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The Book of North American Birds Hardcover – August 1, 1990

4.8 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This attractive book, the product of 16 writers and 22 artists, consists of over 450 page-length species accounts which feature a high-quality color painting, a half-page anecdotal narrative essay, a range map, a drawing, plus small sections detailing the bird's identification, habitat, and food. Smaller accounts (three per page) for 117 scarcer birds follow the full-page ones. Appended is a 40-page section with thumbnail sketches of the best birding areas in the United States and Canada. This is not a reference book for seasoned birders, but will serve admirably as an informal source of selected, basic information on 600 species, the ones most likely to be seen in North America. Recommended for public libraries.
- Henry T. Armistead, Thomas Jefferson Univ. Lib., Philadelphia
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest (August 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895773511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895773517
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.6 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This guide is wonderful! Each bird is clearly pictured in full color while a map shows its range. A three-paragraph description of each bird is supplemented by recognition points, habitat, nest description, and the bird's food preferences.
Although each bird gets a full page, the types are grouped so one can flip through looking at similar birds. The groupings include birds of prey, large land birds, smaller open country birds, smaller woodland birds, ducklike birds, gull-like birds, large wading birds, and shorebirds.
Reader's Digest maintains its reputation for producing colorful, useful books for the home reference library.
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Format: Hardcover
This was my "beginner" book, but has also remained my favorite guide to identify my local feathered friends.Large and full colour pictures of the species allowed me to match my sightings simply by flipping through. Later as I became more fluent in typing my birds the I found the index easy to use. Descriptions of the individual birds were informative, but also entertaining with tidbits about each that were not strickly scientific. There are aspects of this guide that I have even yet to put to use, but hope to: the traveler's guide to birding sites of North America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not a "birder" but my family and I spend a lot of time outdoors. We enjoy a varity of birds in our respective back yards. This book has helped us to identify several species native to Arkansas. The book is well written and the pictures are large and in color. Each species has an entire page with a description of their nesting habits and what they normally eat. This is very helpful to ensure that we have the proper areas and/or birdhouses to keep attracting the birds we most enjoy. I am sure we will be reading in this book for years to come!
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Format: Paperback
The illustrations are what make this book unique. Stories that go along with each description are really interesting and provide great insight. The only issue I have with the book is that there doesn't seem to be a quick way to go about looking up a bird that you have sighted. Despite this drawback, it's still worth purchasing.
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By meme on March 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other than it is heavy, I really like the book. Each bird has been put in a catagory such as, "Birds of Prey, Large Land Birds, Smaller Open Country Birds, Ducklike Birds, Shorebirds, etc. Pictures are large and very good resolution. The cover is a little used but overall I recommend the seller.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was surprised to come upon a Reader's Digest book on the wondrous subject of birds. I ordered it, and when it arrived, I was very pleased with what I saw. In its 576 pages, the book covers the birds of North America very well. The book has a large print-type, making reading easier, and very beautiful pictures of the various birds covered. I also like the fact that it is a good length. Most field guides that I have read have been a mere 200 to 300 pages, but here we have 576 pages of birds in all their glory! Although the book was published 21 years ago (1990), it is fresh, vibrant, and stunning in every way. I highly recommend this book, both for the detailed write-ups on the various species covered, and for the wonderful pictures throughout.
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Format: Hardcover
Even though this book was published in 1990,and new editions were published in 2005 and 2012; it ,and the later editions,are excellent books. about the the Birds of North America.To choose a book about birds for yourself ,or for someone else is not an easy task.There are a plethora of books to choose from.I have been a avid Birder for over 20 years and have seen about 600 different speciesi n North AAmerica,,and they are just about all in this book.I have over 1200 different bird books in my library,and that is just a smidgen of what has been published over the years.Some are like this book,but there are many other types,such as bird art,identification,where to find birds,bird behavior,nesting,books that deal with bird families,complete books about one species,etc.,etc.However,lets talk about this book;
This book is really for someone just getting started in the hobby of Birdwatching or as it is usually referred to as Birding.most birds are covered on a complete page.There is a fairly large colored and illustration of the bird,,a map called a range map,which shows the summer,year-round and winter areas where the bird can be found.Then there is a fairly good,but concise explanation about the bird.The book will certainly cover any bird one might find or even read about in North America,except for the relatively few rare birds that happen to show up for a variety of reasons,often because of storms.
This is a fairly large book and meant to be kept at home,at school,or in a library.In other words,it would be too large and heavy to carry around when looking for birds.
If you are looking for a Bird book to carry around ,they are called Field Guides and you should consider one by Peterson,or by Kaufman.,or The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all let me start out saying I bought this as a gift and I haven't been able to give it to the recipient yet. But....I have this book myself. In fact I've had it since it first came out in print. It's a great book on north American birds and is my family's go to book, when they see a bird they are unfamiliar with. Even my teenage grandsons know where the book is and have come here (we live in different towns) and pulled out the book to get information about a bird they've seen. The book is easy to read, has good information about habitat, nesting habits, diets etc. of birds. I was so happy, when I found the book on Amazon and was able to order it, as a gift for my friend. If you want a nice book without all the scientific names, this is the one for you.
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