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    $16.50 $16.30 list($25.00)
    1. The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing
    $16.50 $15.65 list($25.00)
    2. The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail
    $18.48 $17.89 list($28.00)
    3. The Singing Life of Birds : The
    $230.00 $49.44
    4. Birds in Brazil
    $23.10 $20.50 list($35.00)
    5. The Sibley Guide to Birds
    $17.16 $16.50 list($26.00)
    6. Why Birds Sing: A Journey Through
    $16.50 $14.90 list($25.00)
    7. The Devil's Teeth : A True Story
    $13.60 $12.95 list($20.00)
    8. The Race to Save the Lord God
    $16.80 list($24.00)
    9. Robbing the Bees : A Biography
    $13.96 $11.99 list($19.95)
    10. Animal-Speak: The Spiritual &
    $106.95 $82.00 list($110.95)
    11. Borror and DeLong's Introduction
    $15.36 $9.99 list($21.95)
    12. National Geographic Field Guide
    $13.57 $12.90 list($19.95)
    13. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds
    $9.71 $8.18 list($12.95)
    14. Thinking In Pictures : and Other
    $19.98 $14.19
    15. The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher:
    $13.57 $7.99 list($19.95)
    16. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide
    $14.96 $14.28 list($22.00)
    17. A Field Guide to the Birds of
    $19.80 $19.69 list($30.00)
    18. Birding by Ear: Eastern and Central
    $13.57 $11.90 list($19.95)
    19. National Audubon Society Field
    $19.77 $19.71 list($29.95)
    20. Sharks of the World (Princeton

    1. The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter And Miracles
    by Bruce H. Lipton
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0975991477
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-18)
    Publisher: Mountain of Love
    Sales Rank: 263
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of New Biology. Author Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor and research scientist. His experiments, and those of other leading-edge scientists, have examined in great detail the processes by which cells receive information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts. Dr.Lipton92s profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking. ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly lacking in any real details to be much help
    (...)
    As someone who has read this book and just having heard the author on the radio, I can tell you that the book is more ambiguous than the above quoted description.No where in the entire book does the author describe *how* cellular functionings are related to our spiritual natures, nor does the author detail any helpful or systematic way in which to achieve the kinds of potential he keeps repeating that we are able to attain.

    Instead the author has written a book that redunantly keeps stating the premise that our biology is not controlled by genes but but how external events and stimuli get interpreted by our "subconscious programming," which develops from how we've been reared during our first formative years.For a man that is arguing against determinism of the genes, he sure does seem to be advancing a cultural determinism.

    The author says until we rewrite or overrun these subconscious programs, we cannot free ourselves to attain the life we want.But no where in the entire book does he tell us *how* to do just that.Lipton bashes the scientific community for supposedly advancing the notion of being "victims" of a "dogma of DNA" mentality, but he offer no less a victimhood in saying we are effectively held hostages to this ysterious "subconscious programming" underpinning of human nature--when the author provides no means to break free from that supposed subconscious bondage.

    Why did he write the book then if he is not offering a "cure," as it were?

    Moreover, one has to question the validity of the original premise that Lipton is presenting.Does the human mind really work this way?The "evidence," although titilating seems too controversial and suspect and is far from being unquestionably accepted.In particular the bringing in of supposed quantum-mechanical concepts seems rather new-age in tone and given other author's use of them, like Deepak Chopra, a bit contrived and trite.Aside from the good-feel message, where's eithe the unequivocal evidence of these statements--and more important the supposed methods of healing ourselves of these underlying mechanism that the author claims is possible?

    (...) The book did not deliver in what it advertised.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Captivating ideas and speaker
    I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Lipton on the radio and am now just ordering the book. A friend told me about seeing him lecture, and now I'm glad that his research and ideas are provoking people to think. Obviously, after looking at a few of these reviews, it is interesting that none of them really write about the book and I would like to know if his book is as fascinating as his talk.Some of these comments do prove that he has raised the hackles of defensive scientists and it looks like others are using this review section as a Blog.

    From his radio presentations and lectures, I think he has touched on something big from his work - the power of the mind - fear, hope, love, anger, chemistry, and spirituality - are all connected to our basic functioning cellular components. The trick is to learn how to be present and work with your thoughts. From his talkshow, he was clear that he isn't providing a manual on how to do this - it is up to each and every one of us to master it - rather he is giving us the insight about how our bodies work, and that our cells that keep us all alive ought to be kept in a nurturing environment, and he gives us reasons why that is important - and however we want to nurture our personal environment is up to us. Why would anyone want to argue or disagree with that thought? Thank you Lipton for helping to make this world and life that I live a good place.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It's all in the bible already child!
    I been going now for some fifty-two years to the St, James Revivalist Church between William Potter and St. Mark Street.I love my Lord and do believe in the power of belief, but let me tell you a little about one Ms. Ethel-Ruth Solloways, the woman who stole my man George some forty-eight years ago come this July the eighth.Georgie was a good Christian man, but he was a mighty weak man. God rest his poor sinful soul.Ms. Solloways knew this, the floozy, and she come around all sultry and tarted up, wearing her big hat with the flowers and all her perfume, bringing her special apple-marmalade combination pie.Why Georgie went the way of the devil soon after that, the wicked good-for-nothing man, God rest his soul.Georgie now home with the Lord, I think.But now Ms. Solloways, who did never comes to the church much after her stealing of my man, is coming just about every Sundays now plus the church functions no less.Oh, she be floozying around yet again, with her same perfume no less and up to her scheming home-made cooking ways again.I do think she has her eye on poor Mr. Philips, whose dear wife Mary I did know well and whose now passed over to be with the Lord.Would you believe child that she even went so far to bake Mr. Philips the very same devil lure food she used to trap my Georgie?That's right: her apple-marmalade combination pie!Now she been lately pushing this book on usparishioners, telling us all that the book proves all she's been saying for years.She even tells us while feigning a at all convincing modesty: "Look at me 98 and don't I look younger.It's the power of belief!"Well, let me tell you child, she don't look a day younger than 90 at best.And I know for a fact that her choppers are fake.Seen them I did fall straight out of her mouth once at month's picnic when she was stepping off the bus.Oh, she quickly put them back in her mouth and acted all pretty, like nothing happened.But I saw it I did!Plus, I have it on very good authority that she been wearing a weave for quite some time now.So you ain't fooling anyone Ms. Solloways, you husband robbing, false-tooth, weave-wearing floozy phony!I am on to you girl.Sure, I would look 90 too with fake teeth and a weave and if I don me a pretty floozy hat with flowers and put on that sinful perfume, I could do all that too.Oh, I fear she be having a very bad influence on the current young reverend child.He seems mighty smitten with her many philosophical ruminations and the like.I read this Biology of Belief book I did.I too was saying these very same things, way before Ms. Solloways or Lipton was saying it too, I will tell you that.Why just read your bible child!Its all in there already.Belief is the foundation of faith child, and mighty things happen when belief comes to play.Why the Lord Himself says that if ye have but a mustard seed size of faith ye shall move mountains.Mountains now!Now that there is the power of belief.I don't know so much about all that biology stuff though.But the belief part, well I can tell you is real, for I've seen some mighty things that the power of belief can do.May the Lord bless you child.But beware of Ms. Salloways and her aplle-marmalade combo pie ways!

    5-0 out of 5 stars There is power in the Biology of Belief!
    This is an amazing book that is sure to become a classic, ushering a paradigmatic change in long overdue thinking, which is holistic and spiritual-based.

    Holding back little in terms of passion, Dr. Lipton reveals that the real illness of society is modern medicine and science.

    Instead of such silly notions as genes having influence on illness, Dr. Lipton reveals that beliefs are more important.

    Such breakthrough thinking will surely be resisted by the status quo, who want to maintained their dominance.

    Instead of being hostages to their tyrannical, dogmatic hold, we have the new hope from the salvation of belief!

    Surely in the years to come, the public will hail Dr, Lipton as a pioneer and history will have his name alongside Einstein's name.

    At last, we as a species can now embrace the full potential we are destined to attain.

    Jostling us into a new awakened state of mind, Dr. Lipton is our modern Buddha and physician of good health.

    Only in the years to come will we really see the full fruits of this glorious new dawn of human understanding.

    Knowledgeable and witty, Dr. Lipton leads us into this new age of humanity.

    Ethel-Ruth Solloways, who I've met is 98 years old and looks only 80.The power of belief is incredible-literally.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mind and Body Meet as One!
    I don't understand why so many are bashing this book.Why is it so hard to believe that wishes or belief can affect external reality?Why?Alright, so many its counter-intuitive for the intuitive-challenged.But you can do it if you just put your mind to it!

    Dr. Lipton makes us see that extra hidden layer of reality that we all know is really really there beneath all that boring scientific-speak sort of geek-talk that the scientist wants us to believe just to sell us a pill.Let's face it, what has science done other than make our lives so horribly backwards?There's all this talk about physics people and the like.I mean didn't physicists make the atomic bomb?And isn't it doctors that like cut people open every year.Hmm, humanitarians or sociopaths?I mean they lock you for cutting people, but you get a little two-letter abbreviation at the end of you name like M.D., and suddenly you can charge people to cut them!Now that's my definition of insane.

    Thankfully, Dr. Lipton has come to the rescue.We are not victims of this silly notion of genes.Let's face it people, have you seen a gene?These scientist people though want us to believe this crazy stuff.Why?Because it keeps them in business and makes them money.

    Dr. Lipton shows us how we can slow if not stop the aging process, not fall into the internalized expectation of becoming ill or sick.He argues that our biology responds to environmental cues, in which our subconscious programs of expectation and beliefs then interpret these environmental stimuli and react accordingly.

    For instance, many have been lead to believe that aging and accompanying disease is inevitable.This is not so!We can probably live, as Dr. Lipton argues, to live much longer, if only we begin to bring about that reality by believing it and not succumbing to the negative beliefs that genes will fail and age will lead to death.

    I am a believer!And I plan to put that belief to work right away.I now understand that the reason why I gained weight when I ate that super-sized double decker beefy hamburger with extra bacon and cheese wasn't because it was fattening and how my internal biochemistry reacted to that hamburger, but rather I gained weight because of my subconscious psychological program or believing that fat makes me fat.

    The reason why so many overweight people eating badly and never exercising die young and have high blood-pressure is because overweight people eating poorly who never exercise believe this is bad for them and have bought into the medical community's ideology of the dogma of genes and that such lifestyles are detrimental to health.

