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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative and beautiful - a must for British and European birders too!, 15 May 2014
By 
Christopher J. Sharpe "Chris Sharpe" (Caracas, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rare Birds of North America (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book, exceptionally well researched and beautifully produced. A real masterpiece. That should be no surprise, given the authors and publisher. Nevertheless, it surpassed my expectations. It is not often that a technical manual will serve just as well as a coffee table book but Howell, Lewington and Russell and Princeton University Press have achieved that in this guide.

Rare Birds of North America is a 'must-buy' for any North American birder with more than a cursory interest in vagrant birds or bird migration. What about a British or European readership? Some will judge from the title that there can be little of relevance here for Old World birders. They would be wrong. A large proportion of the species covered have occurred, or could potentially occur on this side of the Atlantic. This book is another tool in the birder's kit, and will very definitely help western Palaearctic birders sharpen their identification skills. How? On one hand, this book provides the inverse perspective on identification of American vagrants - how to tell a Golden Plover from an American Golden, a Hen Harrier from a Northern, rather than vice versa - and in doing so it gives many insights into field separation of similar species. On the other, it is often quite simply the best source of information available for species which present identification pitfalls here. Considering solely non-passerines, European readers will find a great deal of useful information in the accounts of snipe, smaller Tringa waders, Cuckoo & Oriental Cuckoo, besides a host of pelagic birds. Added to that, the introductory information on bird migration is an essential summary of what is known to date.

From the cover onwards, the plates are of the very highest quality: amongst the most accurate and helpful to be found in any identification literature. The text is masterful, a distillation of decades of field experience, offering countless insights. In this case, the layout and design deserve the highest praise too: plates are close to text, the text itself is extremely well laid out with clever use of different fonts to enhance clarity.

This will doubtless prove to be one of the most important birding books of 2014. It is a pleasure to browse through, an endless source of curious and surprising information and a key reference in the identification literature.

Chris Sharpe, 15 May 2014. ISBN-13: 9780691117966
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rare Birds of North America (Hardcover)
The content is excellent, photographs etc. are of the highest quality. I have not found a comparable book despite searching for a considerable period of time
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, fantastic illustrations., 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rare Birds of North America (Hardcover)
I bought this book because of the illustrator. I'm not disappointed. Ian's bird illustrations are mroe than outstanding. A great inspiration!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Birds of North America, 7 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rare Birds of North America (Hardcover)
Superlative illustrations - Great text- Not really portable in the field but handy for Attu and serious US birders CANNOT be without this.

When the complete Birds of North America comes out it will be a case of Roll over National Geographic and tell Dave Sibley the news.

D
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Present for birdwatcher., 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rare Birds of North America (Hardcover)
They were delighted and said pictures were executed to an excellent standard. The drawings looked like photographs.
So a good purchase.
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Rare Birds of North America
Rare Birds of North America by Will Russell (Hardcover - 16 Feb 2014)
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