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Hardcover A natural history of American birds of Eastern and Central North America Book

ISBN: 0517024667

ISBN13: 9780517024669

A natural history of American birds of Eastern and Central North America

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

""A Natural History Of American Birds Of Eastern And Central North America"" by Edward Howe Forbush is a comprehensive guide to the birds of the eastern and central regions of North America. The book... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings


While indeed this work was last published in 1955 (the edition I am reviewing here), I has it roots firmly planted with Birds of Massachusetts and other New England States, by Edward Howe Forbush who published his work in 1928. This work has evolved into the rather large volume on hand to this day. Reader take note: This is not a field guide in any sense of the word. This is one big book! This is a rather important book though, and there are considerations which should be noted. First it the art work or illustrations. These have been executed by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Allan Brooks and Roger Tory Peterson. Most of the paintings were done prior to WWII or just after. At the time these illustrations were created, they were quite likely the most accurate and most professionally created available anywhere in the world. This volume contains 96 full color illustrations. The accuracy of composition and color is quite remarkable. It is interesting to note that the publishers have stated "Fortunately, the color plates for the book were made before the war, for to manufacture an identical set today would be prohibitively expensive." Secondly, it must be noted that the narrative or text in this work goes far and beyond what is recorded in the average (actually, all that I am familiar with) field guide of today. This text of course covers the natural history and known facts about the particular bird being addressed. As to the text, the reader must keep in mind that we have come a long, long way since the days this work was published. You will find little to no mention (hey, they simply did not know), of the myriad of subspecies we are dealing with now. Also, just because "The Great Man," roger Tory Peterson was involved, does not mean that we have his trademark identification points recorded...this book does not include that information. Also, it must be remember that the range of many of these birds has increased and/or decreased drastically over time, in particular over the past 15 or so years. Also, we have some major name changes we are dealing with such as some of the birds in the Heron family and some of the raptors. We also have a wonderful text, pictures and all, of birds such as the passenger pigeon and others that tragically are no longer with us. Although this work certainly has its limitations as to a field guide or identifier, it is never-the-less a wealth of useable and very readable information. The writing found here is a wonderful mixture of scientific data (presented as such), but at the same time it is actually literature comparable to the best writing of the greatest naturalists of our time. It is a delight to the eye and inner ear. I dare say that a reading of this work will increase your knowledge of birds greatly and it is also just chucked full of wonderful first hand birding stories, tips and birding adventures. For any one interested in drawing and painting birds, I cannot think of a better volume to assist

Excellent American Bird Reference

The color plates for this book were made before the War. It blends the scientific with the popular facts on birding. I chose this book for the detailed color plates in which to paint birds. It contains the life, history and pictures of each bird in all phases of life. I would recommend it for begining drawing as well.
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