[Tweeters] New Book News

David Hutchinson florafaunabooks at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 16 17:24:15 PST 2016

There is a new hummingbird guide out. Not sure if Ian has previously covered this item, hence these comments. Although there has been a Peterson guide out on hummingbirds (now out of print), the best book on the subject, since 2003, has been:

Steve N.G. Howell, Hummingbirds of N.A : The Photographic Guide, 2003. This covers all hummingbird species that have occurred in N.A. no matter how infrequently. It contains, for each species, a map, a long and informative text and several good photos, including the rectrices (tail feathers). It is somewhat larger than your standard field guide size and costs $29.95.

Even though I might call myself a hummingbird expert, at least to the extent that I have studied them, banded them, talked about them and know how difficult they really are to ID in the field, I always find Steve Howell's books a little intimidating, including the one on hummingbirs. So now, very recently published, is another guide:

George C. West, North American Hummingbirds : An Identification Guide, 2015, $24.95. It is very similar in format to Howell, with text and photos for all the same species. It is more compact than Howell, pocket size. Interestingly it has plan-form pages color paintings for each species. For some reason I find these easier to use and a little more comforting in constructing a memory-image for each of the little devils. They are very hard work - I remember being with a group of A.B.A. birders in the San Blas area of Mexico, as we struggled to identify a particular Jacobin. Turns out it was a moth! David

David Hutchinson

Flora & Fauna Books

3213 West Wheeler St., #6

Seattle, WA 98199


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