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National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region, Revised Edition Paperback – September 27, 1994
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Covering 508 bird species found east of the Rocky Mountains, the revised second edition takes into account changes in taxonomy and uses improved photography. At the heart of the guide is a set of 646 well-made color photographs whose subjects are organized by easily discerned characteristics (e.g., "chicken-like marsh birds," such as the clapper rail; "gull-like birds," such as the kittiwake; and "upright-perching water birds," such as the common murre). The photographs are then keyed to textual descriptions of the birds' appearance, range and habitat, nesting characteristics, and behavior. Easy to use and handsomely produced, this belongs in every eastern birdwatcher's collection. --Gregory McNamee
From the Inside Flap
Introduced in 1977 and completely revised in 1994, these bestselling photographic field guides have become the birding bibles of more than four million enthusiasts. Virtually every bird found in North America is brought to life in a full-color photograph and with textual information on the bird's voice, nesting habits, habitat, range, and interesting behaviors. Accompanying range maps; overhead flight silhouettes; sections on bird-watching, accidental species, and endangered birds make these the most comprehensive field guides to birds available.
Note: the Eastern Edition generally covers states east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western Edition covers the Rocky Mountain range and all the states to the west of it.
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Top Customer Reviews
Being published by the National Audubon Society, you'd expect this field guide to be top-notch, one developed and tested by thousands of birders. Indeed, the photos are very nice, full color and in 'native habitat'. The descriptions are pretty complete - with size, key things to look for, song, hapitat. There's a little map showing range, and the range is also described as well.
The problem is with the layout. All of the pictures are at the front of the book - put into groups by bird type, three to a page. Often there's only one photo of a bird, even though they look different during different years of life or seasons. If you see something that seems it might be right, now you have to go flipping through many pages to track down the actual *information* on that bird. Does it even live where you're looking? Are there other similar birds it might be instead? What are those key features you're supposed to be watching for? By the time you figure any of this out, the bird is probably back in hiding.
It seems with their knowledge of birders and how birders operate, they'd have arranged this book in an easier-to-use fashion. While this is a nice book to have for its lovely pictures, it's not what I grab when I need to bring a field book with me on a trip.
The pics, for the most part, are awesome. Sure, there's some where you might wish the photos were taken at a better angle. But having been a bird photographer for years, I understand taking "the shot" because that's your only shot!
My only concern with this latest copy is that it appears that the quality of the paper has diminished. It's harder to turn pages because the paper is thinner. My copy hasn't yet been exposed to the elements but we'll see how it holds up.
Maybe I'm premature in my concerns about the quality. But either way, if you love birds, you'll love this book