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The Songs of Insects Paperback – Bargain Price, April 30, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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About the Author

LANG ELLIOTT is a sound recordist, writer, and photographer. He is the author of The Songs of Insects, The Songs of Wild Birds, and many other book/CD packages.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618663975
  • ASIN: B005Q5THQC
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,802,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sam Droege on April 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just received a copy of Lang Elliot and Wil Hershberger's book, The Songs of Insects and just wanted to say what a fabulous addition this will be to any local naturalist's collection of guides.

I used to work a lot on this group in the late 1990's, testing monitoring protocols primarily for the katydid groups. I grew to appreciate how one could identify almost all of the species just by their calls. Unfortunately, I couldn't get much interest to continue that work and so instead now work on native bee monitoring techniques...something that people have more awareness of.

I think this book should move crickets, katydids, and cicadas into the same realm butterflies and dragonflies now inhabit for many naturalists. Now non-professionals will have great access to information and calls of these insects though this book and the associated CD. Furthermore this is complemented by accessing the information on Tom Walker's web site in Gainesville, FL for all the species in North America, complete with their songs and calls. Consequently, it would be great to see people organize the collection of distribution and abundance information of these species within North America similar to efforts for dragonflies and butterflies.

The pictures are the best I have seen and the recordings are of the highest quality....this is a book that will greatly change how any of you listen and look at these critters. ... .I can't say enough.

Sam Droege
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Each new book Lang Elliott produces is a leap and a bound more wonderful than the last excellent one. A prolific sound-recordist and photographer, Elliott--along with co-author Wil Hershberger--knows how to communicate knowledge and information in a way that draws the reader in, opening eyes, ears and sense of wonder to the natural world. What a fabulous addition to my natural history library!
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Format: Paperback
Very well written and vocabulary is a level children and adults
understand and enjoy. Photography is amazing.
CD sound track also amazing, some of them I had never heard their
songs before.
Very good educational tool and enjoyable for children and adults.
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As other reviewers have stated, this is a remarkable resource for insect identification. I would like to comment on the quality of the images. I found that a remarkable effort and attention to detail that went into these images. In far too many books the conversion of images from digital to print looks like the author doesn't know or doesn't care how his images look. For Lang Elliott this was not the case. He meticulously ensured that the printed images have remarkable depth of field and colors. I found any number of them to be remarkable pieces of photographic art. I felt guilty for only paying $13.57 for this book.
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Format: Paperback
At the start of the attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean, at Disneyland in California, you board a boat that takes you through a replica of Midwestern river dock at dusk. The most realistic part of that ride that gets you into the mood to shift focus away from the mob scene outside onto the scenes about to be revealed within is the sound of a cricket. If I think about that ride, I can hear that cricket.

Whenever I hear insect sounds at dusk and in the evening, I always wonder what kind of insect is making the sounds. That's something I've wondered since I was a small boy. Until now, I had few clues except for the occasional cricket I had observed while singing. But regardless of where I am, those sounds help me relax and become more peaceful.

With The Songs of Insects, I've added exponentially to my ability to relax, identify insects, and explore new dimensions of the insect songs. I was very impressed with the combination of CD and book. I started by listening to the CD because I was so interested in hearing new songs and knowing which insect made which song. I noted down the familiar sounds of my neighborhood in the woods and was astounded to see that we have katydids in our area. Checking the maps in the books, I was pleased to see confirmation that it was reasonable to expect those katydids in our area.

Next, I dived into reading about the katydids, crickets, and cicadas that I had heard before. But it was hard to take my eyes off the stunning photographs of those insects, displayed both against a white and a natural background.

After that, I went back and read the whole book and found myself intrigued by the opportunity to keep crickets as pets to bring the singing indoors.
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Format: Paperback
I have long wanted to know what insects I am hearing every summer and now have a chance of knowing which ones they are. The imagery is fantastic. The range maps will be a blessing to my students as they try to determine what type of katydid or cicada and so on they have nabbed for their bug collection.

The audio CD is great too! The only drawback there is that the holding compartment in the back of the book is poor. Right after I got this book I was taking it to school and the brand new CD fell out of the pouch and onto the pavement. Now its scratched and I don't know what to do. I usually make a backup of all my CDs right away but failed to do so with this one!

This book came to my attention when I wrote in my blog about the microphone I positioned in my backyard. I use it to listen to crickets and lots of other creatures out back, sometimes all night long.
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