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Dragonflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America Paperback – Feb 18 2003


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Dragonflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America + Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America + Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East
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  • In stock on July 25, 2014.
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  • Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America CDN$ 23.83

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (Feb. 18 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195112687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195112689
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Mostly black or gray large dragonflies usually seen perching on tree trunks. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 19 2004
Format: Paperback
Dragonflies through Binoculars, was my first book on Dragonflies. As an avid birder I became interested in the fascinating insects of the order odinata. I tried to use this book in the field but had little success. Sidney Dunkle's text is clearly written, his explanations are well done, and the pictures are good quality. What is the problem? I finally figured it out. The pictures are too small and the book is written at a level well above that of a novice.
As field guides go there are two schools of thought, Photos and art. When it comes to birds many beginning birders prefer photos because they have a hard time translating the semi abstraction of an illustration to what they are seeing in life. Dragonflies through binoculars is based upon beautiful photographs of the Dragonfly species represented. The problem with photographs is they can only show what the camera sees. The disadvantage is the human eye is far more sensitive than a camera. As a result photographs can leave a lot to be desired. On the other hand art can go beyond what the camera shows and show detail a photograph misses.
As I have gained experience with Dragonflies I have managed to identify a few species using this guide. I was very pleased when I managed to correctly identify the common skimmer Dot-tailed Whiteface using this guide. As I spend more time in the field I really wish the photos were much larger and that more descriptive text would be devoted to each species. In the end I abandoned this guide in favor of The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Northeast Ohio, by Larry Rosche. Published by The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The Stoke's Beginners Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies, has also proven useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt on July 11 2004
Format: Paperback
I should have been clued in by this book's title, but I was still disappointed when I realized that damselflies were not included in the guide. Since one of my entomological challenges is distinguishing damselflies from their generally larger and faster-flying odonate cousins, it would have been nice to have both in one book.
Whining aside, "Dragonflies through Binoculars" contains a good, well-organized collection of photographs and descriptions of living dragonflies, with 47 plates in full color, plus information on all 307 species found in North America. These ancient insects are enameled in heraldic designs of stripes, checks, and diagonals as though they were about to fly off to an aerial jousting match---which is probably just what they will do as soon as you have your binoculars trained on them. I even saw one dragonfly with a miniature death's-head emblazoned on its thorax.
If you think I'm the only romantic concerning these fascinating Paleozoic-era hunters, tell me why they have been christened with such outlandish names as 'Ebony Boghaunter' or 'Stygian Shadowdragon.'
This book is more concerned with the current ecology of the dragonfly, rather than its 300-million year history. The author also gives advice such as what kind of binoculars to purchase, which clubs or societies to join, and how to photograph these elusive darters in their natural surroundings---there are no hints of kill bottles in this book!
Buy a copy of this book and see if dragonfly watching doesn't become your newest, most enjoyable hobby.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since this is a field guide to dragonflies for the whole of North America, we marked the plates of the species that are living in our area, the north shore of Georgian Bay. This will ease the identification process. The book's dragonflies' groupings in spring, summer and fall species are of help.

For years we saw dragonflies on our walks. Then, becoming more sophisticated, we knew about Darners, Meadowhawks, and Skimmers. The next step, with the help of this guide, seems to be more difficult and time consuming than we believed it could be: now we want to identify every dragonfly we encounter.

One should carry this field guide on outdoor trips when looking for dragonflies, carry the book until one has become familiar with these species.

Much can be said about the separation of text from the plates. One has to get used to flip pages. I prefer photo and text together like in many bird and flower guides, but for a quicker initial identification check having the plates together may have a benefit.
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Format: Paperback
I have taken this book on a dozen field trips, and it is extremely difficult to use. The pictures are photographs, untouched and any many cases unclear against a poor background. The only good thing about the book is that it is better than nothing. Just a little.
Another minus about this book. If you get the pages wet they stick together and will not come apart once dry. A very bad trait for a field guide.
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Format: Paperback
As a person with many birding field guides the organization of this book was a disapointment. The plates (like the old Peterson's) are together in the back of the book, seperate from the text. I would have liked to see something like Petersons arrows at definitive field marks. The book is organized by families - as a beginner I would have prefered colors (but do not organize my bird books by color). The book is heavy and large for carrying in the field. But it is one of the few guides to dragonflies - better than nothing.
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