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Birds of the Salton Sea: Status, Biogeography, and Ecology Hardcover – August 19, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Astonishing new book. . . . Whether this book stands as a farewell to this rich haven or a rallying cry of support is yet to be seen, but its case and timing make it a classic."--David Lukas, "Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2003

From the Inside Flap

"The Salton Sea has a fascinating history and is one of the most important inland seas for water birds of North America. [This book] is an important contribution to our understanding of the distribution and abundance of birds on our continent."—Nils Warnock, Point Reyes Bird Observatory

"The Salton Sea environment, a jewel of human-altered ecosystems, shimmers amidst the otherwise harsh and arid landscape of the Colorado Desert. Offering a rich mosaic of diverse avian habitats that attract phenomenal numbers of land and waterbirds to its productive saline shores, agricultural fields, freshwater wetlands, desert woodlands, and riparian-lined drainages, the Salton Sink represents one of the most important regions for bird populations in western North America. In Birds of the Salton Sea, authors Patten, McCaskie, and Unitt have combined their extensive individual expertise, a collaboration based on experience that spans nearly half a century, to produce this comprehensive tome on the avifauna of the Salton Sink. This important volume is a must for anyone interested in birds and their habitats in western North America."—Kathy C. Molina, Dickey Bird Collection, University of California, Los Angeles

"Patten, McCaskie, and Unitt—three of California’s elite field ornithologists—have crafted a definitive book on the avifauna of the Salton Sea, an otherworldly, saline water body that provides a crucial nexus in the Pacific Flyway for millions of birds. Tracing the geologic and human forces that have shaped this highly productive desert wetland from the Pleistocene to the present, they reveal the secrets of the intricate comings and goings of birds reliant on this now-threatened ecosystem. Stitching together the details of the seasonal occurrence patterns, habitat needs, biogeographic affinities, and taxonomic relationships of the region’s incredibly diverse bird life, they highlight the richness, importance, and need for protection of one of the West’s irreplaceable natural treasures."—Dave Shuford, Point Reyes Bird Observatory

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (August 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520235932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520235939
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you ever wanted to bird at the Salton Sea, this book is a must. The book doesn't have photos to identify the species, so further research is needed. The book does give a great insight on what birds have been spotted at the Salton Sea, when, and in what vicinity.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent reference for anyone interested in the birds of the Salton Sea area. Very well written and researched, there is a ton of information to be found here. One reviewer lamented the lack of good illustrations, but the illustrations are not the reason you'll want to buy this book--it's not intended to be a field guide. It's a work on status and distribution, and on that score it's superb.
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Format: Hardcover
There is much information here specific to the amazing variety of birds to be seen at the bizarre world of the Salton Sea in Southern California. It is a very detailed volume, listing actual occurrence dates of some of the rarer species, along with specific locations, and times of year to be spotted. The main problem though, is the lack of plates. There are just 71 total plates, all black and white photographs- very poor ones at that. In other words, you need to bring along another guidebook if you are not completely familiar with all 400 plus species that may be found there!

The book does have a nice general background of the area and how it was formed, along with a great section chronicling the biogeography of the land. A few pages are dedicated to the controversies surrounding the ecological management of the area, which has burdened local politics for nearly a century.
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