Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: The Warbler Guide

There are not a lot of books out devoted exclusively to the breeding warblers of North America but The Warbler Guide is easily the most comprehensive guide on this subject that has ever been published.

While the book is aimed at more experienced birders, I feel that  newer birders will find the chapter titled "What to Notice on a Warbler" extremely useful and applicable not just to warblers but all birds. One part of that section, The Face, is something that Eric and I have been talking about for years! Almost every North American warbler can be identified by its face alone so pay particularly good attention to that section including the Visual Finder for faces that is located on pages 100 - 101.

At the beginning of each species profile, the authors have created fantastic icons to indicate silhouette shape, color, tail pattern ,range, preferred habitat, and behavior. Each profile also offers a large number of photos of warblers of all ages, sexes, and plumages. I have never seen a guide offer so many photos!

One of the biggest new and different sections of this book are the sonograms of each species songs and calls. There has been a ton of research in this field especially by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library and this book puts all of that research to good use! While it might be a little hard for some birders to follow, I believe that the audio companion should really help improve the usefulness of these sections. I will post another review once I am able to check out that portion of the book.

Title: The Warbler Guide
Author: Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2013
Official Website: www.thewarblerguide.com

We received a copy of this book from the publisher to review on NuttyBirder.com. The links are to our Amazon Affiliate account.

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