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Birds of North America and Greenland: (Princeton Illustrated Checklists) Paperback – October 30, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you have one or more of those oversized guides to North American birds and want something to carry into the field with you, this would be a good addition to your library."--Dan R. Kunkle, Wildlife Activist

About the Author

Norman Arlott is one of the world's leading bird artists. His books include "Birds of the West Indies" and the two-volume "Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan" (all Princeton).

Norman Arlott is one of the world's leading bird artists. His books include "Birds of the West Indies" and the two-volume "Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan" (all Princeton).
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Illustrated Checklists
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691151407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691151403
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By H. B. Estabrooks Jr. on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, let me say that this is a CHECKLIST, not an exhaustive field guide. But for people with moderate, or better, birding experience in North America, it's probably all you'll need when on foot, out away from your car (and your more cumbersome books). It's truly small and light enough to fit into a decent-sized pocket. The text, maps and pictures are, indeed, small. Having said that though, there are many other useful things in life that obligate those of us who qulaify for the "senior drink" at McDonald's to use reading glasses (e.g., pill bottles).

Beyond that, what is particularly appealing to me about this book are the illustrations. These are, arguably, the best bird paintings I've seen in any field guide; better than RTP and much better than Sibley. I would love to have these paintings in a larger format (book, posters, etc.)

All-in-all, a great pocket guide and well worth the price.
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Format: Paperback
The series of bird guides called "Illustrated Checklists" by Princeton University Press has tended to get poor reviews due to their multiple small drawings crammed onto a single page and the limited text which accompanies the art, and this latest volume is certainly no exception to the style. However, I really like the book just for that reason - it is very complete in terms of species covered, and does not take up much space in your shirt pocket or carry-on bag. To be honest when I first skimmed through this guide, I was struck by how much it reminded me of the earliest editions of Roger Tory Peterson's bird field guides in terms of the simplicity and clarity of the images, and the advantage of having each species of a group depicted in the same posture and orientation right next to each other on the same plate. On the negative side, the range maps are nearly useless since they are so small and stuffed onto the page down in the fold of the book. This should NOT be the only North American bird guide you own and study, but if you have a fair level of familiarity with these species beforehand, it is quite adequate to use in the field (just quit complaining and wear your reading glasses!) and you won't have to pay any excess baggage charges because you were over the weight limit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really useful Field Guide. I carry a NJ Field Guide most of the time that was color coded, but I find this soft cover version to be much more useful. It is organized to show all variations of a sub species on the same page, which allows you to quickly scan the differences to make a positive I.D. in the field. More practical that my State Guide color coding system, which often is inadequate in the field. It is a bit larger and heavier than my NJ Field Guide, but lighter than the equivalent Peterson, Sibley, National Geographic, Audobon, etc. guides and in my opinion, a more useful tool in the field. My back up at home is the Peterson Guides to North American Birds, but this Princeton Guide is what I travel with in the Field.
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Format: Paperback
All species of the birds of North American and Greenland north of Mexico are depicted here with rare craft and great beauty. The image/space harmony of the plates, where many similar species, genera, families are compared and contrasted, makes for visual delight; the artist/author surely was greatly influenced by Roger Tory Peterson's graphic elegance in the third and fourth editions of his Eastern field guides, unmatched by the artful blend of positive and negative shapes. This book is one for connoisseurs, people knowledgeable about the tradition of regional bird taxonomies who also appreciate images of birds that capture their essence--in ways that stoke the reader's desire to experience the real thing in nature.

A couple of quibbles. Arlott should have at least shown the mid-sized terns in flight, along with the common nighthawk; this should have been fairly easy to do without much violation to his image/space harmony. And a good editor should have caught the error that states the length of the bald eagle is 37 cm; of course its nearly two and a half times greater.

I found the complementary text and geographic range thumbnails just so, all linked to provide a lapidary, highly aesthetic, very savory experience.
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