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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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  1. J

    North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide

    North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide by George C. West Like its subjects, this book is small. But it has plenty of room for West to present information and a plethora of illustrations and photographs for 25 hummingbird species that have been reported in the United States and...
  2. J

    The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar

    The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar by Vernon R. L. Head If you aren't familiar with the Nechisar Nightjar, it is about the weirdest bird-related story I've ever heard. In short, a team of ornithologists in Ethiopia found a road-killed bird and were able to...
  3. J

    Birds, Art & Design

    This book showcases the unbelievable bird sculptures of Larry Barth. Seriously, they're amazing. You could be forgiven for thinking some of these photographs are of live birds, or at least mounted specimens, they are that realistic. And many are quite dynamic: Sanderlings running, a Killdeer’s...
  4. J

    Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce and Conservation

    My review of this title, by Paul J. Baicich, Margaret A. Barker, and Carrol L. Henderson, is up on the American Birding Association blog.
  5. J

    The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature

    The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is celebrating their 100th birthday. They've produced this book partly (a surprisingly small part, actually) to celebrate their accomplishments, but mainly as “an ode to birds, a celebration of everything we love about them”. The first thing you'll notice are the...
  6. J

    The Merlin, a monograph by Richard Sale

    Sale first takes a look at falcons as a whole, covering some general characteristics, but focusing heavily on taxonomy. He proceeds to describe what is known about the Merlin, covering every aspect of the bird’s natural history, including diet, hunting strategies, food consumption and energy...
  7. J

    Peterson Reference Guide to Birding by Impression

    I love the birding by impression (BBI) approach advocated by this new book, but I'm somewhat disappointed with the book itself. The bulk of it is a look at bird groups through the BBI lens. I'm most disappointed with the group accounts, as they can be very generic and not specific enough. The...
  8. J

    Tales of Remarkable Birds, by Dominic Couzens

    This is a mid-sized book comprised of 40 short chapters about bird species and families, accompanied by some gorgeous photography. This isn’t the first of its kind, several similar books have been published previously. But I find that the more I read about birds, the more I find that I didn’t...
  9. J

    Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for The Birds of America

    This book has been out for a few years now, but I finally made time to examine it since I recently saw some of these paintings exhibited at the New-York Historical Society. Yes, it is yet another book of Audubon art, but what differentiates this one is that it reproduces Audubon's original...
  10. J

    Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia: Second Edition

    Frank Lambert shares his opinion of the new 2nd edition of this field guide by Miles McMullan and Thomas Donegan - Review of Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia: Second Edition
  11. J

    When Eagles Roar - a memoir from the host of Birding Adventures TV show

    When Eagles Roar: The Amazing Journey of an African Wildlife Adventurer by James Alexander Currie, with Bonnie J. Fladung Many of you will already be familiar with James Currie as the host of the Birding Adventures TV show. If you haven't seen it, it's been around for about 5 years now, and...
  12. J

    Hummingbirds - a natural history and photo portfolio

    This is essentially two books in one. First is a short natural history of the hummingbirds by Ronald Orenstein, in which he focuses on what makes these birds unique. All the basic information is included, but the author takes a slightly different approach than is usual by focusing on recent...
  13. J

    The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World

    I should state up front that this is an older book (published in 2011) and it's not really a "bird book", per se. However, I wanted to call attention to it because: 1. It was written by Carl Safina, who I think is one of the best authors around. I am insanely jealous of this man's writing...
  14. J

    National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 2nd Edition

    This is designed to be a “companion to” the great National Geographic field guide, but I see it more as an expanded version of the field guide. It has the same art and range maps, but greatly expanded text and some extra features. It's based on the latest 6th edition of the field guide, but...
  15. J

    List of all field guide apps

    I'm trying to put together a list of all the bird field guide apps. Below are all of the countries/regions that I'm aware of that have such apps. If you know of any others please let me know. U.S./Canada Haiti/Dominican Republic Costa Rica Ecuador Brazil Western Palearctic Sothern Africa Australia
  16. J

    52 Small Birds - photographing wood-warblers

    52 Small Birds tells of the author's quest to photograph all of the regularly breeding warblers in the U.S. It's an entertaining narrative, and filled with the author's photographs and paintings. It's a good, although too quick, read, especially if you're a warbler fan (and who isn't?). Here's...
  17. J

    American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey

    When I first saw this listed on Amazon, I was a little surprised. I'm not a big fan of most state field guides; in general, I think birders are better served by a full North American guide. But maybe the ABA will change that trend. And if this first entry is any indication, they have. This is a...
  18. J

    Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest

    Native tribes, exotic diseases, science in the rainforest, and large, flightless birds that can kill you - this book has a little bit of everything. The author ran a study of cassowary dung ("pekpek") for years in the Papua New Guinea rainforest. He ended up founding a research center in the...
  19. J

    HBW Special Volume: New Species and Global Index

    Frank Lambert reviews it here - http://www.birderslibrary.com/reviews/books/misc/hbw_special_volume_index.htm I hadn't prioritized this volume, but I may need to reconsider. Some of those essays sound interesting, and the photo gallery sounds great (check out the link in the review to see the...
  20. J

    Looking for the Goshawk, by Conor Mark Jameson

    In this book, Jameson recounts his search for the goshawk. Most of his looking is done in the U.K., but he also includes some trips abroad like Germany and the U.S. I’m not spoiling anything by stating that he does see a goshawk. Several, in fact. But actually seeing the bird, at least by the...
  21. J

    Sibley Guide, 2nd edition

    It's now up on Amazon, with a date - March 11, 2014 The Sibley Guide to Birds; Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged According to the listing, it's about 30 more pages than the current one. Sibley has shown glimpses at some plates for the new guide on his blog, but I'm looking forward to doing...
  22. J

    total mystery bird - Botswana

    In going through my pictures from a recent trip to Botswana I keep finding birds that I captured that I hadn't noticed at the time! In this case, I had been focusing on a Long-tailed Paradise Whydah. But when I saw these images my reaction was 'what in the world is that?'. And I have to admit...
  23. J

    Weaver, South Africa

    Taken on May 28, in a residential neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa. Back looks like a Village Weaver, but I've had a tough time with the non-breeding weavers I encountered on my recent trip.
  24. J

    Larkwire - web and iOS app for learning NA bird songs

    Larkwire is a web or iOS app that uses games to aid the learning of bird songs. It started out as a web-based app that worked in web browsers and on most mobile devices. It's also available as a dedicated iOS app for iPhones and the like. Regardless of what device you use it on, the...
  25. J

    Raptor guide comparison for North America

    Here's a brief overview of the main raptor guides to North America, along with some recommendations. Raptor Books – A Comparison of North American Field Guides