Posted by: atowhee | March 7, 2014


RARE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA. By Steven Howell, Ian Lewington and Will Russell. PRINCETON PRESS. $35.
Could that possibly be a Terek Sandpiper…or a Zino’s Petrel just off starboard? This is the rare book that can answer that question. When a truly rare bird shows up in North America, almost none of us owns all the needed field guides to trace its identity. Only “regular rarities,” those that can occasionally be expected here, are ever included in the already fat field guides to North American birds. This book has the others, with good directions for deterring an otherwise very tough ID.
Bar-tailed Godwit, sure. Any field guide has it. But the once in a lifetime Sand-Plover? Nope. That is the only bird in this book that I’ve actually seen in North America. It was at Bolinas…once. I had to go to Galapagos to get my Nazca Booby.
rare birds

xantus640h In addition to identification help, this book lists all the times and locations where the rarest appearances have taken place up until now.
If you chase rarities, this will prepare you for what to look for before you join the line of sixty birders standing behind their scopes hoping that Eurasian Wryneck pops out of the thicket one more time.

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