Birding by impression: The new development in modern birdwatching is a holistic approach to identification. This is a method that starts with the basics: instead of jumping right to plumage details, a birder first uses relative size, structure, behavior, and voice to begin the identification process. This is considered a more reliable starting point, leading to faster and more accurate identifications. Shorebirds often present a problem to a large number of birders. Size similarity, the complex variety of plumages, and endless variations make identification difficult, as well as the distance at which an observer usually finds him or herself. All of these characteristics also make shorebirds the ideal group of birds on which to use a holistic approach.
All of the North American species of shorebirds are covered here in great detail, with several photos per species; including male, female, juvenile, post-juvenal molt, breeding, and non-breeding. They include an effective mix of standing and in-flight photos, with other behavioral postures. An added benefit is the fact that the authors include similar species in the photos, for easy comparison.
More than 870 stunning color photographs grace the first half of this book, starting with a general impression of the species and progressing to more detailed images of the bird throughout its life cycle. The identification section of the book includes color distribution maps, details on Size, Structure, Behavior, and Status; plus detailed photo captions. A flight photo is included for each species, as well as a description of common flight calls.
An amusing detail about this book is the quizzes the authors sprinkle throughout the photo captions. Readers are asked to identify age, sex, or other species. An appendix at the end of the book provides the answers, with tips for better identification.
The second half of the book is comprised of species accounts. Here you will find the detailed information about status, taxonomy, behavior, migration, molt, and vocalizations. A glossary, bibliography, and detailed index round out this excellent guide.
The high quality and sheer number of color photographs alone make this guide a must- have, and its straightforward format and wealth of information only add to its value. Buteo Books highly recommends The Shorebird Guide. More than 870 color photographs, emphasizing a holistic approach to identification.