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Here are the bird book reviews I found online last month.

Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York CityField Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City
by Leslie Day

From Johns Hopkins University Press:

Look around New York, and you’ll probably see birds: wood ducks swimming in Queens, a stalking black-crowned night-heron in Brooklyn, great horned owls perching in the Bronx, warblers feeding in Central Park, or Staten Island’s purple martins flying to and fro. You might spot hawks and falcons nesting on skyscrapers or robins belting out songs from trees along the street.

America’s largest metropolis teems with birdlife in part because it sits within the great Atlantic flyway where migratory birds travel seasonally between north and south. The Big Apple’s miles of coastline, magnificent parks, and millions of trees attract dozens of migrating species every year and are also home year-round to scores of resident birds.

There is no better way to identify and learn about New York’s birds than with this comprehensive field guide from New York City naturalist Leslie Day. Her book will quickly teach you what each species looks like, where they build their nests, what they eat, the sounds of their songs, what time of year they appear in the city, the shapes and colors of their eggs, and where in the five boroughs you can find them―which is often in the neighborhood you call home. The hundreds of stunning photographs by Beth Bergman and gorgeous illustrations by Trudy Smoke will help you identify the ninety avian species commonly seen in New York. Once you enter the world of the city’s birds, life in the great metropolis will never look the same.

 

An excellent guide for New York City residents. If you have any interest in the birds around you (and there are plenty of birds around you, even in NYC), this guide will really open your eyes.

 

Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City
by Leslie Day
Paperback; 384 pages
Johns Hopkins University Press; June 23, 2015
ISBN: 978-1421416182
$24.95

by Kevin T. Karlson and Dale Rosselet

The authors present a new – and potentially very effective – method of bird identification.

Read the full review »

When the second edition of the “Big Sibley” was published last year, you knew it was just a matter of time before the smaller Eastern and Western regional guides were revised as well. And now, thanks to Amazon, we have a potential date: March 29, 2016.

There are no additional details, other than page count, at this time. But you can go ahead and place a pre-order:

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Revised Edition

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America: Revised Edition

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the MidwestKaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest
by Kenn Kaufman, Kimberly Kaufman, and Jeff Sayre

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

The only field guide to bring along to identify the birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, rocks, and sky of the Midwest.

Even if we focus on certain things in the outdoors, most of us are curious about everything else that might turn up. Serious birders, botanists, and entomologists all have their specialized guides, but this book is the guide to “everything else”—the one guide to take when you go out for a walk. Wow, that’s a cool-looking mushroom. Wonder what it is. Hey, look at that weird insect.

Birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, grasses, even constellations overhead and rocks underfoot—it’s all here. With authoritative yet broad coverage, nontechnical language, and more than two thousand color photographs, this book is an essential reference for nature lovers living in or visiting Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

 

If you live in one of the states covered, or will be visiting and spending significant time outdoors, I would highly recommend having this guide close by. “Combo guides” such as this can be really valuable if done well, and this series is done very well.

 

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest
by Kenn Kaufman, Kimberly Kaufman, and Jeff Sayre
Flexicover; 416 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; May 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0618456949
$20.00

by Dominic Couzens

A fun look at 40 incredible bird species and families.

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Bird Ringing Station ManualBird Ringing Station Manual
by Przemysław Busse and Włodzimierz Meissner

From De Gruyter:

In an attempt to standardise elements of the station routine, Bird Ringing Station Manual describes the procedures used in passerine and wader ringing stations. It offers a comparative analysis of versatile evaluation techniques such as measurements, orientation experiments and monitoring. The authors meticulously analyse different methods used to track birds, including catching passerines with mist-nets in land and wetland habitat, as well as the use of the Heligoland trap. Bird Ringing Station Manual, as a successful bid to establish a bird station routine that is favourable to both birds and ringers, will benefit all professional and amateur ringers.

 

Anyone involved in bird banding (ringing) should check this out. The hardcover book is expensive, but the eBook (either PDF or ePub format) is available for FREE from the publisher.

 

Bird Ringing Station Manual
by Przemysław Busse and Włodzimierz Meissner
Hardcover; 211 pages
De Gruyter; March, 2015
ISBN: 978-83-7656-053-3
$140.00

Here are the bird book reviews that I found around the net last month.

Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North AmericaPeterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America
by Vladimir Dinets

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

To see a fog shrew, should you go to Muir Woods National Monument? If you’re planning to visit Yellowstone National Park, what animals can you expect to see? When should a photographer visit to get a shot of a gray fox?

A mammal finder’s guide (rather than an identification guide), this book tells you how to look, where to go, and what you are likely to find there. Two main sections provide a choice of looking up information by place or by species: The first includes regions of North America, highlighting the best places to look for mammals. The species-finding guide has accounts of more than four hundred species of mammals, including detailed directions to specific parks, refuges, and other locations; the best times of day (or night) to look; and much more information specific to each mammal.

 

A guide such as this was LONG overdue. This should prove useful both to those looking for specific mammals and those who want to know what to look for on their travels. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to get a lot of use out of this new guide.

 

Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America
by Vladimir Dinets
Paperback; 368 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; May 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0544373273
$19.95

by Christine Goff

A murder mystery novel centered around a missing birder.

Read the full review »