Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region

( 5 )

Overview

Is that butterfly outside your window a Monarch or a Giant Swallowtail? What's the best kind of feeder for attracting birds to your backyard? This pocket-size, brilliantly colorful, simple-to-use guide is an ideal introduction to the birds of the Eastern United States. It contains dozens of full-color photographs that enable readers of all ages to identify the most common species; range maps; tips on attracting and observing firds; information on habitat needs, life cycle, food ...

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Overview

Is that butterfly outside your window a Monarch or a Giant Swallowtail? What's the best kind of feeder for attracting birds to your backyard? This pocket-size, brilliantly colorful, simple-to-use guide is an ideal introduction to the birds of the Eastern United States. It contains dozens of full-color photographs that enable readers of all ages to identify the most common species; range maps; tips on attracting and observing firds; information on habitat needs, life cycle, food preferences; and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316818117
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Series: Stokes Beginner's Guides Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 139,289
  • Product dimensions: 4.62 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds

Eastern Region
By Donald Stokes

Little Brown and Company

Copyright © 1996 Donald Stokes
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0316818119

Introduction

Feeding wild birds is one of the most enjoyable, absorbing, and rewarding lifetime hobbies. Not only do you get to see birds up close, which is a real thrill, but you also have the satisfaction of feeding and helping out a wild animal. Feeding and attracting birds is part of a large trend toward turning our backyards into wildlife sanctuaries, peaceful and stress-reducing places that nurture the birds and are havens for us. Humans have probably been feeding birds in some way ever since our early ancestry, for birds are curious and always looking for food.

BIRD FEEDING AS A HOBBY

Various studies have been done on how many Americans feed birds in their own backyards. Most seem to suggest that about 65 million people take part. This includes all levels of involvement with the hobby, from people who only put out a little seed every once in a while to those who have ten or more feeders and go through over 100 pounds of seed a week. There are many ways to participate in bird feeding, and whether you live in urban or rural areas, there are lots of birds to attract. You can feed birds just one kind of seed, or you can offer many types of seed in a wide variety of feeders, as well as offering suet, nuts, fruit, and sugar water. If you are like most people, you will find bird feeding a fun and absorbing hobby, and you will soon get caught up in wanting to attract more species of birds, in greater numbers, more of the time.

WHEN TO FEED BIRDS

Determining when to feed birds is easy. Feed them all year. It will increase your enjoyment, and birds can use our help in every month. Each season has its challenges for the birds, and the seed and other foods that we can offer help them throughout their lives. In fall, many birds are on migration and need extra food to help fuel them on their long journeys. In winter, it is colder and the birds that don't migrate need more calories to keep them warm. In spring, most of the food in the wild, such as all of the seeds and berries, has been eaten during the winter, and new insects are only just beginning to fill the air, so birds-both year-round residents and returning migrants-especially need feeder foods in spring. In summer, birds are raising young, and this takes a lot of effort. Offering food at this time helps parents feed themselves easily so they can spend more time looking for food to feed their young. Later, the parents may bring their young to the feeder, where the young eventually learn to feed themselves.

WHY FEED BIRDS?

There are so many good reasons to feed wild birds. One is that with every new building and road, we humans are taking away habitat that produces seeds, berries, and insects that the birds need to survive. Attracting birds by providing sources of food and bird-friendly habitat can help offset in small measure some of these losses of habitats and the foods they produce.

Feeding the birds is extremely educational. It is a great introduction to the natural world for all ages. It brings birds up close so they can be seen in all their beauty; it teaches what birds like to eat, how they feed, and what they need for survival; and it's an easy way to begin learning to identify birds. It can be a wonderful family activity, and a way for parents or grandparents to introduce children to nature and the world of birds.

Bird feeding is also very relaxing and inspirational. It brings joy to all ages, keeps older people in touch with nature and life, and gives young people an awareness of the greater natural world of which they are a part. Watching birds outside a home or office window can do wonders to reduce stress and is a boon to a healthier outlook on life.

And finally, feeding the birds can give you a strong sense of well-being, because you are doing something positive for the world. It is almost magical when you put out feeders and the birds actually come; you have met their needs and they are responding. In addition to setting up feeders, creating good varied habitats in our own backyards provides the birds with essential natural sources of food and nesting places. Attracting birds is a thrilling interaction with the natural world and a way to exercise the best of our nurturing instincts as humans for the life around us. It can also inspire us to become more involved with wildlife conservation on a larger scale.

We hope this introduction to the hobby of bird feeding will start you out on a lifelong activity that enriches your world and benefits the lives of birds.

Continues...


Excerpted from Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds by Donald Stokes Copyright © 1996 by Donald Stokes. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

How to Use This Guide
Tips on Identifying Birds
Attracting Birds
About Binoculars
Helping to Save the Birds
Photo Credits
Identification Pages
Yellow Birds 3
Black-and-Orange Birds 12
Red Birds 16
Brown Birds 21
Blue Birds 64
Green Birds 72
White Birds 76
Black Birds 81
Black-and-White Birds 92
Red, Black, and White Birds 99
Gray Birds 105
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    I am thrilled with this book. It is so easy to use and very info

    I am thrilled with this book. It is so easy to use and very informative.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2013

    This is the perfect bird guide book for BEGINNERS. When I first

    This is the perfect bird guide book for BEGINNERS. When I first set up several bird feeders in my yard I didn't know a finch from a sparrow from a wren. So - when trying to use my previous guide books - I could never find the bird that I was looking at on my feeders before the bird flew off. This book is color coded so locating species and variations within species is quick and easy.

    Eventually I never needed to use this or any other bird guide again although once the bird watcher is skilled enough to identify bird groups and species, then a step to a more advanced series such as a Peterson Field Guide is an option. But for getting your feet wet - go no further than this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2009

    Perfect for my needs

    This book is great for finding out what types of birds are at my feeder. I love the color coding. It really helps to find the birds. ANd if the males and females of the species are different colors, they are shown in both sections.

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  • Posted March 19, 2009

    a marvellous little book

    I found this little book while browsing among bird books in my local B&N store and it won out over all the rest for my purposes. We have many visitors to our backyard feeders and shrubs. For each bird the book has beautiful pictures, including male and female, immature, etc., as relevant; excellent descriptions of voice (songs and calls); habitat; nesting, including complete egg information; and feeding and attracting information. It is attractive and well laid out. It has an unusual bird organization pattern: small to large (beak to tail length given in inches) and groupings by dominant color that can be found on the right edge of the book pages to aid in identifying a particular bird. There are bigger books for advanced birdwatching, but this one is excellent and delightful just to peruse!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2001

    Can't use this in the field

    This book has great photos and is well put together. I don't like the system of classifying birds by color because most birds could fit into more than one category and you wouldn't know where to look. Also, the book has only three species of warblers! I think it was a good idea to exclude rare species from a beginner guide, but the author seems to have left out the wrong ones!

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