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Comment: Book is in very good condition with minor wear to cover, tight binding. Text is clean of any markings, writing, or highlighting. Ex-library book with typical markings and labels.
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The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore Hardcover – May 1, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Entertaining . . . . A good read, this title is appropriate for generalists interested in natural history, the wildlife of the southeastern U.S. shore, and birders.--Library Journal



[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

Review

Infusing stories, observations, and musings, Yow makes it easy to learn about these fascinating birds. This book might well lead 'armchair birders' to become active birders, and eventually, conservationists.--Janet Lembke, author of Why the Cat Purrs: How We Relate to Other Species and Why It Matters



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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807835617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807835616
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ken Kardash on August 21, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not an avid birder, but the glowing reviews encouraged me to purchase this book to learn more about birds I might see on a trip to coastal Virginia. By the time I’d waded though it, my interest had been shot down as surely as by a poacher’s shotgun.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a casual birder--not just a backyard birder--I do take birdwatching trips too. I've recently been spending a lot of time in Florida, full of birds and birding habitats unfamiliar to me in the Midwest. This book was not only a great discussion of birds ranging from herons, kingfishers and plovers, but also gave me a list of places to visit in Florida to see more birds. This was a great read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not to redefine "armchair birding," but I thoroughly enjoyed many pleasurable winter hours sitting near a warm fire in a comfortable chair reading John Yow's most recent book on shore birds of the southeast. His essays recount his adventures to find and identify his favorite coastal birds. His well spun narratives combine humor, insights and facts about the birds and their behavior. Armchair Birder Goes Coastal inspires me to leave the comfort of the chair in search of my own local birds.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I did not read the book, its recipient emailed her delight in the book and its timely arrival for her birthday. It was something she could share with her husband - they are both avid bird watchers.The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read and very entertaining. It is the pierfect source for us folks who are somewhat interested in knowing about the birds we see on the beaches and coasts but are not committed "birders." Yow puts the reader at ease in learning about our feathered friends of the sea. It is as if one is sitting in a beach chair, covered in sun block, wearing a floppy hat, and having a quiet conversation with him. Come to think of it, the beach is a great place to read this book.
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