New Guides for Bird Identification

To aid in the identification of birds, most birders use one or more field guides.  Two recent additions to the options for field guides are:  The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America (2010) and The Crossley ID Guide - Eastern Birds (2011). 


Donald and Lillian Stokes provide a useful, expanded, and updated guide to North American Birds.  Their photos are individualized and their descriptions focus on "shape" as a key element of field identification. The book comes with a CED of 600 bird sounds.

Richard Crossley, on the other hand, focuses on pictures of typical habitats for each bird species in the East of North America.  Multiple images of juveniles and adults in their varied plumages are superimposed on the habitat photo.  Some species have as many as 15 images to aid in bird identification

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Book Reviews
BIRDWATCHER by Liz Rosenthal

Roger Tory Peterson from a very early age was a birdwatcher and over the years his highly disciplined observations, note taking, drawings, paintings, and photography impacted the international world of birding.  Many of today's experts in international birding used his series of field guides, books, lectures, and personal guidance as young birders in arriving at their own amateur or professional commitments to ornithological and conservationist pursuits. 

Peterson was born August 28, 1908, while President Theodore Roosevelt, a member of the District of Columbia
Audubon Society, was in office. He assisted in the growth of birding as a national pastime and stressed the importance of conservation of habitats as a necessary extension of birding.  Peterson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Jimmy Carter on June 9, 1980.

Elizabeth J. Rosenthal's hundred plus interviews, copious library research, and journalistic skills are evident in her authorship.  She has captured the essence of this naturalist and his career.  She has included the accolades and the criticisms, the warmth and competiveness, the peaks and valleys of his work, and the extent of dedication of this man who has been called Dr. Peterson and King Penguin. 

To read more about this 2008 publication and author, go to the author's website at

Pete and Linda Dunne climbed mountains, crossed deserts, walked by seashores and rivers as well as into deciduous and coniferous woodlands across North America.  Read about the places they visited, the rare birds they sought and found, and the people they met along the way in Feather Quest a 1992 publication. 

Pete Dunne is a gifted story teller.  He informs and entertains.  He compares and contrasts.  He groups and isolates.  More importantly, he guides new birders in the range of experiences available for bird watching and seasoned birders on where in the wild to find the exotics. 

Pete Dunne today is Vice President of
Natural History Information and Editor of NJ Audubon Magazine. Linda, the photographer for the book, formerly was a forest ranger and instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School.  Both have a love of birds. 


Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher from Europe spent 100 days together in key North American birding hot spots.  They wrote about their adventure in Wild America published in 1953.  This led the way for Pete and Linda Dunne, Ken Kaufman, Gus Yaki of Canada, and others to explore and write about where to bird for the rare birds.



Birding Florida (2007) by Brian Rapoza and A Guide to Bird Finding in New Jersey (2004) by William J. Boyle, Jr.  are similar yet different.  Both describe over 200 sites used by birders plus provide a list of birds and where they can be found among the sites in their respective states.  Both books provide general information about facilities at selected sites as well as provide directional information in terms of DeLorne Atlas and Gazetteer grid pages and location numbers.  Boyle's book provides additional directional information and Rapoza's book adds hazards in the area, nearest food, gas, lodging, camping, and who to contact for further information.  Rapoza's book is concisely packaged within 291 pages while Boyle's is 492 pages. Both are important to birders who are not dependent on field trips to enjoy a meaningful birding experience.  

New Books & DVDs

Bird Song: Defined, Decoded, Described For book details and to hear sample recordings 
click here.

Snake in the Grass: An Everglades Invasion by Larry Perez.

Chasing the Ghost Birds  (book) and Saving the Ghost Birds (DVD) (whooping cranes)  For details visit

Do Hummingbirds Hum?
 by George C. West and Carol A. Butler  is now available. 
Click here for details. 
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