The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This book is just hysterically funny. Our library bought a copy and it has been checked out constantly since it was published. I also will be purchasing copies to use as Christmas gifts this winter.
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If you have a birder in the family this is a great gift.  It's funny and some of the points are spot on.  It has 50 different birds and a good index and table of content.  Even non birders will find themselves smiling as they pick out some of the birds they know.  The illustrations are hand drawn and fit the book perfectly.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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A field guide to common North American Birds  that is supposed to be funny. It is really just one joke that goes on for far too long. A lot of the humor relies on using swear words.  The  sketches are cute and you may learn something in between the jokes.  The author does know his birds but he should leave the humor to the professionals.  This book is not appropriate for young or easily offended readers
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This is a legit bird guide, it's just a fun and humorous way to do a guide. Fun and enjoyable. A nifty gift for the bird lover/watcher in your life.
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Matt Kracht has written a very funny, tongue in cheek guide to some of the most common birds found in North America. He has humorously renamed them so that we might easily remember them. For example, there is the White Breasted Butt Nugget, the Western Meadow Jerk or, simply, the damn crows. He tends to feel about crows the same way I do. The entire page is filled with Caw, Caw, Caw, Caw, Caw..... Yes, that really is all that you need to know about the damn crow, isn't it? 

Kracht also accompanies each delightful paragraph of information with his own personal illustrations. Okay, some are better than others depending on how well he likes the bird. I won't even show you the illustration of the crow which resembles something a two year old with a black marker might draw in a fit of rage. Again, very aptly done when considering the caw-caw-caw of the crow. Most, however, are beautifully rendered.

Despite the irreverence, the information throughout the book, the details, the drawings - with a few noted exceptions - the maps, and the highlights are very informative. If I were teaching children about birds.... okay, well, there is some mild cursing but aside from that, I can assure you that kids definitely would remember these birds better than they would a regular field guide. Absolutely! I know that I will! It also makes for a terrific coffee table book and conversation piece. Guests have adored it! I adore it! I haven't laughed this hard or this much in a very long time!! 

Thank you to #netgalley, #ChronicleBooks and @MattKracht for my copy of #TheFieldGuidetoDumbBirdsofNorthAmerica
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The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early April.

A parody of an Audubon book with witty descriptions similar to animal-related memes (i.e. booplesnoot for a rabbit or danger water cow for a hippo) with hand-annotated photographs, fairly good ballpoint pen sketches, and silly names.
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Everyone has a favorite animal, and usually this feeling extends to a least favorite animal. For me, my favorite is moose, and my least favorite, at a neck-and-neck tie would be monkeys and birds. And it appears that, for at least half of my list, Matt Kracht shares my sentiment.

A Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America is exactly as it sounds. If you are a bird, you should probably be insulted right about now. The book is structured into different types of birds, from “Backyard A**holes” to “Egotists and Show-Offs.” Each page features a different bird, with an altered, more appropriate name (think Western Meadowjerk instead of Western Meadowlark), a few details that will allow you to recognize them in the field (like their hat size), and a really nifty sketch of the birds.

While there is quite a bit of humor in this book, there were little nuggets of knowledge hidden in the bios for the birds. And the sketches were actually fantastic and very distinct for each species. The author truly knows birds, but understands what little turds they can be. I respect that.

I thought this was a fun read am glad I was provided the opportunity to review it.

*I would like to thank the publisher, author, and NetGalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
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The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This book is going in my favorite folder for sure! This is hilarious! I laughed out loud and giggled all the way through! The author has a wicked sense of humor, clever, witty, and the funniest art! 
His bird "guide" has everything from rules to follow, tools, how to keep a journal, and his own description and art of birds. 
He has his name for the birds and then the common name. A description of the birds then their color or tips about them or both. Then the picture. My gosh, my stomach hurt from laughing! I read bits to my mom who is in her 80's and she started laughing! 
This is a book for any bird lover, animal lover, or anyone that needs a good laugh!
This a great comedy book yet I did learn too!
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I received this review copy free and early, courtesy of Net Galley and Chronicle Books. This whimsical yet bawdy take on our feathered frenemies will be for sale on April Fool’s Day, which figures. 

