- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: National Geographic; 1St Edition edition (November 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0792241754
- ISBN-13: 978-0792241751
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.9 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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National Geographic Complete Birds of North America: Companion to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America Hardcover – November 15, 2005
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*Starred Review* Birders rejoice! National Geographic has come through once again with a volume that libraries and bird enthusiasts will welcome to their shelves. Ornithologist and illustrator Alderfer is the general editor of this fine resource that, as he acknowledges, is too large to be a field guide, although many may throw it in their bags while birding. Described as a "companion to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America," the book pulls together a remarkable amount of information into what can only be described as one of the finest one-volume reference works ever published on North American birds.
The organization will be familiar to bird aficionados everywhere. Each of the 82 avian families is treated in an individual section that begins with a brief essay covering the special characteristics of the family in terms of structure, behavior, plumage, distribution, taxonomy, and conservation. Each genus is then taken in turn; 962 species in total are described. Species entries include outstanding illustrations of each distinctive phase, gender, variant, and subspecies where such illustrations will provide assistance in identification. Clear and updated distribution maps are included. Occasional sidebars offer information on differentiating similar species and subspecies as well as other interesting details about a particular bird or group of birds. Directly aimed at helping birders, the text for each species pays special attention to distinctive characteristics and offers helpful advice for identification. Comprehensiveness is excellent, and there is no reason to doubt the editor's claim that the book includes every resident and established variant through September 2005.
Alderfer and National Geographic have produced a volume that, though certainly not as comprehensive as Cornell University's Birds of North America [http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA], rivals and often surpasses the Audubon Society's Sibley Guide to Birds (Knopf, 2000). Enthusiastically recommended for most types of libraries and collections. Jeff Kosokoff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Jonathan Alderfer, a widely published author and field guide illustrator, is well known in the birding community for his expertise as a field ornithologist and his knowledge of North American birds. He has served as a general consultant and an art consultant for the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (4th edition) and is the Associate Editor of Birding, the magazine of the American Birding Association.
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Looking for a book I could carry in my cargo pants leg pocket I bought, "Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America. It's also to big to put in the leg pocket but you could pack it along. I'm not too thrilled with The Peterson book. It has a little over 40 pages in the back showing the ranges of the birds and yet their is a small map for each bird on the page where the bird is displayed which works just as well, however, it should do well to carry in my car or in a fanny pack. I have an Olympus SP820U camera with a 40x wide angle and telephoto lens, witch is great for taking pictures of birds maybe 30 yards away and using National Geographic book to identify. I then record everything in my' Rite in the Rain, all weather Birder's Journal. That works. I read some ratings that complain about how poorly the National Geographic book is bound. One said the pages come loose. I've just received my book so I can't comment on longevity but the binding seams normal to me. A hardcover book can be abused if you don't handle it properly like forcing it open. I don't think ill have a problem.