- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1 edition (February 9, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691116032
- ISBN-13: 978-0691116037
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hummingbirds of North America: The Photographic Guide Paperback – February 9, 2003
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Winner of the 2001 Best Bird Family Books, Worldtwitch
"The Photographic Guide. . . unites scholarship with unity, and it is outstanding for its photo art, which is both useful and an aesthetic triumph."--Birding
"Unlike most field guides that only include minimal text, the comprehensive accounts of each hummingbird species in this book are better studied as a reference rather than sorting through the abundant information in the field. Once birders are familiar with the book's format, however, it can become an invaluable field guide as well, and blank pages at the back of the book are handy for field notes. With thoroughly detailed text and large, beautiful photos, Hummingbirds of North America: The Photographic Guide lives up to its reputation as a rich visual guide to some of the most beautiful birds in North America. Any birder who professes to enjoy hummingbirds is missing out if they don't add this book to their birding library."--Melissa Mayntz, About.com
From the Back Cover
This book is the first ever, comprehensive photographic guide to the identification of all 24 species of hummingbirds to be seen as breeders or vagrants in North America..
For all their startling colours, the speed of hummingbird flight and the often drab coloration of females and immatures, make this group particularly difficult to deal with in the field. The simple field marks are often poorly lit, hard to spot, or simply not shown by any particular individual under observation. But accurate identification of these popular and beautiful birds brings both real satisfaction and a welcome challenge to most birders.
Steve Howell, a well-known and respected bird tour leader and author, has made a particular study of the finer points of hummingbird recognition and has specially chosen over 200 stunning photographs to complement the information given in his text. Some species merit as many as 14 photographs each. A detailed introduction covers the basics of hummingbird anatomy and plumage variation, allowing the observer to effectively focus on points that are of value in the field. New field marks are provided and old myths dispelled in this ground breaking and essential new guide.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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He explains taxonomy, treating the reader to a basic, but well explained overview of each genus. Hybridization & other factors affecting ID are also discussed. Each species is treated with an identification summary, taxonomy, status & distribution, range & field identification (which includes similar species, habitat, behavior, molt, etc).
The photos are excellent and are good enough to note necessary details for ID. I know some are not fans of photographic guides, but the fact is that we don't always see birds in the best light regardless of alpha optics. The book highlights the effect of light & distance in making an ID. He also includes detailed drawings to assist in determining details like tail shape, retrice shape/length, which I found very helpful.
I think this book is big bang for the buck!! I don't know that I would necessarily recommend it to a novice, but for anyone else, I would say this is a great addition to a birder's library!!
Note: THIS IS NOT A FIELD GUIDE & NOT MEANT TO BE!!!!
I strongly recommend it for anyone wishing to save time and gain a deeper knowledge about hummingbirds.
The descriptions are extensive including differences between male/female, adult/immature, hybrids and similar species.