    The pharmaceutical companies are in on this too with the medical people, who write the prescriptions of the drugs that the legalized drug pushers are trying to get us to buy to keep them in business.Big science people like the National Institutes of Health are really a scam organization.It's really just the opposite, just like in George Orwell's 1984, where organizations have names opposite of what they really do.It should really be called the National Institute of Illness.And it's not just the pharmaceutical companies and government organizations; its also these universities too that do research and constantly need and supply the new armies of scientists to keep perpetuating this viscous cycle!

    Thankfully Dr. Lipton is showing us we don't need these guys-if like we ever did!No, we can believe and don't have to do all this deep thinking stuff like science.We are now entering the new age of the science of connection with real reality and nature, in which mind and body become one!
    ... Read more


    2. The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
    by Tim Gallagher
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618456937
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-18)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 803
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    What is it about the ivory-billed woodpecker? Why does this ghost of the southern swamps arouse such an obsessive level of passion in its devotees, who range from respected researchers to the flakiest Loch Ness monster fanatics and Elvis chasers?
    Since the early twentieth century, scientists have been trying their best to prove that the ivory-bill is extinct. But every time they think they've finally closed the door, the bird makes an unexpected appearance. It happened in the 1920s, and it's happened in almost every subsequent decade.
    For more than 60 years, each sighting has been met with ridicule and scorn. Respected researchers and naturalists have been branded as quacks just for having the temerity to say that the ivory-bill still exists. Yet the reports still trickle in. Is there any truth to these sightings, or are they just a case of wishful thinking, misidentification, or outright fabrication?
    To unravel the mystery, author Tim Gallagher heads south, deep into the eerie swamps and bayous of the vast Mississippi Delta, searching for people who claim to have seen this rarest of birds and following up—sometimes more than 30 years after the fact—on their sightings. He meets a colorful array of characters: a cigar-chomping ex-boxer who took two controversial pictures of an alleged ivory-bill in 1971; a former corporate lawyer who abandoned her career to search for ivory-bills full time; two men who grew up in the ivory-bill's last known stronghold in a final remnant of primeval forest in Louisiana.
    With his buddy Bobby Harrison, a true son of the South from Alabama, Gallagher hits the swamps, wading through hip-deep, boot-sucking mud and canoeing through turgid, mud brown bayous where deadly cottonmouth water moccasins abound. In most cases, they are clearly decades too late. But when the two speak to an Arkansas backwoods kayaker who saw a mystery woodpecker the week before and has a description of the bird that is too good to be a fantasy, the hunt is on.
    Their Eureka moment comes a few days later as a huge woodpecker flies in front of their canoe, and they both cry out, "Ivory-bill!" This sighting—the first time since 1944 that two qualified observers positively identify an ivory-billed woodpecker in the United States—quickly leads to the largest search ever launched to find a rare bird, as researchers fan out across the bayou, hoping to document the existence of this most iconic of birds.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The "Qualified Observer" speaks.
    "there are no ivory billed woodpeckers..." that was the response to an email from Cornell University several years ago I had sent, reporting a unusual sighting of another bird species. The joke was "maybe my next sighting will be an Ivory Billed Woodpecker..." Of course, I'll cut them some slack, but I have always hoped that I would see one. Who wouldn't?

    I can't think of another bird that us birders would like to see more than an IBW. How exciting that it is sighted in my homestate! However, I still couldn't help but email Cornell again and say "I told you so".

    A lot of research and precious time has gone into the production of this book and I am sure that all birders, fanatics and enthusiasts alike will enjoy Mr. Gallagher's book. Following every possible lead, he researched and interviewed people from many different walks of life to confirm their existence. You will feel an incredible sense of loss when reading about the demise of the Singer tract. Even though it will be depressing at times, you will also keep that sense of hope that maybe more will be done in the future, that maybe we have learned from our mistakes. And possibly, maybe we too will encounter this beautiful, distinctive, evasive bird in the shadows of (our minds) an old growth cypress forest.

    Maybe hope is what makes this book so special. For the Grail itself is a symbol of hope and faith. I hope that more can be done to save our precious habitats. I believe with rediscoveries more will be done.

    So keep the faith, your binoculars handy, read the book and enjoy the story, study the images and maybe the "Grail Bird" will make an appearance in a 'big woods' near you.


    A great read! A book you won't want to put down until it's finished.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the inside story of the 2004 ivory-bill sighting!
    This is a well-written insider's tale of the confirmed sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas in 2004, which amazed all of us who are even remotely interested in birds and wildlife.The last previous confirmed sighting was in 1944, in the NE corner of Louisiana, an area that was logged and destroyed later that year.Interesting, then, that the rare bird, long thought extinct, shows up just upriver in Arkansas.

    One of the things that makes Gallagher's book so good is his tracking down various unconfirmed sightings over the years.In light of what we now know, that the ivory-bill lives!, these sightings become much more plausible in retrospect.And there is a pattern that emerges -- sightings across southern Louisiana from west (Sabine River) to central (Atchafalaya Basin) to east (Pearl River).A long-lost tape has been unearthed confirming a 1966 "sighting" (hearing) in the Sabine River area of east Texas.The 850,000 acre Atchafalaya Basin was the location of several sightings in the 1970s and 1980s.A highly credible 1999 sighting in the Pearl River area led to an intensive search that found nothing.It is quite possible therefore, based on the evidence presented in this book, that the ivory-bill survives not only in the Cache and White River area of east-central Arkansas, but in the swamps of southern Lousiana as well!

    What's the moral of the story?Habitat preservation!The area in Arkansas is protected land, which was expanded by Nature Conservancy purchases between the February 2004 sightings and the recent public announcement, and protecting critical habitat in the three river basins mentioned above might well secure more elusive ivory-bill populations.Designation and protection of critical habitat is in fact mandated by the Endangered Species Act.

    The two top websites for more on the amazing ivory-bill story are The Nature Conservancy (http://www.tnc.org) and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (http://www.birds.cornell.edu).

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have book RE: the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed!
    This book is an amazing tale of the expeditions to rediscover the elusive (and formerly thought-to-be-extinct) Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Finding this bird (for non-birders reading this review) is the equivalent of finding Elvis Presley alive and well for music fans! And really, Tim Gallagher is the best person to have written it, having been a part of the process from day one. The storyline is good, and the humor that Tim interjects into it really made this book an easy and interesting read. I purchased this book and read it cover to cover all in the same day.

    I should also note that before this book was released, I had read "The Race To Save The Lord God Bird" by Phil Hoose, and it was also a good read, but this book pretty much picks up where the Hoose book left off in terms of current efforts and info about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

    This book is a MUST HAVE for those interested in the species, or in conservation issues in general, because the message within the story of the amazing rediscovery of this magnificent bird is that perhaps we should ALL be more mindful of conservation issues in general. On that note -- I highly recommend that you buy/read the book!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Next Best Thing to Being There
    I assumed we would have to wait a few months, or even a year, for the inside story of the rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait at all, as Tim Gallagher was simultaneously searching for the bird and working on this most excellent book. Another reviewer used the word "perfect" to describe The Grail Bird, and I think that's about right, as Gallagher has somehow arrived at the perfect mix of natural history, detective story, and memoir. It's a delicate balance, and he found it. This book won't be a best-seller, but deserves to be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ivory-billed Woodpecker: The TRUTH behind the rediscovery
    Tim Gallagher's newest book, The Grail Bird, is indeed the truth behind the rediscovery. I've been a follower of Ivory-billed Woodpecker history and sightings for several years. I've tried to read any book that has any noteworthy mention of the species within. This is the best book I have ever come across. It contains a great wealth of information on the history of the species right up to Tim's own personal sighting a little more than a year ago.

    Do you know who took the mystery photos of the 1971 Ivory-billed Woodpecker? Tim does. And, thanks to his sleuthing, now I do too. It's all in his book.

    Tim is a great writer and a great detective. He tracked down every possible lead he could find and interviewed anyone he thought may have seen an Ivory-billed Woodpecker or who knew of someone who had. His interviews and stories are very interesting with great personal lines from Tim that will make you laugh and maybe even cry. After reading his book you will come away feeling as if you were there, right alongside Tim and his friend, Bobby, on their journeys for the truth.

    I know you will thoroughly enjoy this.

    Good reading!



    ... Read more


    3. The Singing Life of Birds : The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong
    by Donald Kroodsma
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618405682
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 951
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Listen to birds sing as you've never listened before, as the world-renowned birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma takes you on personal journeys of discovery and intrigue.
    Read stories of wrens and robins, thrushes and thrashers, warblers and whip-poor-wills, bluebirds and cardinals, and many more bird. Learn how each acquires its songs, how songs vary from bird to bird and place to place, how some birds' singing is especially beautiful or ceaseless or complex, how some do not sing at all, how the often quiet female has the last word, and why.
    Hear a baby wren and the author's own daughter babble as each learns its local dialect. Listen to the mockingbird by night and by day and count how many different songs he can sing. Marvel at the exquisite harmony in the duet of a wood thrush as he uses his two voice boxes to accompany himself.
    Feel the extraordinary energy in the songs just before sunrise as dawn's first light sweeps across this singing planet. Hear firsthand the unmistakable evidence that there are not one but two species of marsh wrens and two species of winter wrens in North America. Learn not only to hear but to see birds sing in the form of sonagrams, as these visual images dance across the pages while you listen to the accompanying CD.
    Using your trained ears and eyes, you can begin your own journeys of discovery. Listen anew to birds in your backyard and beyond, exploring the singing minds of birds as they tell all that they know. Join Kroodsma not only in identifying but in identifying with singing birds, connecting with nature's musicians in a whole new way.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Suberb--a lovely merging of science and poetry
    I was predisposed to like this book, since I love birdsong and have long been drawn to research about it.But this book far exceeded my high expectations.Don Kroodsma takes us through the entire process of listening to a song, thinking up questions about how the species acquired it, and step by step through the process of learning the answer, setting up the sections like little mysteries.He's recognized by the American Ornithologists' Union as an authority on acquisition of birdsong, and although the book is authoritative and scientific, he somehow manages to infuse every paragraph with his own sense of wonder and joy in his subject.This book may look like a textbook, but it reads like a cross between a mystery novel and lovely poetry.I can't recommend it highly enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of Avian Bioacoustics.
    A masterpiece of avian bioacoustics (Sorry, I just had to use those words).

