WASHINGTON (Jan. 31, 2006)–A new reference on the best birding sites in the country, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO BIRDING HOT SPOTS OF THE UNITED STATES (National Geographic Books, ISBN 0-7922-5483-X, March 2006, $21.95), publishing this spring, is an indispensable addition to National Geographic’s comprehensive and practical bird library.
The perfect companion to the best-selling “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America” and “National Geographic Complete Birds of North America,” NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO BIRDING HOT SPOTS OF THE UNITED STATES provides the inside scoop on the best places to see birds both on and off the beaten path.
The book, by Mel White and Paul Lehman, with a foreword by bird expert Jonathan Alderfer, describes more than 500 of the top locations to go bird-watching in the 48 contiguous United States. Chosen in consultation with local birders, the sites include city and state parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and parks, nature preserves, lakes, marshes, seashores — even roads and battlefields. A short description is given of each area, along with some of the most typical or notable species to be found there and the best time of year to see them. Sidebars throughout the book focus on species of special interest.
States are grouped into 13 chapters by region. Site numbers are keyed to regional maps at the beginning of each chapter to help birders find their way from one site to another. At the end of each state section is a page of information that lists the phone numbers, Web sites and facilities of the featured hot spots; additional recommended hot spots; and telephone numbers of rare bird alerts — recorded messages, updated frequently, that list unusual species seen in a state or locality.
With more than 150 full color photographs, the guide is a veritable pocket atlas of avian information, equally useful to the novice just starting a life-list and the advanced birder in search of an especially elusive species or a new and unique place to enjoy the enormously popular pastime of birding.
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 that the number of people participating in birding activities has more than tripled in the past 20 years.
Mel White is the author of “A Birder’s Guide to Arkansas” and “Exploring the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.” Assignments for National Geographic Traveler magazine take him birding around the world. He lives in Little Rock, Ark.
Paul Lehman is past editor of the American Birding Association’s magazine “Birding.” He is chief mapping consultant for National Geographic’s “Field Guide to the Birds of North America” and “Complete Birds of North America,” among other popular guidebooks. He lives in Cape May, N.J.
Jonathan Alderfer, chief consultant for National Geographic’s birding program, is one of the nation’s top birding artists. He is editor of National Geographic’s “Complete Birds of North America.” He lives in Washington, D.C.
Another National Geographic birding book being published this spring is NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS (ISBN 0-7922-5484-8, March 2006, $19.95), by birder/photographers Rulon Simmons and Bates Littlehales. This informative guide is packed with practical know-how on techniques, the best equipment to use, tips on how to lure or stalk birds until you have the perfect shot, and much more. Unique among books in its field, this one covers not just traditional film, but also the latest developments in cutting-edge digital equipment as well as expert advice on editing and printing with a computer.