Books for Birders

How to Begin Birdwatching

By Don and Lillian Stokes

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Based on the PBS series 'Birdwatch' with Don and Lillian Stokes.

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Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey

By Joe Hutto

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Turkeys are not stupid. The author spent a year studying a flock of wild turkeys in the loblolly pine woods of Florida, having hatched wild turkey eggs and imprinting the poults on himself. Turkeys are masters of disguise, blending in with their surroundings in ways so subtle as to make the work of hunters and predators difficult. Hutto is a wildlife artist, and the book is illustrated with his sketches and color photographs.

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Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder

By Kenn Kaufman

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"At sixteen, Kenn Kaufman dropped out of the high school where he was student council president and hit the road, hitching back and forth across America, from Alaska to Florida, Maine to Mexico. Maybe not all that unusual a thing to do in the seventies, but what Kenn was searching for was a little different: not sex, drugs, God, or even self, but birds. A report of a rare bird would send him hitching nonstop from Pacific to Atlantic and back again. When he was broke he would pick fruit or do odd jobs to earn the fifty dollars or so that would last him for weeks.

"His goal was to set a record - most North American species seen in a year - but along the way he began to realize that at this breakneck pace he was only looking, not seeing. What had been a game became a quest for a deeper understanding of the natural world. Kingbird Highway is a unique coming-of- age story, combining a lyrical celebration of nature with wild, and sometimes dangerous, adventures, starring a colorful cast of characters."

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Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds

By Scott Weidensaul

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For anyone curious about the lives of migratory birds this book is a great nest of information. The author has traveled all over the world banding and observing birds and talking to the experts--amateur birders and ornithologists who have made many of the important discoveries about bird biology. From Alaska to Lake Erie to the limestone forests of Jamaica, Weidensaul reaches not only for the scientific particulars but for the universal stories and humanizing, descriptive turns of phrase that keep this book from bogging down in statistics and jargon. By book's end the reader is unable to resist the heart of this compelling story, a plea for the conservation of habitat to keep these miraculous creatures on--or at least circling--the earth.

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Neighbors to the Birds: A History of Birdwatching in America

By Felton Gibbons

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Felton Gibbons and Deborah Strom trace the history of bird watching in America. This recreational activity has evolved from the practice of shooting as many birds as possible to the contemporary practice of watching and recording the numbers and varieties of our feathered neighbors. The authors introduce the reader to pioneer naturalists Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon and John Muir.

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Pete Dunne on Bird Watching: The How-to, Where-to, and When-to of Birding

By Pete Dunne

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"Pete Dunne has taught birding to beginners for years, but he has never found the right book to help them get started. Now the popular birding author identifies the skills and tools available to people with any amount of interest--great or small-- in bird watching. Beginning with backyard birding and moving through a quick but comprehensive survey of tools of the trade, Dunne outlines ten basic, simple steps in bird identification that can make a birder out of the most casual of observers. He goes on to show beginning birders how to use their skills to explore new horizons through birding by ear, birding by telescope, and finding and identifying rare or difficult birds."

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Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America

By Roger Tory Peterson and Virginia Marie Peterson

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"In celebration of the centennial of Roger Tory Peterson's birth comes a historic collaboration among renowned birding experts and artists to preserve and enhance the Peterson legacy. This new book combines the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds and the Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds in one volume, filled with accessible, concise information and including almost three hours of video podcasts to make bird watching even easier."

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Red-Tails in Love: A Wildlife Drama in Central Park

By Marie Winn

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"Marie Winn is our guide into a secret world, a true wilderness in the heart of a city. The scene is New York's Central Park, but the rich natural history that emerges here--the loons, raccoons, woodpeckers, owls, and hundreds of visiting songbirds--will appeal to wildlife lovers everywhere. At its heart is the saga of the Fifth Avenue hawks, which begins as a love story and develops into a full-fledged mystery. At the outset of our journey we meet the Regulars, a small band of nature lovers who devote themselves to the park and its wildlife.

"As they watch Pale Male, a remarkable young red-tailed hawk, woo and win his first mate, they are soon transformed into addicted hawk-watchers. From a bench at the park's model-boat pond they observe the hawks building a nest in an astonishing spot--a high ledge of a Fifth Avenue building three floors above Mary Tyler Moore's apartment and across the street from Woody Allen's. The drama of the Fifth Avenue hawks--hunting, courting, mating, and striving against great odds to raise a family in their unprecedented nest site--is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking."

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Sharing a Robin's Life

By Linda Johns

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"This is a true story of two unusual individuals: County, a robin who chooses to share her life with a human, and Linda Johns, an artist, who was happy to accommodate her. Through the pages of this book, the reader shares the mysterious realm of an intelligent and responsive creature of the wind."

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Sibley's Birding Basics

By David Allen Sibley

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This guide is primarily for the beginning and intermediate birder, or indeed for anyone who wants to develop better birding skills. Sibley explains what to look for and how to find it!

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