    I have a bird outside my window just now singing a song of some kind. I've long thought it was pretty, but thought no more acout it. Now this book has come along and my casual listening has become much more interesting. I found the bird outside my window in the book and sure enough here is a sonogram, a voice print if you will of what the bird sounds like. Further, there is a track on the CD that comes with the book that has this bird's song recorded. It's not exactly like the bird outside the window, but birds (I've learned) are individuals too.

    Birding is one of the more popular pastimes in this country, and growing quire rapidly. This book would be a supurb gift to any birder, even if you have to give it to yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The CD alone is worth the money!
    Just listened to an interview with the author on NPR which included a number of selections from the accompanying CD, all I can think of is 'how awesome!'The author has spent many years studying and documenting birdsong and makes me realize that what I thought I knew from growing up in the country surrounded by birdsong is a tiny fragment of what I actually was hearing.The CD includes birdsongs at normal speeds and slowed to 1/2 and 1/4 speed, which allows the listener to hear the discreet sounds.The accompanying text includes graphic description of the sounds for a clearer understanding.If you love birds, you will love this! ... Read more


    4. Birds in Brazil
    by Helmut Sick
    list price: $230.00
    our price: $230.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691085692
    Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Here is a substantially revised and updated English-language version of the only comprehensive, scientific treatment of Brazil's 1635 bird species. Written by the then dean of Brazilian ornithologists and published in Brazil in 1985, it not only lists every individual Brazilian species and provides detailed accounts for most of them but also gives an extensive treatment of the characteristics of each bird family found in the country. In addition, it analyzes the composition of Brazil's avifauna and relates it to the country's geography. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Birds in Brazil
    Birds in Brazil is a big book, beautifully produced on quality paper. It is exhaustive but never exhausting on the topic of Brazilian birds . The color illustrations are beautiful, but unfortunately they are separate from the text about the birds. That is the book's only fault. The text is in smooth and enticing English, and where the same birds are to be found migrating to the United States, the information is quite comparable in completion and interest to the American field guides of Roger T. Peterson. That leads me to believe that the information about birds that we don't experience will be equally accurate. This book is captivating and well worth the price. It is a coffee-table style book that we will be proud to use and to display. ... Read more


    5. The Sibley Guide to Birds
    by David Allen Sibley
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679451226
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-03)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1195
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    More than 10 years in the making, David Sibley's Guide to Birds is a monumental achievement. The beautiful watercolor illustrations (6,600, covering 810 species in North America) and clear, descriptive text place Sibley and his work squarely in the tradition of John James Audubon and Roger Tory Peterson; more than a birdwatcher and evangelizer, he is one of the foremost bird painters and authorities in the U.S. Still, his field guide will no doubt spark debate. Unlike Kenn Kaufman's Focus Guide, Sibley's is unapologetically aimed at the converted. Beginning birders may want to keep a copy of Sibley at home as a reference, but the wealth of information will have the same effect on novices as trying to pick out a single sandpiper in a wheeling flock of thousands. The familiar yellow warbler, for instance, gets no less than nine individual illustrations documenting its geographic, seasonal, and sex variations--plus another eight smaller illustrations showing it in flight. Of course, more experienced birders will appreciate this sort of detail, along with Sibley's improvements on both Peterson and the National Geographic guide:

    • As in Peterson, Sibley employs a pointer system for key field markings--but additional text blurbs are included alongside the illustrations to facilitate identification.
    • Descriptive passages on identification are more detailed than those in most other field guides. For example, Sibley includes extensive information on the famously hard-to-distinguish hawks in the genus Accipiter (sharp-shinned, Cooper's, and northern goshawk), noting differences in leg thickness and wing beat that will be of use to more advanced birders. A section on the identification of "peeps" (small sandpipers) includes tips about seasonal molting and bill length. Confusing fall warblers, Empidonax flycatchers, and Alcids receive similar treatment.
    • As previously mentioned, ample space is given to illustrations that show plumage variations by age, sex, and geography within a single species. Thus, an entire page is devoted to the red-shouldered hawk and its differing appearances in the eastern U.S., Florida, and California; similarly, gulls are distinguished by age and warblers by sex.
    • Range maps are detailed and accurate, with breeding, wintering, and migration routes clearly depicted; rare but regular geographic occurrences are denoted by green dots.
    • The binding and paper stock are of exceptional quality. Despite its 544 pages, a reinforced paperback cover and sewn-in binding allow the book to be spread out flat without fear of breaking the binding.

    Some birders will be put off by the book's size. Slightly larger than the National Geographic guide, it's less portable than most field guides and will likely spend more time in cars and desks than on a birder's person while in the field. For some it will be a strictly stay-at-home companion guide to consult after a field trip; others may want to have it handy in a fannypack or backpack. But regardless of how it is used, Sibley's Guide to Birds is a significant addition to any birding library. "Birds are beautiful," the author writes in the preface, "their colors, shapes, actions, and sounds are among the most aesthetically pleasing in nature." Pleasing, too, is this comprehensive guide to their identification. --Langdon Cook ... Read more

    Reviews (79)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful complement for my bird book library.....
    I've owned the SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRD LIFE AND BEHAVIOR for a while, and finally ordered the SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRDS to complete the set. Both books are published by Audubon, the leading name in all things involving birds--at least that is what my 87-year old Aunt Marge says, and she's been to Audubon camp on many occasions.

    The SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRDS is too heavy to take into the field--it's really a reference book. Roger Tory Petersen's guide books are the best for field work--especially when children are involved. Sibley's guides are great reference books.

    Unlike THE SMITHSONIAN HANDBOOK, Sibley's guide does not include a bird profile per page, but like the Smithsonian book and the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA the Sibley guide covers birds in the Northern Hemisphere (U.S. Canada, and Mexico). The National Geographic field guide is lighter than the Sibley guide and thus more likely to end up in the field as the title suggests, however, it is larger and more cumbersome than the Petersen guide and will probably travel in the camper trailer or glove compartment, not in your hand or back pack.

    So--use Petersen for field work, get the Smithsonian guide for extra individual detail, and buy the Sibley guide for making comparisons across species types. If you are really a bird nut, get the Sibley guide to Bird Behavior and the National Geographic bird book. The pictures in the NG book are beautiful with lots of contextual detail--i.e. the Kingfisher eating, flying etc, however, although the NG includes the range maps, it does not include the little arrows that help you identify bird idiosyncracies. The Smithsonian and Petersen guides include the arrows and maps, and the Sibley includes maps and selected arrows (not in most cases).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Every bird watcher will want this book in his or her library
    From the moment I first opened David Sibley's new field guide, I was mesmerized. It offers a compact presentation on every species of bird north of the Mexican border and is undoubtedly one of the most user-friendly guides ever developed. In many ways, Sibley takes Roger Torey Peterson's method to its logical end--a guide that capsulizes all the essential information about similar species, arraying them close to each other for comparison. But unlike Peterson, Sibley presents ample information on the many plumages of individual species which are apt to confuse even some of the most experienced birders. Sibley's art work is very appealing to the eye, and his bird potraits are all very naturally posed. He also points out distinguishing field marks with text arrayed alongside his portraits, facilitating rapid identification. His approach also offers flight views together with perched views where that is helpful.

    There are a few negatives--only a few. The book would be unwieldy to carry in the field. (Best to bring it along and leave it in the car, perhaps.) The range maps are for the most part too small to easily distinguish, especially where birds appear in only limited areas. And the description of songs and calls strike me as inferior to Peterson's, from which I've learned most of the songs and calls I know over the past 40 years.

    In comparison to the other new bird guide just published, Kenn Kaufman's "Focus Guide," I much prefer David Sibley's. While Kaufman has crammed an incredible amount of information into a small, very quickly accessible volume, Sibley's is far more useful in distinguishing between species. Kaufman's is far handier to carry along in the field, but it offers far less data on individual species than Sibley. (Although I cannot feature using this information, Sibley even gives the average weight of each species--a fascinating bit of information not readily available in most other guides.)

    In any event, if you are a person interested in birds at any level of expertise, you are bound to enjoy David Sibley's excellent new guide. Buy a copy as soon as you can!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific identification guide!
    I've been a birder for many years and began a life list around five years ago. I own many of the standard field guides. Only recently did I obtain the Sibley Guide, but it's become my favorite. I generally use Sibley and Stokes in tandem.

    Advantages:
    1. Logical layout
    2. "Species accounts" pages offer an excellent comparative view within the group, as well as a good all-up overview of the families/genus/species, and general behavior.
    3. Individual species pages show comprehensive plumage reference art; more detailed than any I've seen. For this feature alone, the guide is worthwhile!
    4. Species pages show variants (e.g., Great Blue/Great White Heron), fledgling and/or juvenile patterns. In some cases art of eclipse plumage is a very nice bonus.
    5. Flight/wing patterns where relevant
    6. Comparison of hummingbird mating display paths
    7. Diurnal raptors section shows perched vs. in-flight underside plumage for each species. It also offers silhouette guides to help teach wing shape if plumage is light-obscured.
    8. Good geographical reference map (though smaller than ideal*)
    9. Good vocal descriptions
    10. Nice (what they refer to as) "bird topography" section
    11. Where applicable, good information on regional variations and species clines.

    Disadvantages:
    1. This is not a pocket guide; it's cumbersome. I use Stokes in the field, and use Sibley at home for reference afterward.
    2. The binding on my copy isn't sturdy, particularly for something that's supposedly a field guide. I feel like I must treat the glue binding gingerly or the pages might start to fall out.
    3. Not enough text re: birding ethics & conservation (but that might just be my inner tree-hugger appearing) :)
    4. *Geographical range map is small. I imagine it'd be difficult for some people to see clearly.
    5. Migratory geographical information only covers North America. I'd like reference for migratory species (even just within text) of migration route start/finish and total annual distance. (Aside: the artic tern has the longest distance migration [Arctic to Antarctic] and can cover 22k - 30k mpy.)

    Overall, this a great reference, and I recommend it highly.

