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Peterson Reference Guides to Gulls of the Americas Hardcover – June 13, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The front inside flap says the guide "...brings together identification criteria for the 36 species of gulls that occur in the Americas - 22 that breed in North America, 10 that breed in South America, and another 4 that have occurred as visitors from the Old World. The 1,160 photographs were selected to show a representative range of plumages..."
I'm far from knowing much about gull identification, that is why I purchased this book, and so I won't weigh in on how accurate this book is. For everyone who has a birder's library, this should be your next addition. And at $23.10 at amazon.com, it is a steal!
And, maybe by this winter I will have enough time to study this book so I can actually identify some gulls !!
This book is not a field guide, it is truly a reference guide as the title clearly states. It is a large format hardcover (with dust jacket) book printed on high quality glossy paper. This is a book that you study at home and maybe keep in the car as a reference.
In summary it is a worthy addition to any birders library and a book that would make its namesake (that is Roger not Rodger) Tory Peterson proud.
There is a very useful introductory section, and the authors encourage their readers to study the introduction before moving on to the rest of the book, but I suspect many readers will find their eyes glazing over before they get very far. The main part of the book is divided into a 251 page section of photos and a 192 page section of species accounts. The photos do a good job of illustrating the various plumages of the gulls, but the photos are small, and aren't really a lot of fun to look at. The species accounts are thorough and clearly written but rather dry. The photos and species accounts are separate, and it can be awkward to go back and forth between them. I expect this book will come in handy when I come across gulls that are difficult to identify, but I wish the people who put together the book had made it more user-friendly.
Yes, it is a dense book. Learning Gulls is not like learning the birds at your feeder, and I cannot believe someone gave this book one star just because they could not understand it. Gulls are a bit beyond my abilities to, but shouldn't that make us thankful for such an amazing reference? The amount of work that went into this must have been incredible. And I was already a fan of Mr. Howell based on his excellent and ground-breaking Mexico books - both the field guide and the birding guide.
In short - this is a MUST for the shelf of any really serious birder.
I won't repeat what others have already said, but I will simply state that in my humble opinion the one star review should be removed. That reviewer admits to making a mistake in purchasing the wrong kind of book. Rather than returning the book and buying what they really needed, they chose to one star a magnificent work that represents man years if not man decades of expertise. Just not sporting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect condition! This is currently out of print and the price was good.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
At last, a book that deals with identifying gulls. This book tries its best to give rhyme and reason in understanding this very complex bird group.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book really helped me with 2nd vs 3rd year gulls. I take this book with me to the beach to read and gull watch. Read morePublished 9 months ago by C. Oosten
This book is very detailed about the gulls of America, recommended for the very serious student of identifying the complex and difficult group of birds. Read morePublished on June 27, 2014 by Doris R. Wimber