Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion: A Comprehensive Resource for Identifying North American Birds

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jan 8, 2013 - Nature - 729 pages
4 Reviews
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From the award-winning birder and author of Birds of Prey, an authoritative, information-packed guide to distinguishing North American birds.

In this book, bursting with more information than any field guide could hold, the well-known author and birder Pete Dunne introduces readers to the “Cape May School of Birding.” It's an approach to identification that gives equal or more weight to a bird's structure and shape and the observer's overall impression (often called GISS, for General Impression of Size and Shape) than to specific field marks. After determining the most likely possibilities by considering such factors as habitat and season, the birder uses characteristics such as size, shape, color, behavior, flight pattern, and vocalizations to identify a bird. The book provides an arsenal of additional hints and helpful clues to guide a birder when, even after a review of a field guide, the identification still hangs in the balance.

This supplement to field guides shares the knowledge and skills that expert birders bring to identification challenges. Birding should be an enjoyable pursuit for beginners and experts alike, and Pete Dunne combines a unique playfulness with the work of identification. Readers will delight in his nicknames for birds, from the Grinning Loon and Clearly the Bathtub Duck to Bronx Petrel and Chicken Garnished with a Slice of Mango and a Dollop of Raspberry Sherbet.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sandydog1 - LibraryThing

There is no longer any need to assemble a birding library. Buy a Sibley Guide, add this wonderful door-stop, and you are all set. There's not a single illustration here. It is just full of Dunne-isms, observations and winsome, quaint nicknames of all of North America's birds. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - birdsetcetera - LibraryThing

Dunne's book provides all the exhausting detail that the other field guides don't have room to include, without one glaring detail (photographs or paintings of the birds themselves), hence the ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

PETE DUNNE forged a bond with nature as a child and has been studying hawks for more than forty years. He has written fifteen books and countless magazine and newspaper columns. He was the founding director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and now serves as New Jersey Audubon’s Birding Ambassador. He lives in Mauricetown, New Jersey.

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