Kracht—whose name sounds ever so slightly like something a crow might say—illustrates each bird he discusses in a style that is not half bad, with some anger tossed in as seasoning. I have to admit I don’t entirely understand his indignation, given the state of the environment. I myself tend to relish the sounds of birds, most of whom the author refers to as “shit sacks,” “noisy little fucks,” etc; yet clearly his tongue is in his cheek, since he studies them sufficiently to write about them. 

Much of the humor will be appreciated by teenagers, and so if you are expecting a teenage guest over the spring and summer holidays and the blue language won’t be considered inappropriate in your family, you might want this book for your guest room. 

If I could change one thing about this book, I’d expand the section devoted to “Murderers,” meaning birds of prey. This is where the art is the best and also the funniest, and so I don’t understand why he only includes four birds here, one of which is the bald eagle, which even Kracht cannot diss. Most of all I wonder how a Seattle birder can omit the Peregrine Falcon, a magnificent and adaptive bird that dwells on the ledges of many of our city’s tallest buildings. Go figure. 

If this eccentric little book sounds like something you or those you gift might like, you can get it April 1, 2019.
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This book is hysterical!  You don't have to be a ornithologist to love this one.  I don't think I have ever  read a book with the word butt in it as many times as this one.  I love birds already, but I may have been convinced to take up bird watching officially.

Not one for everyone, but bird enthusiasts with a sense of humor will definitely enjoy. 

Don't mind me sitting over here giggling over every page turn.
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This book was absolutely ridiculous and hilarious and I loved it! I know all my nature-buff and birding patrons will adore it, so I've ordered a couple copies already. Thank you so much!
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I never thought a field guide to birds would keep me laughing the whole way through, but this book has proven me wrong.  This is not your book if you are expecting a comprehensive guide to all North American birds, or if you are uber serious about birding.  But if you might appreciate Kracht's love/hate relationship with birds and would get a chuckle out of his sardonic obscenities and name-calling, then pick this up and have yourself a funny afternoon!  I did actually learn a little bit about the birds he was so lovingly trashing, and thoroughly enjoyed the scribbly hand-drawn pictures.  Fun book for the not-so-serious bird-lover!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Hilarious and totally irreverent! An absolute must-read for any birder with a cheeky sense of humor!

This book is not your usual bird guide. It’s totally off the charts with a uniquely humorous, profane, and completely different look at birds. All those birds whose names we know and whose calls we struggle to learn are here. The author seems to have had some bad experiences with birds at some point, because he goes off the on birds, giving them new and profane names, drawing them with heavy and angry scrawls. But, it’s funny as heck! I found myself laughing out loud at so many inappropriate times when I was reading this book. Seriously, this is some hilarious stuff. 

I love birds, but I really appreciate the offbeat humor and the over-the-top way this book was written. It’s got some details about the birds, but the author totally injects a sense of frustration with the little feathered jerks. Apparently, they wake him up super early when he’d rather be sleeping. They are loud and annoying when he wants them to be quiet. You get a sense that he’s taking his frustrations out by drawing the little sketches of the birds and giving them alternate names. How many birders can count the hoodlum merganser, cactus wretch, western meadowjerk, or white-breasted butt-nugget on their life list? How many of us think the birds who visit our feeders are freeloaders? 

The end notes include migration maps that are unlike any you will ever see. All the illustrations are colorful and drawn in a style that makes it look like they were done quickly and sloppily, but the details are fairly accurate despite the sarcastic tone overall. Field marks are there, just not in the usual way. However, this is not meant to be a serious field guide. It’s all in fun, totally spoofing the seriousness of birding and birders in general. I think it would make an awesome gag gift for your favorite birder, but make sure they have a snarky sense of humor. 

There are some good tips included as well. How and when to feed birds, etc. How to make your own bird journal. The author’s pages are so funny! 

If you are looking for an entertaining book, this might be for you. But don’t expect it to be a real or serious field guide to birds. The title should be warning enough that it’s a spoof book. If you want to laugh hysterically at some humor that you really think you should be too mature to laugh at, you will totally enjoy this one.
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A humorous take on birding (or is it bird watching?) Enjoyable, funny, great as a gift for the wildlife lover in your life.
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A delightful answer to the question I always ask myself in the morning, "who is outside my window making all this annoying noise?!" Sometimes that answer is a neighbor with a leafblower, but more often the answer is one of these dumb guys. How dare they. Matt Kracht pokes fun at the sport (oh the irony of using the word sport in this review) of birdwatching/birding in a refreshing and kindhearted way. Describing birds by shape, from normal bird to murder bird, the book leads you through whatever little bothers you may find in your backyard or on a trail in any given moment. I was laughing the whole time I read this and couldn't put it down. Anyone who loves birds, or the outdoors, or just simply laughing should read this book. 

