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A Guide to the Identification and Natural History of the Sparrows of the United States and Canada
James Rising

Paperback | 1998 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780125889711


A Guide to the Identification and Natural History of the Sparrows of the United States and Canada provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on all the features that make possible identification of all 62 species of sparrows that occur in North America. The text gives detailed descriptions of the summer, winter, and juvenile plumages of each species, as well as comparisons with similar species. The species accounts are illustrated with range maps and superb line drawings showing behavioral postures and, where useful, fine features of tail feather patterns. The 27 color plates splendidly illustrate the various plumages of each species with the emphasis on the distinctive appearance of birds of different sex, age, and geographic regions. This beautiful and authoritative book will be a must for the library of all keen birders living in and visiting North America.

Species accounts include discussions of species:

  • Identification
  • Measurements
  • Voice
  • Habitat
  • Ecology
  • Nesting biology
  • Distribution
  • Taxonomy
  • Geographic variations
  • Historical and present status


"Rising's first-hand experience with the North American sparrows is apparent, especially so in his sections on voice, habits, and habitat. I highly recommend Sparrows of the United States and Canada to all birders and field ornithologists with any interest in these birds. It contains up-to-date information . . . as well as some of the best available illustrations of this difficult-to-identify group of birds, and all at a very reasonable price."--Guy McCaskie, Birding

"The plates are, on balance, excellent, and the text is informative and easy to read."--Jon L. Dunn, Birding World

"The quality of the plates is excellent. . . . I highly recommend this excellent book."--Colin Bradshaw, British Birds

"A birder's book in every sense of the word. . . . [A] 'coming of age' of experienced birding. . . . The book will be of immense value to both beginning and experience birders faced with the challenge of sparrow identification."--Barry Kent MacKay, Toronto Star

"An excellent companion for any birder with an interest in the sparrows of North America."--Tim Harris, Birdwatch

"If you are interested in the finer points of identification, or love sparrows, or have been driven slightly crazy by them, this book will be a welcome addition to your library."--Birdwatcher's Digest


"In the future, I doubt that I will head into the field without [this guide]. . . . [The color plates] are beautiful, and they complement the text descriptions. . . . This book offers North American birders all that they need and a little more."--Greg Chilton, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Other Princeton books by James D. Rising:

Formerly published by Academic Press

File created: 1/4/2017

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