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Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America [Vinyl Bound]

Kenn Kaufman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.50
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Book Description

April 14 2005 Kaufman Field Guides
In 2000 Houghton Mifflin first published the Kaufman Focus Guide to the Birds of North America. Critically acclaimed for its innovative design, the Kaufman guide began introducing a new generation to birding. In 2005, this new Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America is now the most up-to-date field guide, including dozens of changes by the American Ornithologists’ Union in official names of birds; the addition of new species to reflect the latest scientific discoveries; and dozens of updated range maps. Additional information helps beginning birdwatchers get started, all in the same compact format that has made this guide the easiest to use for fast identification in the field.

Frequently Bought Together

Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America + National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition + Birds Of Canada
Price For All Three: CDN$ 62.83

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  • National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition CDN$ 20.06

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Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

World-renowned birder Kenn Kaufman addresses a long-running paradox of bird field guides with his Focus Guide. While beginning birdwatchers prefer photographic guides like those by Donald Stokes, the physical traits that make identification easier are more readily discerned in the idealized paintings of illustrative guides like those by Roger Tory Peterson and National Geographic. Kaufman's groundbreaking work combines the best of both approaches by digitally enhancing photographic images to show the characteristics that are sometimes not apparent in photographs.

Some other distinguishing features include:

  • The guide is organized by bird family groupings rather than strict taxonomic classification; this is a feature that will appeal especially to beginners.
  • Text descriptions and range maps for each species appear on the page facing the plate of respective bird images.
  • Important field marks are highlighted.
  • Color-coded tabs identify each grouping of birds (waders, warblers, sparrows, etc.) for quick thumb indexing.
Kaufman's efforts follow the auspicious tradition of Roger Tory Peterson, whose portable field guide system was the first of its kind to meet the needs of the average birdwatcher. "It's the guide I've always wanted," says Kaufman, "and I suspect most birders will feel the same way." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Every spring, tens of thousands of bird-watchers migrate across the country in search of vireos, towhees, and violet-crowned hummingbirds; these birders can be recognized by their binoculars, their respect for nature and their frequent stillness and near-silence. By next spring, many of them will be toting this guide. Author and illustrator Kaufman (Lives of North American Birds) has long been one of the birdwatching community's stars. His colorful, practical and very portable book aims to become the new standard in the field. The book is small enough for a big jacket pocket, and can be held in one hand; color-coded tags divide its 16 sections on 16 classes of birds ("Ducks, Geese, Swans," "Chicken-Like Birds," "Medium-Sized Land Birds," "Flycatchers," etc.). Each left-hand page describes three to six related birds, with range maps for each, color-coded for season and frequency; brief phrases give most species' song, voice or call-note. The corresponding right-hand page offers bright, high-resolution color pictures of the same birds, on a perch or in flight. Short inserts help explain, for example, how to distinguish among many similar sparrows. Kaufman's guide is revolutionary in that it's the first to use digitally altered photographs (more than 2,000 of them) rather than unretouched photos or paintings - in practice the computerized images look like extremely detailed paintings. Though he pays more attention to common birds, Kaufman is happy to cover rare visitors and migrants: here are a brace of robins, but also bluethroat (restricted to northwest Alaska, and "hard to see when not singing"), and 16 kinds of (introduced) parrots. The guide may not be the most comprehensive available, and its laconic descriptions deliberately avoid facts that won't assist identification. But Kaufman makes up for those limits with compactness, great design and ease of use - especially for beginners: an appendix leads new birders to further resources (some of them online). Major ad/promo; 22-city author tour. (Sept. 22)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jan. 17 2013
By Couver
Format:Vinyl Bound|Verified Purchase
Easy to find birds. Well made and laid out. Ordered one for my friend in Ontario.Would recommend it. Easy to carry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America Jan. 18 2012
By HenryG
Format:Vinyl Bound|Verified Purchase
As newbies to birding we find this field guide a useful complement to a few other guides we have that are region specific. The artwork is good and the guide size is easily transportable. The descriptions of the bird species is great and very thorough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bird ID Book I've Ever Owned Jan. 2 2010
