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A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America: Large Format Edition

Overview

Explore the Expanding Peterson Line. Leave your reading glasses behind. Now Roger Tory Peterson's classic Field Guide to Eastern Birds has been reissued in a larger format specially produced for those who don't want to take their reading glasses into the field. Peterson's treasured illustrations have been reproduced in beautiful color. Species descriptions include only the most important identification elements—size, voice, and habitat—in large, easy-to-read type. Color range maps, conveniently located next to ...

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Overview

Explore the Expanding Peterson Line. Leave your reading glasses behind. Now Roger Tory Peterson's classic Field Guide to Eastern Birds has been reissued in a larger format specially produced for those who don't want to take their reading glasses into the field. Peterson's treasured illustrations have been reproduced in beautiful color. Species descriptions include only the most important identification elements—size, voice, and habitat—in large, easy-to-read type. Color range maps, conveniently located next to the species accounts, have been updated specifically for this book. Roger Tory Peterson's original text has been revised and updated by Virginia Peterson, who worked closely with her husband and created the maps for the fourth edition of the Field Guide to Eastern Birds; Noble Proctor, a professor of biology who was a close friend of Roger Tory Peterson's and led natural history tours for twenty-five years; and Pete Dunne, vice president of the New Jersey Audubon Society and director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, as well as the author of many books on birding. The maps have been updated by Virginia Peterson and Paul Lehman, past editor of Birding magazine and a bird tour leader who has traveled extensively around North America studying bird distribution and identification and has written many articles on these subjects.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Roger Tory Peterson is a legend among birders, and for good reason. This is his final book -- he died peacefully after spending the day painting for this guide -- and it reflects Peterson's decades-long experience creating one of the most widely used identification systems for birds.
From The Critics
This field guide for bird watchers features over 1,800 detailed color illustrations of birds of eastern and central North America with descriptions of their appearance, voice, habitat, and range on the facing pages. The brief notes on general range are keyed by number to three-color range maps in the rear of the book. A mini-tutorial on bird identification is found in the introduction. The late naturalist and artist Roger Tory Peterson developed the Peterson Identification System used by birders nationwide since 1934. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395963715
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Series: Peterson Field Guides Series
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 175,271
  • Product dimensions: 6.63 (w) x 10.75 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.

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Read an Excerpt

Veteran birders will know how to use this book. Beginners, however, should spend some time becoming familiar in a general way with the illustrations. They are not arranged in systematic or phylogenetic order as in most ornithological works but are grouped in 8 main visual categories:

(1) Swimmers—Ducks and ducklike birds (2) Aerialists—Gulls and gull-like birds (3) Long-legged Waders—Herons, cranes, etc.
(4) Smaller Waders—Plovers, sandpipers, etc.
(5) Fowl-like Birds—Grouse, quail, etc.
(6) Birds of Prey—Hawks, eagles, owls (7) Nonpasserine Land Birds (8) Passerine (Perching) Birds

Within these groupings it will be seen that ducks do not resemble loons; gulls are readily distinguishable from terns. The needlelike bills of warblers immediately differentiate them from the seed-cracking bills of sparrows. Birds that could be confused are grouped together when possible and are arranged in identical profile for direct comparison. The arrows point to outstanding “field marks” which are explained opposite.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix Map of Area Covered by This Book inside front cover How to Identify Birds 1 Ducks, Ducklike and Miscellaneous Swimming Birds 10–51 Loons: Gaviidae 10 Grebes: Podicipedidae 12 Alcids (Auks): Alcidae 14 Cormorants: Phalacrocoracidae 18 Darters: Anhingidae 18 Swans, Geese, and Ducks: Anatidae 20 Swans: Cygninae 20 Geese: Anserinae 20 Geese and Swans in Flight 24 Whistling-Ducks: Dendrocygninae 26 Dabbling Ducks: Anatinae 26 Diving Ducks: Aythyinae 32 Stiff-tailed Ducks: Oxyurinae 38 Mergansers: Merginae 40 Ducklike Swimmers (Coots, Gallinules): Rallidae (in part) 42 Flight Patterns of Ducks 44 Seabirds, Gulls, etc. (Aerialists) 52–77 Shearwaters, etc.: Procellariidae 52 Rare Pterodroma Petrels 54 Storm-Petrels: Hydrobatidae 54 Pelicans: Pelecanidae 56 Frigatebirds: Fregatidae 56 Gannets and Boobies: Sulidae 58 Tropicbirds: Phaethontidae 58 Jaegers and Skuas: Stercorariidae 60 Gulls and Terns: Laridae 62 Gulls: Larinae 62 Terns: Sterninae 72 Skimmers: Rynchopidae 76 Long-legged Wading Birds 78–89 Herons and Bitterns: Ardeidae 78 Storks: Ciconiidae 84 Cranes: Gruidae 84 Limpkins: Aramidae 86 Ibises and Spoonbills: Threskiornithidae 86 Flamingoes: Phoenicopteridae 88 Smaller Wading Birds 90–121 Rails: Rallidae 90 Oystercatchers: Haematopodidae 94 Avocets and Stilts: Recurvirostridae 94 Plovers: Charadriidae 96 Plovers and Turnstone in Flight 100 Sandpipers: Scolopacidae 102 Phalaropes: Phalaropodidae 114 Waders in Flight 116 Fowl-like Birds 122–127 Turkeys: Meleagrididae 122 Grouse, etc.: Tetraonidae 122 Pheasants: Phasianidae (in part) 122 Quails and Partridges: Phasianidae (in part) 126 Birds of Prey 128–155 Hawks, Eagles, etc.: Accipitridae 128 Kites: Elaninae and Milvinae 128 Accipiters: Accipitrinae 130 Harriers: Circinae 130 Buteos: Buteoninae (in part) 132 Eagles: Buteoninae (in part) 136 Ospreys: Pandionidae 136 American Vultures: Cathartidae 138 Caracaras and Falcons: Falconidae 138 Caracaras: Caracarinae 138 Falcons: Falconinae 140 Birds of Prey Overhead 142 Owls: Tytonidae (Barn Owls) and Strigidae (True Owls) 150 Nonpasserine Land Birds 156–171 Parrots and Parakeets: Psittacidae 156 Pigeons and Doves: Columbidae 158 Cuckoos and Allies: Cuculidae 160 Goatsuckers (Nightjars): Caprimulgidae 162 Hummingbirds: Trochilidae 164 Kingfishers: Alcedinidae 164 Woodpeckers: Picidae 166 Swifts: Apodidae (with Swallows, 182) Passerine (Perching) Birds 172–267 Tyrant Flycatchers: Tyrannidae 172 Larks: Alaudidae 178 Pipits: Motacillidae 178 Swallows: Hirundinidae 180 Crows, Jays, etc.: Corvidae 184 Titmice and Chickadees: Paridae 188 Nuthatches: Sittidae 190 Creepers: Certhiidae 190 Wrens: Troglodytidae 192 Gnatcatchers and Kinglets: Sylviidae 194 Bulbuls: Pycnonotidae 194 Mockingbirds and Thrashers: Mimidae 196 Thrushes: Turdidae 196 Shrikes: Laniidae 202 Waxwings: Bombycillidae 202 Vireos: Vireonidae 204 Wood-Warblers: Parulidae 208 Blackbirds, Orioles, etc.: Icteridae 230 Starlings: Sturnidae 234 Tanagers: Thraupidae 238 Weaver Finches: Ploceidae 240 Grosbeaks, Finches, Sparrows, and Buntings: Fringillidae 240 Life List 268 Index 275

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