(Disclaimer: I received this title free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

A review will be posted on gwenithreads.blogspot.com on the release date, April 1, 2019.
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If you've always wanted to try bird watching but find birders a little precious and pretentious, this is the book for you. Part field guide, part satire, bitter author and birdwatcher Kracht hilariously describes common birds and their jerkish behavior, renaming each but also including the common name--i.e., "Western Meadowjerk" (Western Meadowlark), "Damn Crows" (American crow), etc. This ARC did not contain images, so I can't comment on the photos/illustrations that will be included, but I'm sure they will be equally funny/helpful.
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I generally quite enjoyed this book. I felt an immediate kinship for the snarky, sarcastic tone, especially with it being directed at nature and people who love nature. That said, I felt like the humor wasn't always very consistent-- the actual bird descriptions weren't very funny and typically just said "they're loud and annoying" in slightly different phrasing for almost every bird, while the other sections of the book allowed Kracht to be more clever and funny.
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Hilarious, witty and snarky. Keeps you on your toes while classily making fun or ornithology and all things to go along with it.
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Birds are everywhere— totally unavoidable. In parks, in your backyard, even stray ones drift into stores. And their prominence has led to the development of a specific kind of person: the birdwatcher. Now there’s a guide for new or expert birders interested in perfecting the favorite pastime of … sitting and watching birds.

The tone of this book is set with the title: The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America. Author Matt Kracht obviously has an interesting relationship these animals, and his blunt attitude stretches beyond the cover. Each bird featured includes a notation about their common name, but Kracht also renames them. The White-Breasted Butt Nugget (White-Breasted Nuthatch) and the Western MeadowJerk (Western Meadow Lark) both make appearances, among a flock of fifty. Some of these work better than others, but they all serve for Kracht to degrade what he considers flying monstrosities.

Beyond just the names, this book is wickedly funny. Kracht embodies an individual with absolute disdain for all things bird. In his world, their only functions are to make annoying noises and steal food, and he won’t hear a word otherwise. Yes, it’s over the top, but Kracht mocks with absolutely infectious glee, almost goading the reader to challenge his view on why these aviary creatures suck.

Even with all the snark, Kracht is careful to load up on facts. He describes their calls, migratory patterns, markings, and includes accurate illustrations. However, it’s the sections that bookend the guide that are both insightful and suggest Kracht might have a softer side when it comes to birds. Here, he discusses the art of birding, picking proper bird feeders, as well as maintaining a bird jounal. His style of ridiculing the hobby and the animal is still on display, but it almost appears to stem from a deep admiration— he’s too cool for bird watching … but it’s still fun.

It’s funny, it’s crass, and as a particularly annoying bird would say, “Caw! Caw! Caw!”
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Title: Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America



Author: Matt Kracht



Genre: Nonfiction, Bird Guide, Humor,



Plot: Birds are beautiful intelligent creatures who provide us with hours of entertainment in various forms. At least, that is what die-hard bird enthusiasts want us to believe. In reality, birds are jerks and in this hilarious field guide, Matt Kracht explains why with very colorful language and pictures.



We'll meet such classics as the White-Breasted Butt Nugget and the Bland Sparrow. Each bird belongings to its own unique group, such as Lump, Long-Legs or Murder Birds. And all of them have their own unique and noisy call as well as annoying habits and migratory patterns. So settle down and prepare to look at birds in a whole new light.



Likes/Dislikes: This book is a riot to read! Sprinkled with plenty of dry humor, sarcastic commentary and adult language, this is a field guide for every bird enthusiast and their bored partner. While reading it, I showed it to my husband (the bird enthusiast) who then proceeded to read almost the whole thing while laughing. I think it passed the test. My favorite are the Murder Birds.



Rating: PG-16 and up, for language.



Date Review Written: January 24th, 2019



I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley for my honest opinion. I wasn't required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed in the above review are my own.
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