National Geographic's Complete Birds of North America is a beautiful, oversized book about birds. The cover promises "More than 1000 species - the most detailed information in a single volume," and I certainly found this to be true.
I wanted to read this book because I have a lifelong love of birds -- my small business is even called Birdhouse Books! Every day when I am out walking on my own or with my dog, I look for birds and love to identify them. This big book of birds held a natural fascination for me.
This is truly an exceptional book for a bird lover. The book is divided into types of birds - for instance - Pigeons and Doves, Loons, Swallows, Larks, Mockingbirds and Thrashers, etc. Then if you look up a bird there is much more specific information, including illustrations of the bird, a map where the bird is found in North America, and: Identification (adult male, adult female, and juvenile), Status and Distribution, Breeding, and Population. The common name of the bird is given along with the proper name - for instance Rock Pigeon, Columba livia.
I thought this book would be a field guide but am delighted to find it is the most fabulous encyclopedia of birds. I have truly enjoyed looking up favorite birds, reading about them, and am sure I will consult with this book again and again as I see new birds on walks that I want to learn about.
National Geographic's Complete Birds of North America is a beautifully made book - big, oversized, with gorgeous illustrations. It would be an exceptional gift book for a bird lover.
More an encyclopedia than a field guide, National Geographic’s Complete Birds is a browsable treasure trove of facts. This comprehensive volume profiles every bird observable in the continental United States and Canada, featuring species accounts with details that include calls and songs, breeding behaviors, molting patterns, and the vast extent of their polar and neotropical migrations. The precision maps, illuminating photographs, and more than 4,000 exquisite pieces of annotated art make this the biggest and best bird book ever.
This third edition, thoroughly updated, includes:
Information on more than 1,000 species and subspecies
Overviews of every family
Organization reflecting current taxonomy
850 range maps, more than half updated since the last edition
Sidebars on identification challenges such as distinguishing between Bay-breasted and Blackpoll Warblers in fall or separating the various species of white egrets
These 752 pages add up to a lifetime of learning for all devoted birders, from those just beginning birders to those who have been building their life lists for decades.