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Hardcover Lives of North American Birds Book

ISBN: 0395770173

ISBN13: 9780395770177

Lives of North American Birds

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

This is the book that goes beyond the field guides: not a guide for naming the birds, but a reference for understanding them -- a complete, handy, one-volume encyclopedia on the fascinating lives of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Bird Watching

I like the pictures and layout of the book. It is too heavy for a field guide. It gives you great detail of what to look for when spotting birds. Descriptions are right beside the pictures.

A great book from one of the best!

There are so many books about birds one wonders which are the best .There is no answer to that question.I have over 1000 'bird books' and I felt this one was worth buying.It is written by one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated birders in North America today. His 'Birds of North America'is one of the best field guides for a birder to buy to carry with him to help learn about and identify birds.He particularly had the non-expert in mind when he wrote it. His 'Kingbird Highway' is one of the best books around about his experiences as a 16 year old trying to beat the record of seeing the most species in North America in one year. His 'Advanced Birding' was written for expert birders having difficulty sorting some of the toughest birds to identify. Now he gives us a book filled with much more detailed information on each bird. He covers habitat,feeding,behavior,nesting,migration and the conservation status.He has also included up-to date range maps.He has written all this material in a very easy to understand manner. One would not probably want to buy this as their first or only bird book;but it would be a great book to buy after having an identification book.It's a great book for any birder whether just getting started or been birding for some time.It is too large to take with you in the field (birding);but excellent to have at home for reference.

An Excellent Book

A lot of you that may see this book and it's dimensions and may think, a coffee table book. Or a book to put on a shelf and collect dust with. I'm here to say that that is definitely NOT the case. I have this book myself, of course, and I have suprisingly find myself reading this book merely for entertainment. I have learned a LOT from this book. You should see the marks and stains I have on mine. The Author, a great man with a great history (check his autobiography Kingbird Highway)Must have done a LOT of research on all these birds and knows alot of them personally, to create this book with all the info on a single bird and well laid out with all the info you may needon it (Except for the birds call, but I'm not holding him back on it.) For instance you have a picture of the bird in nature, a map of where it is red for summer, blue in winter and purple all year round resident. It has an intro on the bird, it's habitat, feeding, hunting behavior, nest, how many eggs, migration info and at last but not least, Conservation status. The book also shows info on foreign birds that occasionally enter the US from afar, but does not have all the info on an american bird, and doesn't have a picture. But still, there is a lot of information in this book. And if you ask why someone would make a book on how birds live, well, he has a very good reason. Read Kingbird Highway. I promise you won't be disappointed.


Great book to have onhand. I also have Sibley's book, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior and I love them both - they're very different and while they may overlap to some degree, they're definitely different. Lives of N. Amer. Birds has great photographs of the birds, each bird entry has an intro paragragh about the bird, then is followed by habitat they prefer/can be found in, Feeding to include diet as well as how the bird finds/hunts for food, Nesting to include typical nest sites, how they're built, number of eggs and what they look like, care oft he young. There is also a section on each bird that talks to conservation issues for the bird. Latin names are also provided. I think this is a great reference book. I like to augment my reading with the Sibley guide as well as some ofthe stokes books on bird behavior.

Accessible Species Accounts, a basic not to be without

The real advantage of Kenn Kaufman's book is its accessibility. Next to the Birder's Handbook, which tried several funky organizational and icongraphic systems at once, Kaufman is pure readability. The attractive, intelligent presentation here is immediately appealing. This serves double duty as a coffee table book and reference.I read both this and the Birder's Handbook when I see something new. Kaufman gives you a solid account of each bird, but he's limited to individual species. (There are brief family introductions, written about at the level of the family intros in a field guide.) The essays in Birder's Handbook are very pleasing to browse into; in Kaufman, once you've read a species, you're on to another species. Kaufman has nothing to say, for example, about mobbing behavior. Birder's Handbook has a long essay, naming several species and discussing the state of research on the subject.Kaufman is also less clear about what's missing about a bird. Birder's Handbook is held to its schematic approach, so you immediately know when there's a question mark in a location that's usually got a little symbol. Kaufman occasionally mentions that something isn't well known, but you have to read into the essay to find that.As complements to a field guide, both this and The Birder's Handbook are useful and enjoyable. I personally wouldn't be happy without either one.
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