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A Peterson Field Guide to Advanced Birding: Birding Challenges and How to Approach Them (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – March 1, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

Stumped by seemingly indistinguishable immature gulls covering the beach? Wonder whether the accipiter raiding your feeder is a female sharp-shinned hawk or a male Cooper's hawk? Well-known birder and author Kenn Kaufman presents some of North America's most challenging bird-identification conundrums in this guide for the advanced birder. Each chapter covers a group of difficult-to-identify or similar-looking birds, with analyses, tips, and drawings to aid in positive identification. Improve your birding skills and add more species to your life list with this excellent resource. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"Stumped by seemingly indistinguishable immature gulls covering the beach? Wonder whether the accipiter raiding your feeder is a female sharp-shinned hawk or a male Cooper's hawk? Well-known birder and author Kenn Kaufman presents some of North America's most challenging bird-identification conundrums in this guide for the advanced birder. Each chapter covers a group of difficult-to-identify or similar-looking birds, with analyses, tips, and drawings to aid in positive identification. Improve your birding skills and add more species to your life list with this excellent resource." Amazon.com

"Another winner in the esteemed series, this one telling how to solve the most challenging bird identification problems of North America. The guide covers the 35 most difficult groups of birds, explaining what the problems are in each group, and systematically showing how to solve them." Booknews, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Field Guides
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039597500X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395975008
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is appropriate for anyone who wants to improve his bird identification skills, whether he is already "advanced" or not. Kaufman does an excellent job detailing how to go about identifying birds in many problem groups, such as accipiters, dowitchers, and fall warblers. In some cases the information amounts to helpful hints that will make identification a little easier (did you know that the nail on a Greater Scaup's bill is substantially larger than that on a Lesser Scaup's?). In others, the information is a practical necessity if you ever plan on unraveling the species in question (if you're trying to identify a Thayer's Gull without this or some even more esoteric work, forget it).
My only quarrel with this book is that Kaufman sometimes places more emphasis on small field marks, and less on overall shape and other amorphous characteristics ("jizz," to the Brits), than I think appropriate. Otherwise, darned close to perfect.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for serious birders. It contains a great amount of important information that is well organized and helpful. This is a technical book that I would not recommend for the beginner, however, I found it practical in its structure and content.
I strongly recommend this book. I held back from awarding a full five stars because I felt that their illustrations lacked a little "life" although experienced birders will probably not find this to be a problem.
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Format: Paperback
I have quite a few birding books and have been birding for 30+ years. I feel that this book has been a key for improving my skills, more than any of the other books with the exception of the new Sibley guide and perhaps the old out of print "The Western Birdwatcher" by Zimmerman.

Kuaffman's books taught me some key points that I still employ when checking the scaups, dowitchers, gulls and looking for Western Sandpipers among other difficult identifications. His succinct descriptions and comparitive sketches make it much more possible to know how to identify a juvenile Western Sandpiper as opposed to a Semipalmated Sandpiper. I found that I would often go back to this book rather than the other shorebird books I had. Another key section in the book is the coverage of identification tips for the Terns. I had always found it difficult to separate Forster's and Common in the field despite the seemingly easy differences in field guides. This book helped out with good wing pattern comparisons and other marks that were not included in the guides. The pattern drawings of the Terns and Shorebirds alone are worth the cost of the book.

If you are ready to start on Iceland and Thayer's Gull or Rufous and Allen's Hummingbirds you can't go wrong by getting Kauffman's Advanced Birding.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great birding book with great tips in identification of difficult bird groups. Kenn is explaining the fine details of similar species emphasizing on fine differences in shape, plumage, and molt. The B & W figures help understanding the text however it'll be great if publishers can incorporate color figures for the next edition. This book really helped me clarifying some of my birds beyond all field guides available (eg. Yellow bellied sapsucker without any red on the head). This will definitely be a good addition for the library of a serious birder.
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