Monday, February 17, 2014

New book, " Rare Birds of North America".

I fell in love with this book the moment I retrieved it from its postal packaging.  As a book, the paper quality, the clarity in its print, the quality of the illustrations and the very "feel" of the book itself inspire confidence. Whilst it obviously deals with North America there is much within it that will be of interest to British birders.

I found the early chapters fascinating  ( Migration and vagrancy in birds, Where do North American vagrants come from? and Topography, Molt and Aging  ). This is current and bang up to date thinking and worth access to in itself.

What follows is a series of absolutely fascinating species accounts accompanied by excellent illustrations by Ian Lewington. The Distribution and Status section within each species is extended further by  Comments that examine the various records of that particular species within North America. There is a  Field Identification section for each species with some particularly extended treatments being presented for gull species that I feel many will find of interest. Again, I have to emphasise that each of these species entries are accompanied by excellent illustrations some of which comprise an extended series dealing with different plumages and comparisons with other species.

Steve Howell, Ian Lewington and Will Russell have produced what I believe is an excellent publication that, even in its own right , is worth having simply for its sheer quality. Its published by Princeton University Press and available through the usual outlets.   Thanks guys!

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