Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America Vinyl Bound – April 14, 2005
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
World-renowned birder Kenn Kaufman addresses a long-running paradox of bird field guides with his Focus Guide. While beginning birdwatchers prefer photographic guides like those by Donald Stokes, the physical traits that make identification easier are more readily discerned in the idealized paintings of illustrative guides like those by Roger Tory Peterson and National Geographic. Kaufman's groundbreaking work combines the best of both approaches by digitally enhancing photographic images to show the characteristics that are sometimes not apparent in photographs.
Some other distinguishing features include:
- The guide is organized by bird family groupings rather than strict taxonomic classification; this is a feature that will appeal especially to beginners.
- Text descriptions and range maps for each species appear on the page facing the plate of respective bird images.
- Important field marks are highlighted.
- Color-coded tabs identify each grouping of birds (waders, warblers, sparrows, etc.) for quick thumb indexing.
From Publishers Weekly
Every spring, tens of thousands of bird-watchers migrate across the country in search of vireos, towhees, and violet-crowned hummingbirds; these birders can be recognized by their binoculars, their respect for nature and their frequent stillness and near-silence. By next spring, many of them will be toting this guide. Author and illustrator Kaufman (Lives of North American Birds) has long been one of the birdwatching community's stars. His colorful, practical and very portable book aims to become the new standard in the field. The book is small enough for a big jacket pocket, and can be held in one hand; color-coded tags divide its 16 sections on 16 classes of birds ("Ducks, Geese, Swans," "Chicken-Like Birds," "Medium-Sized Land Birds," "Flycatchers," etc.). Each left-hand page describes three to six related birds, with range maps for each, color-coded for season and frequency; brief phrases give most species' song, voice or call-note. The corresponding right-hand page offers bright, high-resolution color pictures of the same birds, on a perch or in flight. Short inserts help explain, for example, how to distinguish among many similar sparrows. Kaufman's guide is revolutionary in that it's the first to use digitally altered photographs (more than 2,000 of them) rather than unretouched photos or paintings - in practice the computerized images look like extremely detailed paintings. Though he pays more attention to common birds, Kaufman is happy to cover rare visitors and migrants: here are a brace of robins, but also bluethroat (restricted to northwest Alaska, and "hard to see when not singing"), and 16 kinds of (introduced) parrots. The guide may not be the most comprehensive available, and its laconic descriptions deliberately avoid facts that won't assist identification. But Kaufman makes up for those limits with compactness, great design and ease of use - especially for beginners: an appendix leads new birders to further resources (some of them online). Major ad/promo; 22-city author tour. (Sept. 22)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's really easy for my daughter to see a bird, glance over the first groups of pictures in the front index, pick the group that it looks like, then find the colored section in the book & find the exact bird! There isn't a ton of info no the birds, mostly just region info, food, call, etc--but pictures include males, females & juveniles--which is very nice--the maps are also very clear, so it's easy to see if it might be in your area.
We love this book & highly recommend it to beginners who don't know much about birds & their groups, etc!
For further information on the birds, we also bought the DK (Dorling Kindersley) Guide to Birds of North America--we bought the Eastern, but they also make a Western. It's 24.99 at the book store, but you can get it for less than 10 here on amazon--it goes into great detail about each bird, has tons of color pictures of the birds, their nests, eggs, babies, etc--very educational--we will use it to learn more about the birds once we spot them in our Kaufman guide.
We also ordered, on a whim & because it was only 83 cents on amazon, The Complete Birdhouse Book--The Easy Guide to Attracting Nesting Birds by Donald & Lillian Stokes. When it arrived I was overjoyed with how wonderful this book is--it is full color, talks in-depth about the bird life-cycle with full color pictures & specifically what different birds need in a home--and thus, how to construct it! What beginner ever knew the hole size, hole to floor measurement & inside dimensions & total height were so important--not to mention where it is placed & what type of things to leave in your yard for nesting material! Also, how to control predators & pests & other useful information. Full color pictures again & highly educational---a good companion for anyone wanting to attract birds to their yard!
However, in the field I rely more heavily on the National Geographic guide, supplemented first by one of the compact Sibley guides and then a Peterson guide. This new work takes that third place in my own field reference hierarchy, relegating the older Peterson guides to the status of at-home reference.
The illustrations are worth noting. According to the title page, the guide contains "more than 2,000 images digitally edited by the author and based on photos by more than 80 top photographers". I happen to believe that Kaufman has overcome the shortcomings of typical photographic guides; the illustrations render birds that are at once life-like and representative. I'm only now forming first impressions, but I was surprised by the absence of in-flight images for a couple of gull species.
Beginners (and others) will appreciate the introductory essay and the summaries preceding some families or other groups (gulls, true seabirds, and warblers, for example).