Field Guide to the Southwestern States (Audubon Field Guide) Flexibound – 1 Sep 1999
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From the Inside Flap
Filled with concise descriptions and stunning photographs, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southwestern States belongs in the home of every resident of the Southwest and in the suitcase or backpack of every visitor. This compact volume contains:
An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the state's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more;
A complete overview of the southwestern region's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns, and the night sky;
An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, mountains, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries, with detailed descriptions and visitor information for 50 sites and notes on dozens of others.
The guide is packed with visual information -- the 1,500 full-color images include more than 1,300 photographs, 9 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as more than 100 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals.
For everyone who lives or spends time in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, or Utah, there can be no finer guide to the area's natural surroundings than the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southwestern States.
About the Author
Peter Alden, principal author of this series, is a birder, naturalist, author, and lecturer. He has led nature tours to more than 100 countries and is the author of books on North American, Latin American, and African wildlife. Peter organized an event called Biodiversity Day, the first of which took place in his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts.
Peter Friederici, author of the habitats, conservation and ecology, and parks and preserves sections of this guide, is a writer and field biologist who contributes articles and essays to many national and regional periodicals. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Top Customer Reviews
It starts with a fasinating insite into the geology of this region which is extreamly useful especially when the region in question contains the grand canyon, monument valley, ect. This is followed by information on all the habitats of the region. This is useful as it gives the reader an idea of where to explore and what to expect to see.
An intresting section on ecology follows this and more suprisingly a brilliant section of sky maps for anyone interested in astronomy! This is followed by an easy to use wildlife ID section which has a suprisingly huge number of creatures identifyed.
The last section is allist parks reaserves and places to visit. The only dissapointment about this is that you don't have enough time to fully explore each of these places (unless you live there of course!)
Forget more convensional place guides this is THE guide to own for anyone visiting Arizona, New Mexico, Utah or Nevada!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
These books are a wonderful introduction to natural history and identification. The information, though very condensed, is much more enjoyably presented here than it was in many a dull college "-ology" course. Overall, I agree with the New England guide publisher's comments about the series as a beginning to a more in-depth appreciation of natural history.
My gripes--and they are very small in comparison to the general usefulness and many great aspects of the guides--are actually with the comprehensiveness, which in some cases may lead to misidentification or confusion. It seems that the most common, conspicuous, and obvious species are generally included (good!), but there are some additions which might better have been excluded, or at least qualified: is the average person really going to be able to correctly identify, say, blue or skipper butterflies (only a couple of species included) or Brewer's and winter Chipping sparrows with the information in this book? The tougher ID's involved here take more skill and experience than the average person is likely to have, and the guide usually doesn't even caution the reader that this is so. I think it would have been better to at least alert the reader (in the proper places) that not all ID's are easy and that even experts sometimes have trouble, et cetera, just to clear things up. The only place I've yet noticed anything like this caution is the gulls ("confusing array of plumages").
Also there is the typical Audubon focus on adult males of species, while neglecting females and immatures, although this is more forgivable here than in the more specific guides--there just isn't room to cover everything here.
So, while I think it's marvelous that these guides will help so many people develop an understanding of, interest in, and love for the natural world, perhaps even more written emphasis on the variety and complexity of nature would have been better as an alert that, while the common and easier-to-ID species are included, many more species are out there to challenge us after we've acquired more in-depth knowledge.
I can't wait to return to the Southwest and use this great guide to help acquaint me with its wonders.
While it seems almost an impossible undertaking to include four very large states in one book, in fact the Range guide helps focus the book quite a bit.
As an artifact, the book is well made and should last some time.