National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 3rd Edition
11/2/21; 752 pages
National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 3rd Edition:
Featuring More Than 1,000 Species With the Most Detailed Information
Found in a Single Volume edited by Jonathan Alderfer, Jon Dunn is a very
highly recommended desk reference guide to every bird species found in the
continental USA, Canada, and Greenland. Think of this guide as an
encyclopedia of birds. The guide opens with the Table of Contents
listing the page number of the birds by families. The introduction
follows and provides an overview of the additional information provided
in this updated guide by ornithologists and artists. This includes
updated range maps. The contents follow the latest taxonomic sequencing
and naming conventions adopted by the American Ornithological Society as
of July 2018. The introduction also includes information on plumage
variation, feather topography, and abundance terms and codes.
For anyone interested in ornithology, National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 3rd Edition is a wonderful reference guide. As expected the artwork is impeccable and finely detailed. The entry for each bird family provides points of identification based on structure, behavior, plumage, distribution, taxonomy, and conservation. Then the individual genus and species are presented covering identification and plumage distinctions based on gender and age, feather topography, as well as the bird in flight. Similar species are presented, as are the voice calls and songs. There is a status and distribution map and a note on the population. Included at the back are two pages on birds found in Greenland and Bermuda that are not from Canada or the USA. Following that is the list of contributors with a brief biography of each, the credits for illustrations, art and photographs and a detailed index.
After receiving the guide, I immediately put it to work identifying a
hawk who decided to eat a lunch of raccoon on a deck post at my house.
(It was a Krinder's Red Tail Hawk, sometimes treated by some as a
subspecies, kriderii.) The illustrations were perfect and helped
me enormously. And yes, the voice was a husky scream, shee-eeee-arrr.
Then I was off identifying another bird from a photo (Golden-Crowned
Kinglet). The National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 3rd Edition was an ease to use.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of National Geographic for TLC Book Tours.