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The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America Paperback – Oct 25 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Pap/Com Or edition (Oct. 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316010502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316010504
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.8 x 3.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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By G Mac on June 2 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this to replace / update from my old 1983 National Geographic Edition of the same name. Wow, what a difference 30 years makes & going from drawings to photos is fantastic! I have the New Western Edition coming too & I hope that will be as impressive as this book. Haven't listened to the CD yet, but I'll bet it is of great quality too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a well documented book including life pictures of the different species of birds in full color, great book for any bird watcher, really going to enjoy this book for years to come.
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Format: Paperback
Donald and Lillian stokes have outdone themselves with this book. They are a true asset to the bird watching population. Whether a veteran or novice, this field manual is second to none I have seen. The photography is beyond reproach as the images almost leap off the pages. The included CD or 150 bird songs is just another demonstration of the Stokeses commitment and obvious love of birding to put out such a great product. Kudos to you both.
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By K. Wark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Sept. 30 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just started getting into birding a bit more seriously and this field guide is brilliant! This appears to be a thorough cataloguing of birds in North America, and the bird song CD is a neat bonus. A very useful tool in helping to identify birds with tons of details - even includes photos of the variations between male and female (which is marked in a lot of cases) and juvenile birds. Just awesome. I'll be pouring over this book for years to come.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 132 reviews
96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
A Masterpiece Oct. 12 2010
By YoungTJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As one who has nearly two entire bookcases full of bird books, I believe it's fair to say that I'm not easily impressed; however, the Stokeses have done what I did not think was possible: blow me away with a field guide to birds. What I love best about the new Stokes Field Guide is the photography, of which there is an exceptional amount (more than in any other field guide) that is, furthermore, of eye-poppingly outstanding quality. I'd call it a visual smorgasbord--particularly the section on warblers!
And, as usual, the Stokeses provide a wealth of information in a sensible, uncluttered layout. The guide is comprehensive and fully up-to-date with newly split species (e.g. Pacific Wren, formerly a subspecies of Winter Wren); subspecies (if any) for each species; and current range maps that reflect breeding/winter range extensions and retractions.
As if all that weren't enough, a CD with the sounds of 150 species is enclosed to get the reader started learning to identify birds by ear. Bravo, Don and Lillian!
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Book with 1 concern Oct. 14 2010
By imatwicker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received this book and was mesmerized. Wonderful photos and descriptions. Being a bird nerd, I found that the book is too large and heavy (almost 3 pounds)for carrying in the field. I will keep it in my vehicle for an excellent reference source.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
They did it again! Oct. 11 2010
By Jane Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I don't know how the Stokes' do all that they do but this newest guide from them is the most comprehensive of all. The pictures are excellent showing plumage variation from different regions, seasonal differences, and the juveniles. A bonus CD comes with the book of the calls and songs of 150 common birds. This is a big field guide at almost 800 pages but it is an important addition to any birder's library.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
New Stokes Guide a Jewel Oct. 27 2010
By Paul M. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America is a jewel. Most birders will want this reasonably priced book for the 3400 photos alone; more and better photos than any other general birding field guide. The photos are also larger and generally in habitat or in flight and appear to include all the subspecies. The text is as good as the photos. Stokes' offers substantially more text on identification of each species (and subspecies) than any other general guide. They also focus increased attention on identification by shape, since that is often what birders see best. Whatever level of birding experience one has, you can use this book as a key reference for the variety of plumages found in the field.

I have not had time to read and use all the book yet; primarily the raptor, shorebird and gull sections, which amaze me for their extensiveness and substance. For example, there are four pages devoted to Red-tailed Hawk, with 23 photos, 12 in flight and 11 perched, covering the subspecies. There are two pages with 9 photos of Swainson's Hawk, and a full page on Roadside Hawk. I haven't even mentioned the downloadable CD of 600 bird songs of 150 common birds, which could be worth the price of the book alone. (Have not used this yet.)

My criticisms so far are few. For raptors and shorebirds in particular, I would like to see a range for length where there are dramatic differences within a species (e.g. accipiters and Dunlin) that can cause confusion with other species. I'd also like to see wingspread ranges for birds often seen best in flight, such as hawks, cranes, etc.

This is not a Stokes' pocket guide. You can't have 3400+ quality photographs produced at an adequate size and substantial text in a book with the same dimensions as the original Peterson. (Although when this book is converted to digital format for PDAs....) I typically carry the large Sibley in a small backpack, along with one or more specialty guides on hawks, shorebirds, or warblers, as appropriate, and my camera. When I'm teaching beginners, I also carry a Peterson or National Geo to minimize information overload for them. I will now be taking a Stokes wherever I go birding and keeping a reference copy at home. I look forward to using it for years.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Beginners: I recommend this AFTER a Peterson or Sibley July 23 2011
By Pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a beginner but grew up with an uncle who was an avid, lifelong birder. He always had a Peterson field guide and I never had trouble identifying unknown birds with it. I think it's because it was grouped by the "looks" of birds, and also it was an Eastern guide which narrows down (dramatically) the choices.

I bought the Stokes guide after reading the reviews here and I have NOT found it easy AT ALL for identifying birds of which I am not familiar. It is grouped by "families" of birds (not by "looks") so I feel I need to know what family an unknown bird is in in order to find it (Catch-22).

I am writing this review because I just came back on Amazon to check out the latest offerings by Peterson and Sibley (the latter recommended by my birder uncle). He also recommended an "Eastern" edition to cut down on the info noise.

Now, I don't want this review to sound too negative (I gave it 4 stars) because I think this Stokes book will be a wonderful addition to the Peterson or Sibley that I anticipate purchasing. Once I identify the bird I can look it up in the Stokes and see the beautiful "real" photographs of the bird.

For me:

(1) Peterson or Sibley first (the latter I have never used; again, just my birder uncle's recommendation);

(2) then the Stokes.

I hope this helps someone.

Happy birding!

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