    However, to Knopf publishers/Chanticleer Press: Please ask Dai Nippon Printing Co to use better binding glue in the next edition!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Sibley classic
    A truly magnificent book, which, coupled with its companion volume, the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, provides the definitive text on American birdlife.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best of the Best!
    Mr. Sibley has created a bird guide for the 21st century. Practical, logical and incredibly informative, The Sibley Guide to Birds is the bird watchers bible. I have used this guide everyday since I purchased it and the incredible paintings make indentifying birds a joy. Concise and informative, this is the definitive guide for my favorite hobby!! I highly recommend this guide to both novice and expert alike. ... Read more


    6. Why Birds Sing: A Journey Through the Mystery of Bird Song
    by David Rothenberg
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 046507135X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 3536
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A beautiful and surprising exploration of a phenomenon that's at once familiar and baffling: the mystery of why birds sing

    The astonishing variety and richness of bird song is both an aesthetic and a scientific mystery. Biologists have never been able to understand why bird song displays are often so inventive and why so many species devote so many hours to singing. The standard explanations, which generally have to do with territoriality and sexual display, don't begin to account for the astonishing variety and energy that the commonest birds exhibit. Is it possible that birds sing because they like to? This seemingly na•ve explanation is starting to look more and more like the truth.

    In the tradition of classic works by Bernd Heinrich, Edward Abbey, and Terry Tempest Williams, Why Birds Sing is a lyric exploration of bird song that blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical beauty and form. Based on conversations with neuroscientists, ecologists, and composers, it is the first book to investigate why birds sing and how, and what effect their music has on other animals-particularly humans. Whether playing the clarinet with the white-crested laughing thrush in Pittsburgh, or jamming in the Australian winter breeding grounds of the Albert's lyrebird, Rothenberg journeys to the heart and soul of bird song. Why Birds Sing offers an intimate look at the most lovely of natural phenomena-with surprising insights about the origin of music. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Duetting with the Birds
    Rothenberg writes with an easy intimacy, but if one takes him at his word, the intimacy that means most to him comes not by means of words but of music, and less by means of music as such than by an improvisatory exchange between, usually, himself on his clarinet, and someone else on whatever instrument the other person is using.

    Given this driving urge, it seems inevitable that Rothenberg should want to cross the barrier between those most musical of creatures, the birds, and those with the most productive curiosity, the humans. His own curiosity leads him first to the birds and then to the human experts in birdsong. He gives vivid descriptions of these researchers' extraordinary devotion to their work. I especially enjoyed his description of the ability of the composer Olivier Messiaen to hear, transcribe, and whistle the complex songs of a bird he had never heard before.

    Although, like a few of the researchers - Donald Kroodsma, for example - Rothenberg believes in the innate pleasure birds take in their song, he checks his intuitive sense of their muisicality by carefully summarizing what is scientifically known about their abilities and ways of life. Yet even though he takes to heart the criticism that the romantics "listened to birds and heard only themselves," he recalls that science, too, is fallible, and he plays on the ornithologists' conclusion that not only is each species of birds unique, but so is every individual bird.

    "Why Birds Sing" ends in the climactic scene in which Rothenberg and a friend go to Australia to hear, see the dance of, and try to enter into a musical dialogue with the lyrebird named George, the only member, he says, of his elusive, musically gifted species who can stomach the sight and sound of human beings. The bird lights to sing just a few meters from Rothenberg's tape recorder. He hears that the lyrebird's song is composed but alien, in a human sens crazy, music. After he hears a full cycle of the lyrebird's music, he joins in, dancing, not to copy the bird's song, but to play music, in and around the song, that is worthy of the bird's acceptance. The bird seems to respond to the clarinet, dances, and disappears. Rothenberg develops this last, climactic chapter, which he calls "Becoming a Bird," with thoughtful eloquence. He feels he has given his gift and made his human offering to an animal of another singing species. But his gift is also to all of us who read him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Bird Book
    This book is a hoot, a tweet, and a cheerup!

    David Rothenberg has interwoven a personl journey of playing music with birds with a comprehensive history of bird song studies - from their poetic beginnings to their present scientific analysis.Because of his diverse talents, he is the perfect guide through these intellectual and musical forays.

    Why do birds sing?There are many answers, but none are as satisfying as the relentless questioning in this book.I enjoyed it immensely and found it impossible to put down.I am sure you will enjoy it too. ... Read more


    7. The Devil's Teeth : A True Story of Survival and Obsession Among America's Great White Sharks
    by Susan Casey
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 080507581X
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-07)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 570
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A journalist's obsession brings her to a remote island off the California coast, home to the world's most mysterious and fearsome predators-and the strange band of surfer-scientists who follow them

    Susan Casey was in her living room when she first saw the great white sharks of the Farallon Islands, their dark fins swirling around a small motorboat in a documentary. These sharks were the alphas among alphas, some longer than twenty feet, and there were too many to count; even more incredible, this congregation was taking place just twenty-seven miles off the coast of San Francisco.

    In a matter of months, Casey was being hoisted out of the early-winter swells on a crane, up a cliff face to the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island-dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the "devil's teeth." There she joined Scot Anderson and Peter Pyle, the two biologists who bunk down during shark season each fall in the island's one habitable building, a haunted, 135-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Two days later, she got her first glimpse of the famous, terrifying jaws up close and she was instantly hooked; her fascination soon yielded to obsession-and an invitation to return for a full season. But as Casey readied herself for the eight-week stint, she had no way of preparing for what she would find among the dangerous, forgotten islands that have banished every campaign for civilization in the past two hundred years.

    The Devil's Teeth is a vivid dispatch from an otherworldly outpost, a story of crossing the boundary between society and an untamed place where humans are neither wanted nor needed.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good story, perhaps, but author is not the best narrator
    I suspect that reading this book would be better than the audio version.The author reads her own work and, while I have certainly heard worse narrators, I have also heard much better.The author uses some inflection but her voice is general dull and heavy.Still, for listeners with an interest in sharks, it may be worth the time, even though nothing really spectacular happens nor does the author give a lot of details about the sharks.It is mainly about what happens to her when she visits shark researchers on a remote island.A much better book about sharks and the sea would be Peter Benchley's "Shark Trouble".

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Book About A Fascinating Subject
    I read an excerpt from this book in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, and knew I'd have to read the entire thing. Ms. Casey writes beautifully, and has you hooked (no pun intended) from page one! You feel a little sorry for the seals who end up as entrees for the sharks who inhabit the Farallon Islands a few months a year, but that's nature. The strong survive and this is a book about the ultimate survivors and their peculiar pilgrimage to this unusual playground.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An incredibly absorbing read !
    Have just finished reading an advance reader's copy of Susan Casey's "The Devil's Teeth".I can tell you with much assuredness, you're in for a treat if firsthand accounts of nature in it's rawest form touches you as it does me.

    Having lived in the hills of Marin in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais above Bolinas for the last 25 years, I've been aware of the research done by Peter and Scot on great whites but never had such an in depth look into their activites as that which Ms. Casey puts to words so well. A true spellbinding page turner !!

    "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
    -Aristotle

    ... Read more


    8. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird
    by Phillip Hoose
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0374361738
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-11)
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Sales Rank: 4962
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    Book Description

    The tragedy of extinction is explained through the dramatic story of a legendary bird, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and of those who tried to possess it, paint it, shoot it, sell it, and, in a last-ditch effort, save it.A powerful saga that sweeps through two hundred years of history, it introduces artists like John James Audubon, bird collectors like William Brewster, and finally a new breed of scientist in Cornell's Arthur A. "Doc" Allen and his young ornithology student, James Tanner, whose quest to save the Ivory-bill culminates in one of the first great conservation showdowns in U.S. history, an early round in what is now a worldwide effort to save species.As hope for the Ivory-bill fades in the United States, the bird is last spotted in Cuba in 1987, and Cuban scientists join in the race to save it.

    All this, plus Mr. Hoose's wonderful story-telling skills, comes together to give us what David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds calls "the most thorough and readable account to date of the personalities, fashions, economics, and politics that combined to bring about the demise of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker."
    ... Read more

    9. Robbing the Bees : A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World
    by Holley Bishop
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $16.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743250214
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
    Publisher: Free Press
    Sales Rank: 855780
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    10. Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small
    by Ted Andrews
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875420281
    Catlog: Book (1993-10-01)
    Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
    Sales Rank: 2679
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Want to learn how to speak the language of critters, large and small? Easy-to-read and understand, Ted Andrews's bestselling Animal Speak shows readers how to identify his or her animal totem and learn how to invoke its energy and use it for personal growth and inner discovery. Nature lovers will love this insightful compendium, chock-full of touching stories about animals, natural history, and animal folklore. Readers will also learn magical animal rites and how to read omens. Animal Speak includes a dictionary of bird, animal, reptile, and insect totems, which describe each creature's meaning. For example, if a person's totem is dragonfly, he or she was most likely excessively emotional and passionate in early years, learning with age to balance it with mental clarity and control. If a dragonfly suddenly shows up in your life, it means you may need to gain a new perspective or make a change. --P. Randall Cohan ... Read more

    Reviews (53)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books About Totems Available
    In the last few months, I have discovered my animal totems in meditations I do. I first came across this book in a local book store and would rush over there to look up an animal I saw and its meaning every time I saw a new totems. I finally broke down and bought the book and consider it money well spent. It's nice to have it to refer to when a new totem appears before me. But besides being a very comprehensive dictionary of totems, there's also the philosophy behind them and how man needs to work more with nature to truly understand its power in our lives.

    I've come to be aware of and am thankful for the totems in my life that are helping me through my life's journeys. I feel this book would be very helpful to those (who don't already have it) that are interested in learning more about how animals speak to us, both symbolically and in nature, as well as shamanism and Native American culture. One recent morning I dreamt about a racoon that rushed by me and then that night saw one running through my back yard. His expression seemed to indicate he had something to tell me. Without having read this book, I might have shrugged it off but it to me is a perfect example of what animals can teach us. The message? Most likely to be a little more guarded in my dealings with others.

