[Tweeters] Latest National Geographic F.G.

David Hutchinson florafaunabooks at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 26 12:45:51 PDT 2017

Just received copies of the latest, 7th Edtn, of the Nat Geo Field Guide to the Birds of North America, fully revised & updated. The question is - who wants this book?

It seems like everyone has a copy around the fireplace, under the front seat of their car or in a backpack. I have had a few edtns myself, usually ending up falling into a pond or gathering moss in the car. I took to using the Western version, if only for the larger, regional maps.

Certainly if you don't have a copy, that might be a good reason to buy one. But the 1023 species, the 700 new maps and the fact that the books weighs in at nearly three pounds and could induce carpal tunnel are considerations. While there are new regional inclusions in the AOU area, Hawaii, Greenland and all of Central America are not included. So what is included?

Well, if you were, say a new or middling birder, you might find that there are a lot of teaching moments in this new version. There is a much newer sequence of bird family order and also species taxonomy, provided by the suspiciously sounding North American Classification Cttee. Of more interest still to me are a whole series of range maps at the back of the book of well delineated subspecies, taken from the 1957 AOU Checklist. It seems funny now, to look back to when nobody wanted that book. Beyond that one can just pick and choose. The editors seem on the point of lumping Cordilleran Flycatcher; Olive Warbler is hovering in its own family, although it always seemed to hang out with warblers in the Mexican Highlands. A dozen or more Mexican species are included and pleasingly their range maps are centered on their major Mexican habitat, rather than only being important for Arizona and Texas.

Beyond these items, I noted eight Albatrosses, eighteen Terns and birds I had never heard of like Barolo Shearwater and Zina's Petrel. I'll swear that one of these is a terrific Italian red wine. Anyway, I shall bring one to the next WOS meeting, but don't drop it on your toe.

David Hutchinson

Flora & Fauna Books

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