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A Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America Paperback – Jan 1 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Fifth Edition edition (Jan. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395740460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395740460
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 14.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #221,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Veteran birders will know how to use this book. Beginners, however, should spend some time becoming familiar in a general way with the illustrations. They are not arranged in systematic or phylogenetic order as in most ornithological works but are grouped in 8 main visual categories:

(1) Swimmers — Ducks and ducklike birds (2) Aerialists — Gulls and gull-like birds (3) Long-legged Waders — Herons, cranes, etc.
(4) Smaller Waders — Plovers, sandpipers, etc.
(5) Fowl-like Birds — Grouse, quail, etc.
(6) Birds of Prey — Hawks, eagles, owls (7) Nonpasserine Land Birds (8) Passerine (Perching) Birds

Within these groupings it will be seen that ducks do not resemble loons; gulls are readily distinguishable from terns. The needlelike bills of warblers immediately differentiate them from the seed-cracking bills of sparrows. Birds that could be confused are grouped together when possible and are arranged in identical profile for direct comparison. The arrows point to outstanding “field marks” which are explained opposite.


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