    I liked too how the author compared the "country" with the city, pointing out that even in a city environment you can still find parts of nature around us. It truly is everywhere, whether we acknowledge it or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How animals can help you learn about yourself
    In this book, you will discover how much the "animal world" and the "human world" intersect. Much more than making us feel good about being surrounded by nature, animals have much to tell us about ourselves and our relationship to the earth and to other living things. Andrews has divided the book into 4 parts - 'Symbols in the Natural World' (including chapters on the roles of nature, spirit totems, predators and prey, omens in nature, and the meaning of landscapes); 'Winged Enchantment' (bird totems and bird medicine); 'Understanding Animal Medicine' (animal rites and totems); and 'The Exotic Language of Insects and Reptiles' (totems). Each animal or bird or insect or reptile included in this vast inventory is described thoroughly - it's behavioral patterns and natural habitat, its mythological characteristics, AND its symbolic importance to humans. I have used this book repeatedly to help me interpret dreams in which animals were central, and to investigate why a certain animal or insect, etc. showed up in my life on a particular day. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is open to non-traditional but very ancient beliefs about animals and their magical and mysterious powers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
    If you are into animals and nature, or want to learn more about them on a spiritual level, this is the book for you. I couldn't put it down from the moment I began reading it. And it's not a small book by any means!
    You really begin to look for the animals around you more closely and attentively. Especially when going hiking or camping, you become aware and note down what animals you saw and under what circumstances, and then look it up later in the book. It is surprisingly accurate, and fun on top of it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great "how to" book on animal guides
    Loved this book. It covers so many animals, you'll be hard pressed not to find your familiar, guide, etc. described in these pages. The book gives you the quick reference in it's "keynote" which is in bold at the top of each animal description. For example, the bear says "Keynote: Awakening the power of the unconscious", and then proceeds to give a page or so description of each of the animals symbolism and power points as well as what the animal may be trying to tell you about yourself.

    There is of course a section on finding your familiar (animal guide) as well. I have performed this "ritual" slightly tweeked to my own style, and it worked incredibly well for me. My familiar at that time was a Blue Jay and believe me, when I say this is to find your familiar, there is no mistaking it when this mystery animal comes to call. That Blue Jay, on several occasions flew right down in front of me and chirped it's head off a mere five feet away - maybe that far - to get my attention. FYI, my use of the word "ritual" is for lack of a better word. This is not a complicated endevor. Andrews style is straight forward and easy to use "magick".

    I strongly recommend this book for anyone wanting to connect with animal guides or is curious about some animal who seems to be showing up in their lives in an unusual manner - maybe they are trying to tell you something!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Love this book
    This book is packed full of information. The only thing i dislike about it, is how it is written. I wished Ted Andrews handn't have written this book in such a boring manner. It makes my eyes heavy... ... Read more


    11. Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
    by Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn
    list price: $110.95
    our price: $106.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0030968356
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-19)
    Publisher: Brooks Cole
    Sales Rank: 63201
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    First published in the 1950s by the late James Borror and Dwight Moore DeLong, this classic text, INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF INSECTS 7TH EDITION, combines the study of insects with clear and current insect identification. In this new edition (available in a bundle with InfoTrac College Edition), Johnson and Triplehorn supply updated information on phylogeny using systematics while adding a greater emphasis on insect biology and evolution. This greater concentration on insect systematics necessitated many content changes including an added chapter for a newly described order, the Mantophasmatodea, as well as a new chapter reclassifying Order Homoptera (Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Hoppers Psyllids) into Order Hemiptera. Nearly every order has been modified, sometimes substantially, to reflect new discoveries and scientific hypotheses. Many new families have been added throughout the book, some reflecting revised classifications, but many are the result of the discovery of new groups within the United States and Canada, particularly from the New World tropics. These include the families Platystictidae (Odonata), Mackenziellidae (Collembola), Mantoididae (Mantodea), and Fauriellidae (Thysanoptera).The results of molecular analyses are beginning to substantively contribute to the development of a robust and predictive classification. Thus, the phylogeny of insects has changed drastically from the last edition due to the incorporation of molecular data. The most conspicuous of these changes, for example, is the recognition that the order Strepsiptera is most closely related to the true flies (Diptera), rather than to the Coleoptera. Since it was first published in the 1950s, this text has played an important role in understanding and preserving the diversity of the insect world. This title's long history, coupled with the authors' passion for currency and accuracy, make it once again the classic text and reference. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Updated Version of a Great Classic
    This is the book on insect taxonomy that most entomologists had as their text in introductory courses. The current (7th) edition is revised to fit recent changes in classification and certainly continues the standard set by Borror and DeLong many years ago. It was never intended to be a text in physiology, behavior or ecology. There are texts for these subjects available and just covering the systematic aspects of insects thoroughly is enough of a task.

    My only quibbles have to do with some changes in arrangement of orders that I am not sure of (such as the union of Hemiptera and Homoptera, and Anoplura and Mallophaga - the latter was also true of the 6th ed.) and the fact that scorpion taxonomy was apparently not revised at all, despite numerous changes in the last several years.

    However, that said, this edition is a continued improvement of a great classic of entomology. Among highlights are Jeremy Miller's and Darrell Ubick's excellent revision of the spider section and the new format for keys to the insects making them easier to use.

    Without a doubt this will remain the best standard textbook on insect taxonomy available and I recommend it with only the minor reservations noted.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I wanted!
    I don't study Insects proffesionaly, I am simply curious about living things around me. I have several Field Guides that offer very little information about the Insect in question (which I suppose is all to be expected from a small book) and I wanted to know more. For instance how do the mouth parts work, what are the different body segments and what do they house or what is their function.Well here it is in "Black and White" litteraly... If you want pretty color pictures this is not the book for you. The figures in the book are however, very detailed, expertly drawn and all body parts are labled. So far every answer I have sought has been answered by this book.I believe that this book is well worth the high price tag. Remember this is only MY opinion, I could be wrong...

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book for keying families
    I had to purchase this book for a class in my undergraduate work. However, as a graduate student, I use this book every semester. I am presently working in a lab and i.d many samples of insects. Some common, some not. I often reach for it to get to family so I can key to genus and species if I need to take the i.d. that far. The numbered keys are great! They reference forward and backward, which really helps if a mistake is made. Definitely a good one to have on the shelves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for pre-entomologist
    It is the most appropriate book I have seen for graudate student who want to be an entomologist. It have a comprehensive knowledge on how to study the insects.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A good book for some purposes
    This a good book for who seek for taxonomic keys to identify insects in the laboratory. Its large size make it difficult in the field. Some aspects are neglected, e.g. physiology and evolution. I think there are a lot of better books for these subjects. ... Read more


    12. National Geographic Field Guide To The Birds Of North America, 4th Edition
    by National Geographic Society
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $15.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792268776
    Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 1580
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Now in its fourth edition, the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America is the ultimate birder’s field guide. Sturdy, portable, and easy-to-use, it features the most complete information available on every bird species known to North America. This revised edition features 250 completely updated range maps, new plumage and species classification information, specially commissioned full-color illustrations, and a superb new index that allows birders in the field to quickly identify a species.

    The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Fourth Edition will continue to be a bestseller among the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. travel market—the nearly 25 million people who travel each year specifically to observe wild birds.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Birding Book
    I have many different bird field guides, but always take this one along on my trips. I have read reviews by others that state this book is too big to carry in the field. Nonsense. I like having a bird book with all the North American birds between the covers. You never know when you may see a stray bird hundreds of miles away from its usual locations. The illustrations are very detailed. The raptors in flight section is another bonus of this book. Don't get me wrong, Sibley's books are magnificent, but this one is good as well. The only drawback is the sparrow section. While they are good, they don't do the birds justice. However, no book is perfect. My birding friends and I all agree that this is probably the best field guide at the moment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Field Guide
    This is a very good field guide. Breif description accompanies every illustration. One thing though - it doens't break it down according to states. Other than that, you will be able to spot birds in your local area with this wonderful guide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
    Just like many other reviewers, this is one of my many field guides to birds, but this one is not my favorite.

    Plusses:
    It's got all the latest revisions (e.g. Wilson's Snipe and Black-crested Titmouse) which the other books do not yet have.

    It's got more birds, so if you're going somewhere where you might see Steller's Sea-Eagle or an Eurasian Kestrel, you'll need this book.

    I personally think the maps in this addition are pretty accurate.

    Minuses:

    Other field guides have illustrations all by the same person. This guide has a bunch of artists. Therefore, I like how some of the birds are shown, but not others. You can't develop a feel of the artist's style and figure out how the typical bird is shown.

    Some people may like how the birds are painted in natural habitats, but for me, I'm trying to get a good look at the bird, I don't care if it's up in some flowery tree, I want to see the bird. In other guides you can easily compare birds because they have the same posture, but often similar birds in this book are pictured doing different things.

    It's too big to carry around easily. So if you want to carry one around, take Peterson, but if you're going to carry one that's too big for your pocket, you might as well take Sibley, it has more illustrations.

    So, if you're into birding, you might as well pick this up, for the extra birds it offers if nothing else. But if you're not looking to collect a bunch of guides I find Peterson easier to use if you are beginning and Sibley better for more advanced birders.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE ONE To Get If You Get Only One ... Superb!!!!
    I have been birding for 23 years. My life list is a respectable 450 species in North America. While some reviewers may not carry this book around, I will guarantee you the National Geographic Society (NGS) Field Guide to the Birds of North America is the #1 choice among every birder I know.

    On my shelf I have a dozen guides...in fact probably every one published. Some are better for some things (such as Sibley), but overall this one is HANDS DOWN my favorite.

    What makes it so good? With due respect to Roger Tory Peterson, the illustrations and written clues in the NGS guide are unmatched.

    Secondly, in the 4th edition, National Geographic has demonstrated a fervent desire to keep up with the ever-changing naming conventions from the American Ornithological Union. Other guides simply do not keep pace.

    If you are new to this hobby, this is THE guide. If someone told you they are interested, but they don't know where to start, this is THE guide to get them.

    The one to get if you only get one. The one to use if you have many.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still the best all-around guide
    I've been birding for about 6 years now, and this is the book I always have with me on birding expeditions, since its second edition - it's small enough to portable (though not small enough for a pocket,) and the illustrations are excellent in quality. The comparison pages showing several similar-looking species (comparing different species of ducks, hawks, gulls, warblers et cetera) are excellent. The descriptions are generally very good, and contain useful distinguishing information including vocalizations and distinctive movement patterns. The range maps are easily read, and at the front of the book, there are pages explaining how to identify birds, plumage, anatomy, and sundry other topics of use.

    Generally, I prefer drawings/paintings to actual photographs when using birding books - I've found that often times, the photographs in birding books are less than good examples of several species, especially when there are one or more variations. Also, with illustrations, the artist controls the lighting, the angle, et cetera. Since this book uses illustrations, so perhaps I'm biased toward it in that way. ...P> The NGS book here is more than sufficient for most birders, I would imagine. Another plus is that it's all the birds of the continent, period; no need to buy an Eastern/Western edition when you travel to other areas of the country.

    In this newest edition, they have included notations for whether or not the bird is endangered or threatened, as well as a handy one-page "quick-find index" at the back for finding a general group of birds quickly (for example, finches, jays and hawks,)so one doesn't have to spend precious moments looking through the longer, full index for them.

