Skip to content
Paperback Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior Book

ISBN: 0316817252

ISBN13: 9780316817257

Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Save $10.31!
List Price $15.00

1 Available

Book Overview

With these handy paperback reference guides, illustrated throughout with black-and-white line drawings, nature watchers know what to look for and how to interpret what they see. Whether carried into the field or consulted at home, these books provide readers with fascinating facts and insights into the behavior of birds and wildlife.And that's not all. With new Stokes projects under way ... with information about Stokes activities available on-line...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Unique addition to birders library

If you watch birds at all, you really must have these books. Once you get beyond the identification of a bird, these books open up hours of enjoyable opportunity watching even the most common of birds.

A Fascinating Look into Common Species

This first volume in the Stokes Nature Guide series offers detailed descriptions of species-specific wild bird behavior. The twenty-five birds covered here include the Canada goose, the tree swallow, the mockingbird, the eastern kingbird, the common flicker, and the American gold finch. For an example of the kind of detail this book contains, one needs only to turn to the section of pigeons; it contains a chart showing which behaviors occur during which months, an illustrated section on visual and audio displays as well as their meanings, territory, courtship, nest-building and breeding, plumage, seasonal movement, and feeder behavior. This is not a field guide designed for identifying species, but is more of a course in animal behavior. Stokes's passion for bird watching is contagious; you'll never regard any of these species in the same manner after reading this. No other book I've read has broken down bird behavior by species to such an engrossing degree. The social nature of starlings and their roosting parties contrasts with the solitary habits of the American kestrel. The playful acrobatics of the chickadee and its complex song contrast with the more mysterious behavior of the robin. Because each volume of this series contains birds without regard to grouping (i.e. songbirds, or birds of prey, or aquatic birds), readers must first check with the table of contents to see whether a specific bird is included. Volume one contains: Canada goose, mallard, American kestrel, herring gull, pigeon, chimney swift, hairy woodpecker, eastern kingbird, tree swallow, blue jay, common crow, black-capped chickadee, house wren, mockingbird, gray catbird, American robin, starling, red-eyed vireo, common yellowthroat, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, common grackle, American goldfinch, and song sparrow. Many of these species are so ubiquitous that readers might stifle a yawn at the thought of reading about them, but Stokes goes so deeply into their behavior that they cease to be ordinary. One of the most fascinating chapters is on the starling - that noisy, speckled bird that has taken over the northeast U.S. since its introduction. Because I've encountered no other book about birds quite like this one, I give it five stars despite its seeming random selection of species.

The birds ARE in order (contra the most recent review)

Most books about birds present the species in 'phylogenetic' order, a conventional sequence intended to show the apparent relationships between species. This book, for example, begins with a loon (long considered the most primitive of extant North American species, though recently replaced by the waterfowl) and ends with a hummingbird (a relatively advanced family of 'pre-passerines'); the owls, for example, are kept together to show their relatively close evolutionary ties. Ordering the birds alphabetically, by color, or in any other of the artificial schemes one occasionally encounters, results in scattering closely related species throughout the book, and in the case of alphabetical order, requires revision with every nomenclatural change (does that funny-looking red-billed rallid go under 'm' for 'moorhen' or 'g' for 'gallinule'?). It's great that the reviewer prepared an alphabetical index, but all birders eventually grow accustomed to phylogenetic order and use it without thinking about it at all.

Good Information to Better Understand Your Feathered Friends

The Stokes Guides to Bird Behavior are great little references for backyard bird-watching. You may have to wander a little further than your backyard to observe some of these species, but the birds in your neighborhood are probably in one of the three Stokes volumes. Each Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior features 25 common North American bird species. For each species, the authors explain visual displays, auditory displays, territory courtship, nest-building, breeding, plumage and seasonal movement, and provide a calendar so that you can clearly see when these behaviors occur. I wouldn't take any generalizations about bird behavior too seriously because many birds are very individual, and their behaviors and social customs vary accordingly. But these books will give you a good basis for understanding and predicting the behavior of your avian neighbors. You'll enjoy watching your little feathered friends all the more with the added understanding the Stokes Guides provide. My one complaint about these books is that the bird species are not in any particular order, and neither are they indexed. If you look at the table of contents you will see that the species are not in alphabetical or any other order, and there is no sense to which birds are in which volume or where they are placed in the book. In other words, you have to read through the entire list of 25 species in the table of contents, in each book, to locate the species you want. I have no explanation for this, and I made an index for the books myself to save me from the frustration involved every time I want to look up a species. That is the reason I gave the book(s) 4 stars instead of 5. In Volume One: Canada Goose, Mallard (duck), American Kestrel, Herring Gull, Pigeon, Chimney Swift, Common Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Blue Jay, Common Crow, Black-Capped Chickadee, House Wren, Mockingbird, Gray Catbird, American Robin, Starling, Red-Eyed Vireo, Common Yellowthroat (warbler), House Sparrow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch, and Song Sparrow.

Great information just not complete in one volume.

This book is part of a three volume set. Each volume covers 25 birds. The bird behaviors are described in detail and make fascinating reading. The illustrations are in black and white so this will not help you identify birds. Volume 2 contains more of the common backyard birds but if you want complete information you need to buy the set. The best books I've seen on bird behavior. Easy to read and covers all aspects of bird behavior.
Copyright © 2022 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured