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

Better Birding by Armistead & Sullivan (1 Viewer)

jedigrant

Well-known member
Here's my brief summary: The book focuses on 24 groups of birds (loons, tropical terns, accipiters, marsh sparrows, etc), helping birders with some tricky identifications. But this isn’t just about identifying a few species. Throughout, the authors provide a framework for looking at birds that should be of use regardless of when or where you’re birding.

It's illustrated with lots of great photos, including some "Crossley-like" montages that work very well. I'm planning to give it some more attention over the next week in preparation for a full review.
 

jedigrant

Well-known member
When I opened this book, I was a little surprised at what I found. Based on the title, I wasn't expecting an identification guide covering 24 groups of birds. But the more I read and prepared my review, the more I liked it. The title is still a misnomer, but it does attempt to impart skills that can be generalized, beyond these particular groups. And the ID treatment should be very helpful - the plates are fantastic.

The groups covered are not necessarily all the most difficult groups to identify (no empidonax flycatchers or peeps, for instance), but the rationale behind the selection is justified, and it does cover some groups that seem to be overlooked by most guides. The species covered are those found in North America, but there is some overlap with the Palearctic, such as the Atlantic gadfly petrels, loons (divers), curlews, and godwits.

Overall, this guide would be most helpful for intermediate birders.

Here's my full review of Better Birding: Tips, Tools, and Concepts for the Field
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
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Barbados
Grant,
thanks for this. I am happy you made the comparison to the Kaufman books on advanced birding (I have first edition).

Now for a question: which Sulidae are included, and which nighthawks?

thanks
Niels
 

jedigrant

Well-known member
Grant,
thanks for this. I am happy you made the comparison to the Kaufman books on advanced birding (I have first edition).

Now for a question: which Sulidae are included, and which nighthawks?

thanks
Niels

Sorry for the late reply...

I would say that Better Birding is more akin to the second edition of Kaufman's Advanced Birding, where he tries to include more high-level information rather than "just" group accounts.

Here are the Sulids and nighthawks included:

Sulids
  1. Northern Gannet
  2. Masked Booby
  3. Blue-footed Booby
  4. Brown Booby
  5. Red-footed Booby
  6. Nazca Booby (a smaller account and just a few photos)

Nighthawks
  1. Lesser
  2. Common
  3. Antillean
 

jedigrant

Well-known member
Thanks Grant,
I should have included one more question - does this include juveniles?

Niels

Yes, for almost all species. I did a quick flip-through and noticed that the ex-sharp-tailed sparrows did not show juveniles, but there is a shot of a juv Seaside Sparrow. The wrens and swifts also didn't have them, but that makes complete sense.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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