    The book is durable, and withstands dampness and even light rain very well. The colors of the birds are very realistic, and they do a wonderful job portraying the different seasonal plumages. It appears that the colors have been modified very slightly from the last edition to look even better than they did.

    An excellent book, all around. Naturally, selection of a birding guide is a very personal thing, and while I love this book, others may intensely hate it, preferring photographic guides. My best advice would be to get your hands on as many guides as possible, and see which suits your preferences for size, images, descriptions, and general feel, including portability, ... ... Read more


    13. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
    by DAVID ALLEN SIBLEY
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 067945120X
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-29)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1227
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Sibley Guide to Birds has quickly become the new standard of excellence in bird identification guides, covering more than 810 North American birds in amazing detail. Now comes a new portable guide from David Sibley that every birder will want to carry into the field. Compact and comprehensive, this new guide features 650 bird species plus regional populations found east of the Rocky Mountains. Accounts include stunningly accurate illustrations—more than 4,200 in total—with descriptive caption text pointing out the most important field marks. Each entry contains new text concerning frequency, nesting, behavior, food and feeding, voice description, and key identification features. Accounts also include brand-new maps created from information contributed by 110 regional experts across the continent.

    The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
    is an indispensable resource for all birders seeking an authoritative and portable guide to the birds of the East.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Birding Field Guides! Not just for East Coast..
    I bought this book because I live in the Northeast. However, I was surprised to discover that this edition actually has most species of birds, including those that live in the West or South, with ranges through and including Mexico. This was a wonderful surprise as I actually travel quite a bit, so I don't have to buy additional editions of Sibley's bird books.

    As to the content of Sibley's guide, there is none better. His illustrations are outstanding, and descriptions are just wonderful. He describes ranges, eating habits, whether the bird tends to be solitary or fly in groups (flocks), nesting, coloration, etc. Best of all, I really like how he shows the bird in a multitude of positions, from standing to flight, so that if you saw a glint of the bird in a different point of view, you can still identify it using this guide. Top ratings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best guide I've used
    I own Sibley's larger guide, his "birding basics", and his guide to behaviour. I adore his plain, honest writing style, and his amateur-scientific approach. Not to say that Sibley, one of the big shots in the birding world, is an amateur -- just that he knows what the serious student needs and wants.

    His paintings are amazingly accurate (and beautiful -- I wish you could buy offsets.) I've made tentative identifications (later more solidly confirmed) just based on, say, the density of stippling or the exact extent of a faint color wash. Even in the small-size guide, he includes helpful "in flight" sketches, notations about wing motion, and anything else that might be helpful.

    His notations next to each species are fantastic. In addition to voice, they cover some identification problems (easily confused species, variable plumage, marks that are appear obvious in pictures but are hard to see in the field), some remarks on habitat and behaviour (especially when it helps identification), and some hints for identification that you might not pick up on at first. Subspecies and crossovers are depicted when necessary.

    There are a lot of field guides that rely on photographs; Sibley's work will instantly convert you to drawings. They present the "idealized" bird; you can compare your rugged, flea-bitten specimen to the text and learn a lot more than just its name.

    As a scientist myself, I appriciate Sibley's cautious approach to identification, as well as his ability to quickly synthesise what is know about a population even when it doesn't admit of a quick one-liner. Sibley jumps right in and uses the ornithological terms for plumage patterns; I would have appriciated having the non-passerines diagrammed on the back inside cover (instead of in his excellent introduction, and in place of a rather superfluous map of North America) for easier reference, but that's a minor quibble.

    This is not a guide you easily outgrow. My one last complaint is that the pages and binding are a little stiff and seem to have resisted "thumbing in" even after many months of use!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent field guide
    This field guide is a nice size that's easy to carry around, has multiple drawn pictures of each bird as well as a short text and range map for each - The text generally starts out with saying if the bird is common or not and then goes into where they nest, winter etc. It talks about the typical foods, if they're solitary or not. One thing I like too is that it often tells if the bird is native or non-native to the US which I find particularly interesting. Voice/song is also discussed in the text. Excellent reference book. I keep one in the house and one in the car. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide.
    As a beginner bird-watcher, I was looking for a field guide that was easy to understand and contained plenty of information about the habits of birds. This book certainly meets those criteria. It is easy to read and understand, and contains lots of helpful information. It is also beautifully and accurately illustrated, making it easy to identify birds by sight.

    I would recommend this book to anyone, beginner or advanced, who is interested in observing birds in eastern North America. This guide has something for everyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best field size guide ever.
    The Sibley Guide to Birds, as most mention, is a great guide but too heavy to tote into the field...this field guide solves that problem.

    Yes, the illustrations are smaller, but just as useable. Yes, some of the illustrations in the original guide have been deleted, but the guide you take with is better than the one at home. (You should have the original at home anyway!)

    I find that the addition of Status, Habitat and Behavior in the text more than makes up for fewer illustrations.

    Well made and sturdy...buy it! ... Read more


    14. Thinking In Pictures : and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
    by Temple Grandin
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679772898
    Catlog: Book (1996-10-29)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 2745
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin's firstbook--and the first picture of autism from the inside--"quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable."Sacks told part of her story in his An Anthropologist on Mars, and inThinking in Pictures Grandin returns to tell her life history with great depth, insight, and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, "I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something ... I want to know that my life has meaning ... I'm talking about things at the very core of my existence." Grandin's clear exposition of what it is like to "think in pictures" is immensely mind-broadening and basically destroys a whole school of philosophy (the one that declares language necessary for thought). Grandin, who feels she can "see through a cow's eyes," is an influential designer of slaughterhouses and livestock restraint systems. She has great insight into human-animal relations. It would be mere justice if Thinking in Pictures transforms the study of religious feeling, too. ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The life and times of Temple Graindin
    ... The book Thinking in Pictures involves the evaluation, from the first person perspective, of a life with autism, and delves into the complicated world of an autistic person. The book provides a clear explanation of almost all the problems that plaque a person with autism, and additionally shows the way an autistic person's mind works and
    the way the world affects their thinking. The book conveys information primarily through the view of author Temple Graindin, but also makes references and comparisons to animal science and, thus provides an almost parallel theme to the
    book.
    While parts of the book do diverge from the subject, the book provides an excellent summary of the life of an autistic in a non autistic world. Because the book is written from the first person, there is a personal touch to the book that draws the reader in and helps them to better experience Temple's world. The comparisons to animals also prove to be effective as they further emphasize how different an autistic person's
    mind works as compared to our's. It, then as a result, further shows how an autistic person's world is completely different, yet the same to our own. The book at times, however, sometimes goes too in-depth with the descriptions of animal science and
    sometimes reads like a cattle-dairy science textbook. Much of the book also deviates from the main topic of autism into her own philosophies of life. Finally, much of the information about the drugs is very tedious, and while it does provide much useful information, does not contribute much to the overall theme of the book. On the whole, the book is very interesting and helps to show the pictures of the autistic world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well-Written View Of Autism From A Real Insider
    Temple Grandin accomplished many things with this book. Technically, it is a very well-written book, with good flow, an extensive display of vocabulary (without sounding pretentious), a logical structure, and only a small amount of repetition (which is an accomplishment for an autistic person).

    "Thinking in Pictures" explains autism from the inside-out. Oliver Sacks, in "An Anthropologist on Mars" gave an excellent description of autism (and Temple Grandin) from the outside, but this book gives the inside view from the very same subject. After reading the DSM-IV and many textbooks, I was still having trouble fully grasping what autism was. After reading Sacks' books, I was much clearer on the subject. "Thinking in Pictures" went three steps further in helping me to understand the various forms of autism. I also have a much greater understanding of what sensory integration treatment is all about, even though I had listened to two in-services on sensory integration by sensory integration therapists before reading this book.

    I also learned much about the cattle and beef industry in this country, which was surprisingly interesting. I'm glad that there are people like Dr. Grandin in that business working to make it as humane as possible.

    Temple Grandin is in an unusual situation and was able to give a perspective on what it means to be a "normal" human being that few people could give. Being a very bright but autistic person, she is almost the "flip-side" of "an anthropologist on Mars": it is as if she were a Martian anthropologist visiting Earth and trying to understand humanity. Her thinking, feeling, and sensory processes are so different from the average person, that she can almost view humanity from the outside.

    "Thinking in Pictures" teaches the reader much about autism, the cattle industry, and humanity. What might surprise many people is that, with all that teaching going on, this book is also thoroughly enjoyable. I hope that I can someday meet Dr. Grandin, as I am sure it would be an interesting, unique, and memorable experience.

    Christian McCallister, Ph.D., L.P., Clinical Psychologist

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking in Pictures
    I have no connection with autism. This book was recommended to me because I cannot think in pictures; my mind works with ideas and words. Temple Grandin has written a book about a way of thinking that is so alien to me she might as well be from a different planet. Absolutely amazing. I did not know that the world could be seen from this perspective. This book has changed the way I try to see the world. No TV program or lecture will cause you to shake your head in bewilderment like this book.

