WASHINGTON (Oct. 17, 2005)—Comprehensive, systematic and easy to use, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COMPLETE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, the definitive book for birders, is being published by National Geographic Books this fall.
Companion volume to the authoritative best-seller “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America,” NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COMPLETE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA (National Geographic Books, ISBN 0-7922-4175-4, November 2005, $35) is the ultimate birding reference book, covering all 962 species of birds recorded in North America, from the commonest breeding bird to the rarest migrant visitor — and including such seldom seen species as the ivory-billed woodpecker, long believed extinct, but lately rediscovered in Arkansas.
Featuring some 4,000 illustrations by the finest bird artists, 150 stunning full-color photographs by masters of avian photography, and more than 750 range and migration maps, this unequalled 640-page compendium offers everything a birder could want — from bird-watching basics for those just starting out to the finer points of identification for serious enthusiasts.
Unique to this volume are the migration routes for all North American birds, created by birding cartographer and field ornithologist Paul Lehman, who also created the range maps. The maps were rendered by National Geographic’s highly skilled cartographers.
Compiled by a team of 25 of North America’s foremost birding authorities and edited by renowned birding editor and illustrator Jonathan Alderfer, the book is organized by family groups according to American Ornithologists’ Union guidelines.
Each of the 82 groups includes a general family description detailing structure, plumage, behavior, distribution, taxonomy and conservation. Each species has a separate illustrated entry, with size and identification details, geographic variation, voice, similar species, status and distribution, and population.
Fascinating sidebars cover subjects from the basic how-to of looking at specific bird groups to the intricacies of distinguishing between different species that are often confused because of their similar appearance, such as eastern and western willets, female orioles in winter, or subspecies of sandhill cranes.
Easy-to-read large type; straightforward, accessible text; a comprehensive 14-page index; and a quick-find index on the back endpapers make this user-friendly reference work a must-have resource for novice and experienced birders alike and an ideal complementary volume to the acclaimed “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.”
Jonathan Alderfer is chief consultant for the National Geographic Society’s Birding Program. He is a widely published author and field guide illustrator. One of the nation’s foremost birding artists, he is well known in the birding community for his expertise as a field ornithologist and for his knowledge of North American birds. He served as general consultant and art consultant for “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America” 3rd and 4th editions. Alderfer lives in Washington, D.C.
-Birding is the fastest growing wildlife-related activity in the United States. In 2004, more than 85 million Americans participated in viewing and photographing birds. The U.S. Forest Service states the number of people participating in birding activities has more than tripled in the past 20 years.