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Rare Birds of North America
Steve N. G. Howell, Ian Lewington & Will Russell

Book Description | Table of Contents
Sample Entry [PDF only]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"The authors' sifting of bird-sighting records for a period covering some six decades is impressive. Detailed accounts of 262 species comprise the bulk of the book. Lewington's lovely color illustrations are supported by the sort of information one expects to find in bird guides (e.g., key identification features, taxonomy, distribution, similar species, behaviors, etc.). . . . That we are enjoying a 'golden age of bird [book] publishing,' as another reviewer in these pages has said, is clearly exemplified by this work. The birding hobby's growing popularity means that its fervent fringe of 'life-listers' is growing, too, and for them, or anyone with an eye for the unusual, this book will surely tantalize."--Robert Eagan, Library Journal

"This was the book my birding friends, in fact all North American birders who are fascinated by vagrants, have been waiting for. It is a book that embraces identification and analysis of avian rarities and vagrancy patterns throughout the United States and Canada with an enthusiasm and devotion to statistical, geographic, and ornithological detail that will both delight and challenge birders. . . . Rare Birds of North America is a significant addition to our birding literature."--Donna Schulman, 10,000 Birds

"I don't use this language often but this really is a 'must-have' book if you're one of those birders that chases, wants to chase, or just wait on the edge of your seat for the next rarity to show up on the Aleutians or St. Paul."--Cory Gregory, See You At Sunrise

"If you have a hankering for understanding, or finding out more about some of the rarities that we profile on a monthly basis, Rare Birds of North America is the book for you. This is a unique and beautifully illustrated guide. . . . As a primer for understanding vagrancy and migration, the introduction is remarkable. . . . Rare Birds of North America should enrich the field experience of those interested in finding and observing rare birds, and it should serve as an encouragement to all."--Birding Community E-Bulletin

"This work pays homage to the books that have covered the same ground for the rarities in Europe and has been long overdue in North America. Rare Birds of North America is worth every cent of its price tag and deserves to find its way on the bookshelves of every North American birder plus a few other bookshelves elsewhere in the world."--Urban Birder

"Rare Birds of North America provides unparalleled insights into vagrancy and avian migration, and will enrich the birding experience of anyone interested in finding and observing rare birds."--Carrie Laben, Nature Travel Network

"This book fills a much needed niche. A lot of filed guides have 'Accidental' species and that is what we have relied on in the past for identification of these birds. But now there is a comprehensive treatise on vagrants in North America and I recommend it for your library."--William Saur, Passionate Birder

"A technical tour de force."--Gabriel Thoumi, Mongabay.com

"Beautifully printed and illustrated. Rare Birds of North America is a useful, if highly selective, book that will certainly appeal to serious North American birders that enjoy chasing rarities or to the armchair ornithologist that dreams about chasing rarities."--Colin Talcroft, Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots

"The first of its kind: a comprehensive and illustrated guide to the vagrant birds who make an appearance in the United States and Canada."--Lee and J.J. MacFadden, Bristol Herald Courier

"These experienced and widely traveled birders illustrate and provide information about 262 avian species that should be on all our search lists."--Gerry Rising, Buffalo News

"[E]ssential reading . . . significant. . . . [T]he detailed treatment here is not only valuable, but in some cases the best available anywhere. . . . [N]othing short of exceptional . . . this book has everything to recommend it."--Dominic Mitchell, Birdwatch Magazine

"Fascinating . . . browsing this book presents a perfect opportunity for armchair birders to daydream about rare birds and about traveling to where the birds might be found."--Dan Tallman's Bird Blog

"No North American lister should be without this book. The beautiful illustrations alone would make it a joy to own. But it would be the first port of call if you turned up something not in the North American guides. Here you will find solid information to help you identify the bird and judge the likelihood that it is what you think it is. The frequency and geographical pattern of rarity occurrences is invaluable in this respect. Nicely written and beautifully produced to Princeton's normal high standard."--Fatbirder

"The book provides an excellent overview of birds rare to North America and serves as a worthy partner to your favorite North American field guide."--Steve Shultz, CBC Newsletter

"How about, just once, a field guide that focuses on these rare and vagrant birds that make birders' hearts, and then their cars, race? A guide for those incurable hopefuls looking for birds that aren’t supposed to be there. A guide like Rare Birds of North America. . . . Anyone who regularly birds one of the states where vagrants routinely show up--Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, or Alaska--absolutely should have Rare Birds of North America handy at all times. But I'd urge any birder in North America who chases rarities or, especially, wants to find one themselves to have this book and study it. It will make you a better, more attuned birder."--Grant McCreary, Birder's Library

"[T]his is a very interesting book especially for those who want to take their birding to a whole new level of challenge by seeking out rare and vagrant birds."--GrrlScientist

"If you take your birds rare, don't miss out on this impressive testament to the study of vagrancy in North American birds."--Matthew Bettelheim, (bio)accumulation

"A masterclass in identification from two of America's finest field birders. . . . [Ian Lewington's] brushstrokes breathe life into birds like no other illustrator, distilling the very essence of what makes one species different from another no matter how similar they look to even the most discerning of observers."--Stuart Winter, Sunday Express

"This is a very nice book, which serious birders will own."--Choice

"Arizona birders will not want to be without Rare Birds. Not only does the book prepare us to identify the next vagrant that wafts our way, but it provides the reader with new ways to think about where our birds come from and why. And the only thing more fun than birding is thinking about it all."--Rick Wright, Vermilion Flycatcher

"This volume is sure to be a revered resource in any birder's library for the wealth of information it contains as well as the beauty of Lewington's paintings."--USA Today

"[An] impressive work. . . . The 275 plates by Ian Lewington are outstandingly clear. . . . A combination of thorough research and beauty."--Keith Betton, Bird Watching Magazine

"The identification texts here are probably the most advanced ever produced in a North American guide. This is an invaluable reference. . . . The book's value is not limited to American birders. There's a lot of great information here for the European audience, too. The informative comparisons between the Common Moorhen and Common Gallinule, Gray and Great Blue Herons, and Common and Wilson's Snipe are probably better than in any European guide. . . . Howell, Lewington, and Russell have done a fantastic job with this book. The illustrations, the detailed identification texts, and the original thought presented here make Rare Birds of North America a 'must-have' for the discerning birder."--Graham Etherington, Birding, ABA

"The book provides unparalleled insights into vagrancy and avian migration. . . . Serious birders will want a copy of Rare Birds of North America."--Frederic H. Brock, Wildlife Activist

"This will doubtless prove to be one of the most important birding books of 2014. It is a pleasure to browse through, an endless source of curious and surprising information and a key reference in the identification literature. So, a hearty approval from me. A wonderful book!"--Curious Naturalist

"Clearly this is a must buy book for the passionate list keepers, particularly those who are strongly competitive. But there are good reasons for the rest of us owning this book. . . . It is an education of field observation just to read this book. It is great value for the price and a highly recommended purchase for all birders."--Roy John, Canadian Field Naturalist

"This book is a must-buy for anyone visiting the vagrant traps of North America and should appeal to any birder with an interest in vagrancy or simply with a desire to increase their knowledge or identification skills."--David Hodkinson, BTO News

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"Rare Birds of North America is splendid. There is warmth and humor in the prose, and the color plates are stunning and will ensure a strong audience for many years to come. Such a book is long overdue for North American readers."--Edward S. Brinkley, editor of North American Birds

"An excellent treatment of a fascinating topic."--Paul Lehman, field guide consultant and bird tour leader

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File created: 10/28/2014

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