    Temple Grandin is the Helen Keller of the 21st Century. Only her words can describe the world she lives in. Or maybe pictures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer for understanding autism
    I borrowed this book from a parent of an autistic child when I began working with autistic students in the public school system. It was invaluable to my understanding autism. Ms. Grandin gives an inside look at autism and not only outlines the challenges, but also gives possible benefits. If you are a parent of an autistic child, work in the public school system, or merely wish to understand autism better; I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great insights into the autistic mind
    In some passages, Ms. Grandin reflects on her humanity, her mortality and directly addresses her difficulties. I cannot wait to read her other books. Just wonderful. ... Read more


    15. The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher: Birdfeeders and Bird Gardens
    by Robert Burton, Stephen W. Bird Garden Kress, National Audubon Society
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1571451862
    Catlog: Book (1999-08-01)
    Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (CA)
    Sales Rank: 4760
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Discover how to create a backyard bird sanctuary with the expert guidance of the National Audubon Society.Your backyard will come alive by applying these feeding and gardening techniques.Includes a photographic guide to the birds of North America, as well as the trees and plants that attract them.The ultimate resource for anyone interested in creating a bird-friendly habitat. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful baby pictures.....
    I recently purchased THE AUDUBON BACKYARD BIRDWATCHER, as well as WHERE THE BIRDS ARE published by the National Wildlife Federation and BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA from the Smithsonian. All three books have something to recommend them, and if you are an avid bird watcher or want to become one you will want all three. The Audubon book will have the greatest appeal to the backyard bird watcher who has neither the time nor inclination to travel to the wonderful sites listed in the NWF publication. The Audubon book is not exhaustive or even nearly so. For a more complete listing of birds, turn to another Audubon publication or the Smithsonian publication I mentioned above. Audubon offers complete listings of birds by geographic regions in other publications. You'll find only birds adapted to areas inhabited by humans in the AUDUBON BACKYARD BIRDWATCHER -- familiar friends like Robins and Finches, Pine Siskins and Chickadees. Each bird entry contains a photograph of the bird under discussion, sometimes in flight, sometimes posing and sometimes feeding itself or it's young. This book is wonderful for kids and I am using it to teach my grandchildren about birds just as my grandparents taught me!! The book contains sections on bathing, bird calls (including call notes and mimicry), and baby raising, and all are illustrated with many wonderful photos including some amazing shots of babies hatching, babies being fed, and babies launching into independence. Sections on bird pests, bird deaths, and bird rescues explain foiling predators, warning birds about glass windows, and banding and tracking birds. The child exposed to this book will learn someting about birds and life. Probably one of the most informative sections for the new birder or even old birders like me includes suggestions about what to grow in your own backyard to attract the birds. It's not enough to put out seed in a birdfeeder if you want diversity, though the book covers what to use in bird feeders. If you want to see anything other than seed eaters however, you'll have to provide other types of foods including bugs and berries. Usually where you grow berries, you'll have bugs. The book contians sections on hedging, vegetation variety, leaf litter (for cover, food, and nest-building), dust for baths, and water requirements. While the Audubon book isn't a gardening book per se, you'll find more information about building a bird friendly garden in this book than in most gardening books. I recommend the Audubon book as a teaching and instuction tool for the new birders and old birders alike. Oh--my favorite baby picture? -- the short-eared owls. If you don't think owls can come to your back yard guess again. I've had them in my backyard and I live 10 minutes from the White House. I won't tell you want owls eat. You just go right on thinking it's mice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful reference book
    Before I purchased this book, I struggled to find something that I could refer to quickly when I spotted a bird at my feeder. Not only did this book provide me with basic features such as nesting habits, song descriptions, and typical diets of each bird, it also gave vital information on how to attract these fascinating little guys into your yard through the use of water, food, shelter, & shrubs and flowers. The photos are fantastic as well. I find myself referring to this book constantly, and keep it right by my binoculars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars About the birds you see and how to attract more of them
    Bird profiles, behavior guide, nesting, eggs, curious behavior, songs, displays. Ways to attract birds to your backyard no matter what kind of area you live in... landscaping, supplemental feeding, water. The photos are fantastic and are very valuable to the backyard birder. Great book. ... Read more


    16. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide
    by Lawrence Newcomb
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316604429
    Catlog: Book (1989-04-13)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 58202
    Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wildflowers made easy: an indispensable reference.
    If you're going to buy just one book on wildflower identification, this is it. While not foolproof, this system is the best I've seen. It beats by far other methods using color and shape of flower, as used in the Audubon and Peterson field guides (though both the latter have their place, and you should get both if you're really serious).

    A most unique aspect of this book is that it includes shrubs as well as plants normally considered wildflowers, adding greatly to its utility for the amateur observer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple System Eases Wildflower Identification
    The author's system allows even amateurs like me to quickly and accurately identify wildflowers.

    It is as simple as answering five questions which point the user to the appropriate page in the book where the flower is described and pictured. The text is great. The first sentence of each description distinguishes that plant from all others in that group.

    If you are looking for a wildflower guide, they do not get better than this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hands-down best (for the Northeast)
    This is the easiest-to-use and most thorough flower guide I've ever seen. Yes, most illustrations are black-and-white. It's an initial disappointment; however, the quick and sure five-step identification process is worth the lack of color (and the drawings are expertly done). It's much more complete than, say, the Audubon guide. Newcomb has yet to leave me stumped for the identity of any flowering plant. As has been noted, this guide is valid for the Northeast U.S., from Virginia-Kentucky up; and for Canada from Thunder Bay to Newfoundland. I wish the rest of you had a version -- it's indispensible.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice book, but..
    there's no way to tell from the web pages, but this book is only about wildflowers in the Northeast portion of the U.S., didn't do me much good in California.
    Was a Christmas gift that will be returned.
    Amazon.com should make it plain that it's regional.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A useful book
    Newcomb's guide is a great book, once you get past the initial training period. For those of us used to flipping through pictures of flowers and fruit until we think we have the right one, this book can be initially off-putting.

    My advice...get used to it. Newcomb's system is more efficient and more certain than flower-flipping. A good book. ... Read more


    17. A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $14.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395740460
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-04)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 2144
    Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Roger Tory Peterson had already made his mark with his innovative field guide when he conducted DDT research during World War II. His friend and fellow naturalist Rachel Carson built on these efforts and eventually wrote Silent Spring, a landmark text that, along with Peterson"s field guide, jump-started the modern environmental movement.
    By combining the tireless observation of a scientist with the imaginative skills of an artist and writer, Peterson created a field guide that Robert Bateman, in his foreword to the fifth edition, says was the doorway for millions of people into the wonderland of natural history.
    The Peterson Identification System has been used in the more than fifty books that make up the Peterson Field Guide series. Peterson"s magnum opus, now in its fifth edition, created the trail for countless field guides to follow. They are still following year by year, but his is the standard by which all other field guides are judged.
    On the morning of July 28, 1996, Roger Peterson was painting his final bird plate. He died peacefully in his sleep later that day. It is fitting that his final work—a culmination of more than sixty years of observing, painting, and writing—should be this one, a revision of the guide that started his legacy.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A review for beginning birders (from one, gulp!)
    When starting this hobby, there are an immense number of guides and (often expensive) resources to choose from.

    This book should be the first one you buy (well, if you are in the eastern half of the US).

    But it should not be the last. The Peterson Guide uses drawings (important -- NOT photos) to show you the typical features of the birds around you. Other great guides -- like the Audubon series -- use photos, but photos are harder for a beginner to use for a sure-fire identification. Or this beginner anyway...

    No bird in the field looks exactly like the lovely Peterson drawing, but no two bird photos are ever alike, either (even of the same bird). Use the Peterson to get to know the bird species around you, and maybe next buy a guide like the Audubon Society Field Guide (just because -- I dunno, they seem like a one-two punch to me)! It's great to go looking with both, but if I had to choose one, it would be Peterson.

    To learn more about birding in general, Sibley has a nice, shortish overview book called "Sibley's Birding Basics."

    I'm only getting started, but this is some advice about what's helped in beginning to learn all this wonderful stuff about the living world all 'round.

    5-0 out of 5 stars small improvement--world of difference
    I previously carried an old edition of Peterson's because the pictures are more helpful for identification than those in any other field guide. However, it was a nuisance having to search through the range maps in the back of the book to see whether a bird could be found in a given location.

    In this new edition a miniature range map is printed next to the description of each bird on the page opposite the picture. (Full-sized maps are still located in the back of the book.) The new format is very helpful to those of us who don't already know the ranges of most birds. This very good field guide is now great.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The is the best bird guide book I've ever seen or owned!
    I owe a few bird books but this is the best and most handy one to identify a bird I'm not familar with. I love the arrows pointing to the areas for quick identification. It shows me what I should be looking for and sure helps when the bird won't stand still. The book is so light, I can have it on hand at all times. I even have it next to me in my own backyard. If you want a book to start out a new hobby of identifying birds, this is the one to get. Then start collecting from there. In fact, I'm considering buying another one for my car for spir-of-the-moment identification away from home and leave one at home for the backyard.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful and handy!
    Really needed a good (and easy to use) guide for our new bordering-on-the-woods house. We get tons of bird traffic at our feeders, and this book is organized well enough that I can quickly identify the species we see.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The field guide that started it all
    If you're getting into birding, or want a good field guide to see what birds are at your cabin or in your yard, this is it.

    It's got the bird listed opposite from the description and has arrows to show field marks of a species. New in the 5th edition are:

    Maps on the same page as the description (maps improved too!)
    The description mentions how common the bird is in the east.
    The area covered doesn't take a sharp turn and leave out the tip of texas

    If you're getting more into birding I'd highly recommend David Sibley's guide, it has many more views and plumages of each bird, but is a bit large to take in the field. ... Read more


    18. Birding by Ear: Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides(R))
    by Richard K. Walton
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618225900
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-04)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
    Sales Rank: 4495
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    BIRDING BY EAR uses an educational and entertaining method for learning bird songs. Instead of merely providing a catalog of bird song samples, BIRDING BY EAR actually teaches. This proven method has greatly enhanced the field experience for birders across North America. The authors have created learning groups of similar vocalizations and clearly point out distinguishing characteristics. Using techniques such as phonetics, mnemonics, and descriptive words, Walton and Lawson provide a context for learning the songs and calls of eighty-five species of birds found east of the Rockies. Combine the auditory instruction here with the visual features of the Peterson Identification System. Page numbers in BIRDING BY EAR's booklet refer to species descriptions in the PETERSON FIELD GUIDE TO BIRDS OF EASTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA, fifth edition. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Who cooks for you?"
    Listening to this 3-CD set for the first time, I cycled through an entire manic-depressive episode. The depression occurred early on the first CD, track 4--"Sing-Songers." If there was one bird song I thought I knew it was the American Robin's cheerful warble. Now I learn that there are three other birds that sound EXACTLY like the robin to me: the Scarlet Tanager; the Summer Tanager; and the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

    Oh no! I'm going to have to listen to these CDs a hundred times before I can even be confident of the robin again.

    Later that same night, as I was crawling moodily into bed, I cranked open the window and heard a series of low hoots that sounded like, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?"--Instant mood swing. I lay there grinning in the dark, because I had just identified a Barred Owl. He sounded exactly like he did on these CDs.

    There is something so satisfying about being able to identify a song or a flower or even an animal track, as a reminder of the lives being lived around us--some of them very strange and beautiful. You will be amazed the first time you step outside after listening to these CDs, by how the orchestra of bird song begins to sort itself out into individual instruments. I was able to identify the Song Sparrow and the Oven Bird--two shy, unseen songsters that had been puzzling me for years.

    Each of the tracks in this CD set contains narration as well as bird calls and bird song. Birds are grouped on a track based on similarity of song, which is why you'll find the Mourning Dove on the Owl track. According to the narrator, many people mistake them for owls.

