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Dragonflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America Paperback – Feb 18 2003
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"Dragonflies have been around for over 250 million years, and it's about time they got the recognition they deserve...Now that shortcoming has been rectified for the 307 North American species in Dragonflies Through Binoculars, a compact book full of information...[Sidney W. Dunkle] has succeeded admirably with this volume, which is sure to delight the ever-increasing ranks of dragonfly enthusiasts...The range maps alone are worth the price of the book...Buy this book and spend a sunny summer afternoon along the shore of a stream, pond, or lake; your life will be transformed." -- Dennis R. Paulson, Science
"This long anticipated field guide has filled one of the major identification gaps for the general naturalist in North America.... General naturalists will find this book of interest, as will field entomologists, endangered species biologists, and managers of wetland ecosystems.... Dragonflies through Binoculars has a number of strong attributes as a functional field guide, beyond just being the first and only one of its kind.... The species accounts...contain a wealth of previously unrecorded biological and field identification information."--Audubon Naturalist News
"Until now...there has not been a good field guide for the dragonflies of North America. The new Dragonflies Through Binoculars fills this need, and is sure to swell the ranks of those pursuing these fast-fliers.... The 47 color plates illustrate all but 14 of the 307 species of dragonflies found in North America....Each species has a very complete written account that provides extensive details on identification, comparisons with similar species, habitat notes, and information on seasonal occurrence. The author's personal comments on each species are particularly helpful, and reveal Dunkle's extensive knowledge and passion for dragonflies."--Birding Business
"Dunkle...arguably Mr. Dragonfly in the U.S., has produced a photographic field guide to the dragonflies occurring in America north of Mexico, a first for this remarkable group of insects. Color photographs of 293 of the 307 species known from this area are presented.... This book is a 'must-have' for anyone interested in dragonflies. It is well-written, informative, and will prove eminently useful for beginners and students at all levels, as well as faculty and experienced professionals."--Choice
"This well-illustrated guide provides quick and easy idenifications of all the 300-plus species of dragonflies found in North America.... It also gives tips on where to start looking for dragonflies, what kind of binoculars to use and how to photograph them."--The Times-Picayune
"A monumental effort by Dunkle, Dragonflies through Binoculars is a dragonfly-watcher's dream come true. Never have so many dragonflies...found across the continent--been assembled in a single field guide."--Times Argus
"More than just a field guide, Dragonflies through Binoculars describes the habitual, seasonal occurrence, and natural history of 307 species of dragonflies."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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381 color illus.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
The book does not cover damselflies. It also does not contain any type of key. Either of these would have been nice, but then I guess the book would have been too large to be a field guide...
This book is the best field guide to North American dragonflies of which I am aware. It is very refreshing to see such a high-quality, useful field guide written about insects other than butterflies <g>.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2003 by P. Reese
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... Read morePublished on July 20 2002 by Michael L. Zierdt
I've considered dragonflies to be magical, mystical, beautiful, ethereal creatures since I was a small child. Read morePublished on May 29 2002 by Marion
This book was eagerly awaited by legions of dragonfly watchers, and Dragonflies Through Binoculars by Sid Dunkle is an good addition to the tools we need to help us identify the... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2001 by Mark Obrien
This is a great book - it opened me up to the world of dragon flies. They aren't as easy to id as butterflies but this book gives you a great resource. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2001 by merrymousies
This book is cool. The illistrations are beautiful and the text is well written. I enjoy using it and find it to be essential to identifying dragonflies. Read morePublished on July 14 2001
Having Dunkle as a proffesor, I know that his book is as wonderful as his teaching. This book is a must for nature lovers, and even biology lovers. No one, except Dr. Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2000 by Ross Butterfly
I have had Dunkle as a college professor, and his books are as good as his teaching. This book is a must if you love dragonflies. Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2000 by Ross Butterfly
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