Format:Vinyl Bound
We have a shelf full of bird guides in our house, but this is the book we grab first, and 99% of the time, the only one that is needed. Also one of the few out there with good pictures of BOTH sexes. Would we rather they had photos instead of drawings? Probably. But it's a small price to pay for the best identification book we've ever had.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, for a photo guide March 6 2002
Format:Paperback
Let me tell you my bias up-front - I generally prefer bird guides which contain illustrations rather than photographs; I have found that poor lighting, bad angles and subjects not representative of their species tend to make their way into photo guides, thereby defeating the purpose. That said, I am very impressed with the quality of images in the Kaufman guide, likely because they're not unretouched. Kaufman uses digital editing to touch up the photographs so that each one is more representative of each species, and so that the quality of lighting is excellent.
It is of a size small enough to be easily carried into the field, unlike my favorite book, the Sibley guide, and the different page background colors are convenient for flipping quickly to the right section. There are short sections in the front of the book on "how to bird," "where to bird," and "what to look for," along with a few other blurbs, but all of this covers only nine pages total. Further, the text accompanying each bird is very short, one small paragraph.
Still, it's readily apparent that a *lot* of work went into this guide, and I'm really impressed with it. While I personally believe that it's not something a novice birder would likely find really useful, like the National Geographic Society's book, intermediate and advanced birders will likely find it easy to use for quick reference about a field marking or species differentiation. Conveniently, he covers all of the birds of North America, thereby obviating the need to purchase one book for the East, one for the West, and so forth.
My best advice is to get your hands on a copy of this book before purchasing it if you're not certain you'll like it - birding guides can be a highly-personal thing, and you may find that this review is just totally buggered! I'm still glad I own this book, and occasionally take it out into the field instead of my preferred NGS, just for the sake of variety.
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By shane
Format:Paperback
I grew up with an aunt who loved Birding. When I was a child she gave me a Golden Books Guide. I havent birded since and decided to buy a new book and compare the two.. Ken's guide blows it away..Many have opinions about the advantage/disadvantage of photographs or paintings, but after having the book I'll choose Ken s photos every time. He did a superb job with this book and photos. I always hated how the books with painted images appeared brighter in its colors than the birds in real life. I went thru most every pocket sized guide outthere and this book was my #1 pick. It has a tougher Flexicover than most all others and the color coded pages are quick and easy for a novice. The picture set ups are great and not jumbled/jammed together as other books. Granted this is not a desk manual so it only has the minumum required info on each bird, but thats all you need for a pocket field guide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to a field guide... Nov. 18 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book.If you are looking to buy a bird guide for yourself or as a gift, you can't go wrong with this.The problem of buying a bird guide is that there are so many to choose from;especially if the buyer has not been birding for several years.Personally,I would recommend this for a fairly new birder as opposed to Peterson's guide for one reason alone.this book covers all of North America.Peterson has one for the East and one for the West;and while if you only want your guide to use in either the East or West,that's not too bad,but if you are in the center of the continent, or plan to travel,you'll need both.So,simple ,why buy 2 when 1 will do?The Golden covers all N,A. but does not have the "arrows" pointing out the best identification features.I also feel the computer enhanced pictures are better;but that can be a matter of preference.The single page index at the back of Kenn's book will be a big help to new or average birders.Either of Kaufman,s Peterson,s or Golden are excellent to start birding.The National Geographic and Sibleys are also excellent;but a better choice for a more experienced (5+ years).Up until Kaufman's book,very few birders liked photographs ,as opposed to drawings,but this book has changed all that.
After saying all that,and it would be easy to go on comparing these guides,in the final analiyis ,you can't go too far wrong.If you or the person you are buying the book for takes birding serious you'll probably buy all the guides mentioned before too long.There are good points going for all of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best field guide July 5 2003
Format:Paperback
i own several bird guides and this is by far my very favorite. i love having the maps with the descriptions. i also like the notations about song and calls, which have helped me ID birds long before i have seen them. if you have to choose only one guide, i'd recommend this one.
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