A Field Guide to Songbirds of North America

A Visual Directory of 100 of the Most Popular Songbirds

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Pub Date 29 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 13 Jul 2021

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Learn how and why birds sing, and discover the wide range of tones and melodies of over 100 of the most popular North American bird calls with this beautifully illustrated visual directory.

Beautiful illustrations show each bird's distinctive colors and plumage, and detailed information reveals their origin, behavior, feeding, and migration habits.

Simple notations in the book denote the rhythmic rise and fall of the songs to help you identify the calls heard in your backyard.

Find out when and where to best hear America's most beloved songbirds, and learn how to turn your backyard into an aviary haven with practical advice on planting, feeding routines, and optimal nesting boxes.

Topped off with a durable, flexi-bound format, A Field Guide to Songbirds of North America is a perfect reference for the field.

Learn how and why birds sing, and discover the wide range of tones and melodies of over 100 of the most popular North American bird calls with this beautifully illustrated visual directory.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780785839477
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 14 members

Featured Reviews

Songbirds bring so much interest and joy to back yards and parks! I love that this book details information in addition to identification such as the differences between songs and calls, reasons for each, varieties of calls (alarms, attracting/impressing a mate) and the physiology behind songs and calls. Some birds sing in the morning, others in the evening. Though I live part time in a -40C winter climate our birds are restricted but amazingly we still have several species. I also live part time on a different continent, warm climate, and am always amazed at the variety of both. The feeding and nesting requirement charts are useful as is the explanation of nests and nesting boxes. I wish there were photographs in addition to illustrations, though the illustrations are very clear and precise. For each bird the author includes its location zone, song, habitat, food, nesting material and attracting them plus other categories. After reading this book I want to drill holes into stumps and place food inside. We do not have grey jays here. but will still use the pine cone idea for other birds I also was not aware that songbird species will bury unwanted eggs. Sometimes the best ideas are simplest, such as the jar or bottle feeder. Those interested in birds or who want to learn more about them, do read this book. My sincere thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Chartwell Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this fabulous and practical book!

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Incredibly informative! I've always been curious about the birds that frequently visit my garden and the various chirping I hear when I wake up. This is an excellent resource that is comprehensive without being dry, informative, intriguing, and comes with loads of pictures and diagrams. There's plenty of tips for how to attract certain types of birds, how to identify a species based on their song (there's even a graphic and description breaking down the cadence of each bird's song), etc. It's perfect for casual readers and hobbyists, and would make a great coffee table book or display piece!

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During Covid I often went for walks at my local botanical garden. While there, I saw and heard a number of birds. I recognized a few-robins, cardinals, sparrows, red tailed hawks and several more but I always wished that I knew more. In terms of sounds, I recognized a woodpecker and that was about it. This book was created for folks like me although even those with more knowledge can also enjoy this title. There is a helpful introduction about why, how, when and where songbirds may be found. The book goes on to include lots of songbirds in categories, as for example, larks swallows, jays, nuthatches, wood warblers, tangers and many more. Readers enjoyment of the text is enhanced by the many detailed illustrations. This book also has information on topics including making feeders and homes for birds. Some of these projects will undoubtedly lead to even more enjoyment as birds could land right in a reader’s backyard. This title is an excellent resource for learning about birds. There is plenty of information on each bird that is featured within these pages. For example, take the Olive-sided Flycatcher. I now know where they can be found, what their song is like, how they behave, what they eat and more. There is similar information for each of the included birds. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own. I can’t wait to get back in nature to learn more.

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This is the perfect book for the bird lover. You can learn everything you need to know to attract and keep birds in your backyard. You will learn the birds that are common in your area. The book goes into a great details about the different songs the birds sing. There's a lovely chart of what what the different birds like to eat. How and where they like to live. The individual pictures of the birds with the map of where they live, their song, when they like to sing, and their behavior is so helpful in learning about your favorite birds. This makes me want to get out and start locating some of these pretty birds.

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This bird field guide is probably best for beginner birders or feeders, although it had song information I had never read in the past. It's beautifully illustrated and describes both natural food and bird seed that individual birds prefer, as well as information on mating, nesting, territorial behavior, etc. If you are more interested in the birds in your area, however, as opposed to birds in North America in general, you may want instead to get a guide that concentrates on your area of the country. This one has some birds many readers will never see, unless they travel, and does not have some birds you will see at your home.

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A succinct, good introduction to songbirds in North America! Depending on where you live, some of the entries may be more relevant than others, but that doesn't make this book any less interesting. Proctor takes 100 of the most popular songbirds in the nation, and makes a two-page vignette for every one. Each bird has a page with its name, scientific name, and picture of the bird (sometimes with male and female if the two are distinct enough), and then a description of the bird, its call, where it lives and how it acts, and how you could attract that bird (foods it likes, land that it likes to be in.) It's super informative without dragging or being boring. This is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about common birds and their calls, especially if you are becoming a backyard birder or would like to know more about the birds you are seeing on your walks! Thanks to Netgalley and Chartwell Books for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This book has such beautiful illustrations. That is the first thing that I notice, and I found myself excited to look up different birds to see what their picture would look like. The introduction was very well presented. I loved being able to see pictures of the different types of houses or feeders, giving me a great visual to help me choose what is best for the birds I am trying to attract. I have to say that I was quite disappointed at the individual sections for each bird. The pictures given didn't say whether the bird was male or female, juvenile or full grown. That would have been such a help to be given all of the pictures to be able to make accurate identifications. I don't think that I would have this as my go to book if I were seriously going birding, or needed something to identify a bird that I had never seen before. However, the book was beautiful and I can see it being a wonderful addition to anyone's library. Thanks to Netgalley and Chartwell Books for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

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A Field Guide to Songbirds of North America is an illustrated guide to 100 of the most common songbirds in North America curated and presented by Dr. Noble Proctor. Originally published in 2016, this reformat and re-release from Quarto on their Chartwell imprint is 256 pages and is available in flexibound (field) format. This is a good basic guide to identifying and observing wild songbirds. There is an abbreviated chapter on natural foods and building a habitat in the home garden to more easily attract some species, but it's not the focus of the book. I liked that the author emphasized the social aspects of birding and encouraged new hobbyists to seek out like minded birders in their areas to learn the calls and habits of different species and build up confidence with identification and observation. The directory is arranged in chapters by bird family: flycatchers, swallows, jays & crows, creepers, wrens, thrushes, and many others. There is a thumbnail gallery giving a small overall picture of each bird with page numbers for more comprehensive info. The entries include taxonomy (Latin names), common North American names, distribution & range maps, song info including sonograms (graphic representations in a sort of shorthand), brief notes with some behavior highlights, and a more complete description. The full page color illustrations show both sexes in natural poses. Though the book does include some photos, they are confined to the early chapters and not in the primer sections. The author has included a number of tips for attracting each species closer to the home gardens for observation. This would make a good selection for public or school library acquisition, birding and/or gardening groups, scouting and cooperative extension agencies, and similar. This would also be a good choice for the beginning or intermediate birder and is suitable for all ages. Four stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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