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on November 22, 2000
This book provides perhaps the best available set of basic instructions for butterfly watching. As some of the other reviews mention, it's not just a field guide; it's also a very thorough and pleasing introduction to how to go about the hobby. What type of binocs to choose (close focus please) is, for example, the sort of basic thing it covers well.
That being said, Butterflies through Binoculars shares a lot of the same traits I find mildly frustrating in the current set of Audubon's bird guides. It uses photographs, which I've always found less useful than thoughtful artist's drawings in my bird books. All the plates, moreover, are stacked together in front of the book. Maybe others find it handy to flip through pictures only, but I'd much rather see things like the better bird guides do it: color plates on one side, succinct species description with range map on the other. Whenever I use a guide like this in the field I end up flipping back and forth in my field guide like I can't make up my mind.
For that reason, I'd recommend this as an introductory title, but I'd say we're still waiting for a really wonderful field guide.
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on August 20, 1999
Glassberg has the ability to share his passion about butterflies while providing excellent field marks to look for. This book sets the standard for future butterfly books but may be hard to top except by Glassberg himself. Even the description of butterfies contains thought-provoking or entertaining tidbits that make them a joy to read. Great photographs (except for one), information on habitat, flight period, host and foodplants, and range; just about everything you need to know. More importantly, Glassberg, who is president of North American Butterfly Association, employs the NABA checklist for common names. This is critical if you participate in a 4th of July Butterfly Count. If you have an older field guide, throw it out and buy this one. I have no plans on butterflying in the western US but I will be the first to buy such a book if Glassberg writes it.
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on February 18, 2000
Yes, this is a superior field guide, whether one is collecting or watching. And, the texts are also pithy and contain some great and timely information on the butterflies and especially conservations situations. The butterfly enthusiast crowd is lucky to have had such an upsurge in interest in its subject, and Glassberg is to be credited with kindling much of this. Speaking of Butterflies through Binoculars-- a wonderful narrative about same, through the binoculars of history, is the recent Nabokov's Blues by Kurt Johnson, another prominent lepidopterist. Its time to look at butterflies, appreciate them, and increase our knowledge as well. Get out with Glassberg's book and then go home and read some "sit-down" informative entomology. Enjoy.
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on February 24, 1999
If you've tried to identify butterflies and been frustrated, this is the book for you! If you like butterflies, gardening, or simply being outdoors, this too is the book for you! Spectacular photos of LIVE butterflies, brilliantly concise and educational text, excellent range maps, and seasonality charts make IDENTIFICATION easy. Users of this guide will learn quickly what many long-time butterfly watchers took years to learn. A fun tool for travel planning to butterfly hotspots too!
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on May 17, 2000
An absolute must have! Glassberg, who is president of the North American Butterfly Association, shares his knowledge of these delicate creatures and makes identifcation easy and fun. Includes 625 color photos (most by Glassberg) of free-flying butterflies. The first butterfly guide to use plates showing correct size relationships among species. Also features sections on binoculars, photography, biology, conservation, and gardening. You won't be sorry you purchased this fine book!
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on August 5, 2001
Without comparison, this is the best butterfly id book around. It is really easy to navigate and find specific butterflies quickly, even for the novice. It has maps as well as larval foods for the different butterflies. Quite complete. I keep it sitting right here on my desk so that when I see a butterfly flitter by I can run outside and id it. Its also has tips on identifying butterflies that may look similar which is helpful. I'd buy it again for sure!
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on May 31, 2001
If you are interested in butterflies on any scale, you must have this book! The pictures are really good for comparison in the field. A must have for anyone who participates in butterfly counts. This book will make you addicted to watching butterflies like it did me! Be careful! :-)
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on February 10, 1999
Extensive photos of living butterflies shot in the field. Text and range maps opposite the photos, upper and lower views of males and females side-by-side with similar species. Photos also have arrows to each species diagnostic field marks.
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