibley, Peterson or even Audubon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A relaxing, enjoyable, and informative read. I laughed and learned some very interesting facts that your basic field guide doesn't have the space to cover. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gramma 7
It is witty, fun and I learned a little while I read it. It is about birds but in a fun way.Published on July 25, 2013 by Lydia Thompson
I don't know if she has finished it yet on not. she likes to read it at night when I watch a ball game.Published on February 25, 2013 by Ray