    At the end of the third CD, bird songs and calls are grouped together by habitat. To test yourself, listen to the birds and try to recognize them without referring to the accompanying text insert. I averaged round three out of ten correct identifications per group, but I expect to do better as I replay these fascinating CDs.

    Added benefit: this 'Guide to Birdsong Identification' will bewitch any resident cats. One of mine is perched on the CD player right now, trying to peer into a speaker.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great work out CD
    I listen to these CDs while working out at the gym and boy did it pay off. While on vacation last summer in Vermont I could identify almost every bird call I heard without even trying. My ears would prick up at every sound of a bird and I would know what it was. It's a great feeling to take a walk in the woods or to garden in your back yard and know who is out there with you without fumbling with your binoculars. These are excellent CDs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great learning tool for birders....
    If you wish to broaden your bird-identification skills and gain an advantage in telling birds apart by song, this audio guide is perfect for you.

    The birds in this guide are grouped together based on the similarities of their calls, as well as habitat preferences. By doing this, the authors of this guide have allowed the learner to compare similar sounding species likely to be confuse in the field.

    Richard Walton's clear voice introduces each species and walks the listener through the various groupings. Throughout, he points out key characteristics of each bird call to enhance the listener's learning experince. The birds featured in each group on this three disc set include many familar eastern North American species. The eastern woodpeckers, several confusing sparrow species, buetos, tanagers and several other neotropical migrants are featured on the first disc. The second features several owl species and a variety of flycatchers among others. The third CD is comprised mostly of neotropical songbirds and a few odds and ends species: common eastern warblers, thrushes, plus American bittern. The third disc also includes a several groupings of birds that allows the listener's to test their bird vocalization identification skills.

    Along with the CDs, a complementry booklet with surprisingly good black-and-white illistrations is included. This helps the birder make visual assocations with the species they are hearing. Room is provided on each page for the listener to take notes on the various bird vocalizations. Page numbers for locating the birds on the plates in the PETERSON FIELD GUIDE TO BIRDS: EASTERN/CENTRAL REGION are also provided in the booklet.

    Overall, this three-CD set serves as a nice introduction/learning tool to the voices of Eastern North America's birds. It allows the learner to broaden his or her bird identifiaction skills. It is especially useful for beginners, but experienced enthusiats may also find the guide highly useful in comparing bird calls. A great buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent bird song guide
    By grouping bird song according to characteristics, this clear guide makes it easier to learn and be able to identify bird song. The method of grouping similar types of songs on the CD, along with the brief, written guide enclosed, enables you to locate and identify birds you hear in the field much more easily than guides that simply list songs in order of the species' appearance in bird guides. Songs and calls are both included, as well as variations, which is very helpful as birds have "dialects" and variations in song patterns just like people of different areas have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Repetition & field work are the key to this CD.
    When I first received this CD I was disappointed & overwhelmed. I thought, how could I possibly learn any of these bird calls (I'm 50 years old). It seemed like a monumental task. Well, I kept listening over and over (thinking the mnemonics were silly) and low and behold things started to click. I made a few forays into the field and was very excited when I heard bird calls and the mnemonics made sense. I still get excited when I'm able to identify a bird by song or call. I even find myself doing it on TV commercials. This CD isn't any good if you don't include field work with it. Practice, practice, practice and one day you will be out in the field and hear a bird and know exactly what you are looking for. This CD has made me a much better birder. ... Read more


    19. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: East : Revised edition
    by John Bull, John, Jr. Farrand, John L. Bull, John Farrand
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679428526
    Catlog: Book (1994-09-27)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 2445
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Covering 508 bird species found east of the Rocky Mountains, the revised second edition takes into account changes in taxonomy and uses improved photography. At the heart of the guide is a set of 646 well-made color photographs whose subjects are organized by easily discerned characteristics (e.g., "chicken-like marsh birds," such as the clapper rail; "gull-like birds," such as the kittiwake; and "upright-perching water birds," such as the common murre). The photographs are then keyed to textual descriptions of the birds' appearance, range and habitat, nesting characteristics, and behavior. Easy to use and handsomely produced, this belongs in every eastern birdwatcher's collection. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the Peterson Bird Guides
    This National Audubon Society field guide to birds has lots and lots of nice, but small, photos of birds. That's nice. This guide also includes most of the birds of the region. Those are the plusses of this book. There are, however, a number of minuses that come along with this book.

    First of all, no photograph-based field guide can show the important characteristics needed to identify most birds as clearly as a good illustration can. Next, the only info that accompanies each photograph is the common name of the bird, along with its gender, average size, and a reference to a page number to a section in the back of the book that provides all of the descriptive narrative information for each species. That info includes each bird's physical description, voice (call), habitat, nesting info, and geographic range (with a map by the info -- that's nice). The part that's frustrating for me is that I have to spend time flipping back and forth between the photo section at the front of the book and the info section at the back of the book in order to get the info I'm looking for! While I'm in the field birding, that's a hassle! I therefore much prefer the illustrated format that has pictures and descriptive info of the Peterson Guides to the Audubon guides.

    Still, the Audubon guides are useful, though I use mine primarily as a secondary source, and it usually stays inside when I go out -- Peterson is my guide of choice.

    I am, by the way, a novice birder myself, and find that the Peterson Guides help me to ID birds faster and with fewer errors than the Audubon guides do.

    5 points for photos, but 3 points for ease of use, for 4 points overall.

    Good luck,and happy spotting!

    Alan Holyoak, Dept of Biology, Manchester College, IN

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Field Guide for Birders
    This is an excellent guide to identifying birds. The National Audubon Society is an excellent authority on all things nature, and therefore it is not surprising that the National Audubon Society would publish a helpful guide. The guide helps a birder identify birds by behavior, size, habitat, plumage, call, and location. There are color photographs of many birds to guide the birder. The plates are grouped by family which makes basic identification easy. The book also has a section that describes each bird as well as maps that show the likely locations where birds can be found. The color plates are enjoyable simply to look at, and can help a person prepare for possible sightings. The book is small enough that it can be carried to the field. The cover is also durable so it can withstand wear and tear. Since the boos are divided buy Eastern Region and Western Region, so the book is not very cumbersome.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Pictures, Info; Poor Organization
    I have used many of Audubon's Field Guides, and they are very helpful and usually organized and easy to understand. However, this one is extremely complex and confusing.

    When I find an interesting bird, I would go grab my binoculars and field guide and look it up. I go to the correct catagory and frantically search for the bird. When I find it, it gives me a detailed color picture that helps identify the bird. However, if you want more information, it than refers you to a different page, hundreds of thin pages away. You than need to go and find the page, but by then, the bird is gone. When I do get to the page, it is filled with wonderful detailed information of appearance, voice, habitat, nesting, range, map of habitat, and a brief summary.

    The book is nice, but I would recommend buying another one with more organization.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great potential but bad design
    Field guides are great to have because they're small and their entire aim is to help you immediately identify a bird you see before you. Every birder should have at least one field guide, and maybe even several - some to keep in the car or by a window.

    Being published by the National Audubon Society, you'd expect this field guide to be top-notch, one developed and tested by thousands of birders. Indeed, the photos are very nice, full color and in 'native habitat'. The descriptions are pretty complete - with size, key things to look for, song, hapitat. There's a little map showing range, and the range is also described as well.

    The problem is with the layout. All of the pictures are at the front of the book - put into groups by bird type, three to a page. Often there's only one photo of a bird, even though they look different during different years of life or seasons. If you see something that seems it might be right, now you have to go flipping through many pages to track down the actual *information* on that bird. Does it even live where you're looking? Are there other similar birds it might be instead? What are those key features you're supposed to be watching for? By the time you figure any of this out, the bird is probably back in hiding.

    It seems with their knowledge of birders and how birders operate, they'd have arranged this book in an easier-to-use fashion. While this is a nice book to have for its lovely pictures, it's not what I grab when I need to bring a field book with me on a trip.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Incomplete and inconvenient
    This book, although had good intentions is a very inefficient and incomplete field guide. It only has pictures of some of the birds, and usually only one plumage, which makes it impossible as a reliable field guide for fall shorebirds and warblers, and juvenile birds. The pictures of the birds are also seperate from the descriptions and range maps. In addition the pictures are organized by color rather that family. So, if you know you are looking at a warbler you can't go to the warbler section you must find the section of the pictures that has e.g. birds with yellow plumage. Pictures of birds in flight are all but absent in this guide, so if you don't know your hawks, etc. you won't be any better off with this book. I would recommend a more complete and easy to use guide like the National Geographic field guide. ... Read more


    20. Sharks of the World (Princeton Field Guides)
    by Leonard Compagno, Marc Dando, Sarah Fowler
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691120722
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-24)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Sales Rank: 24504
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Everyone's heard of the Great Whites. But most people know little of the hundreds of other types of sharks that inhabit the world's oceans. Written by two of the world's leading authorities and superbly illustrated by wildlife artist Marc Dando, this is the first comprehensive field guide to all 440-plus shark species. Color plates illustrate all species, and detailed accounts include diagnostic line drawings and a distribution map for each species. Introductory chapters treat physiology, behavior, reproduction, ecology, diet, and sharks' interrelationships with humans.

    • More than 125 original full-color illustrations for fast and accurate identification of each shark family
    • Over 500 additional drawings illustrating physical features from different angles
    • Clear identification information for each species with details of size, habitat, behavior, and biology
    • Quick ID guide helpful for differentiating similar species
    • Geographic distribution maps for each species
    • For professional and amateur shark enthusiasts
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for shark workers and enthusiasts
    If you don't know anything about Leonard Compagno, you should know that he is a very thorough archivist.It was he who cataloged all of the known shark species for the FAO Species Catalog, presumably the basis for this book.The book begins with a small introductory section on sharks (evolution, anatomy, physiology, ecology, etc.) and a key to the families.This is followed by wonderfully drawn color plates of each shark.The individual descriptions of the sharks include a line drawing with notable characters, examples of upper and lower teeth (more if heterodontic), distributions and a short blurb that includes habitat, size, behavior and biology, descriptions and IUCN status.Included are relatively new species and all of the deep-water forms.I cannot imagine needing another guide, at least for the next ten years.New species aren't exactly rolling in.I would recommend, however, a hardback copy for field workers, as paperbacks don't last very long with heavy usage.Also, keep in mind that other elasmobranchs are not included.I have not seen Compagno's much cheaper Collins Guide (only available in hardback), but I do know that this Princeton Guide is worth the money. ... Read more


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