1) Arlott, Norman. Birds of the West Indies. 2010. Collins UK /Princeton. Paperback: 240 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: The West Indies, stretching from Grand Bahama in the north to Grenada in the south, is home to more than 550 bird species. Birds of the West Indies is the complete guide for identifying all of the diverse birds in these island territories. The guide's 80 vivid color plates are accompanied by succinct text focusing on key field-identification characteristics, and distribution maps for all species are conveniently located at the back of the guide for handy reference.
Birds of the West Indies is the perfect companion for birders, wildlife enthusiasts, and holiday-seekers interested in this area of the world:
1) 80 color plates featuring more than 550 bird species.
2) Concise text concentrates on field-identification characteristics.
3) Detailed distribution maps for each species ( in a section separate from the text and plates).
4) Easy-to-use and accessible--the ideal field guide.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Neotropical birds. The USA version is due out on 19 August 2010.
SUMMARY: The first-ever reference to the sign left by insects and other North American invertebrates includes descriptions and almost 1,000 color photos of tracks, egg cases, nests, feeding signs, galls, webs, burrows, and signs of predation. Identification is made to the family level, sometimes to the genus or species. It’s an invaluable guide for wildlife professionals, naturalists, students, and insect specialists.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone interested in North American invertebrates.
3) Sample, Geoff. Collins Bird Songs & Calls. 2010. Collins UK. Boxed set containing 3 CDs and a 232 page paperback book. Price: $44.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: The new Collins Bird Songs and Calls includes re-recorded versions of the original habitat CDs – ensuring that they are even clearer, but just as atmospheric – introducing the user to the major bird habitats of Britain and the birds that live in them. The new edition also contains a third CD containing a unique beginner's guide to birdsong in a course of 12 monthly sessions. Covering around 30 of the commonest garden and parkland bird species in the 12 sessions, it also gives an outline of the behavioural context – when different species sing, why they sing and what is going on in the wider bird community. The group of species featured each month will be chosen for the similarities in their voices and songs; often this will mean birds of the same family. So, for instance, it makes sense to begin with Great Tit and Blue Tit for January – some of the few birds that can be heard in that month, but also species with songs built around simple repeated patterns. By introducing a group of similar sounding birds each month – and starting with the easy birds first – this accessible guide will help you to quickly appreciate the wonderful range of bird voices and to discover just what birdsong is all about. A walk in the park will never be the same again.
RECOMMENDATION: For those wanting to learn British (and European) bird songs and calls.
4) Watson-Ferguson, Kami. Guide to Aquatic Insects & Crustaceans: Izaak Walton League of America. 2006. Stackpole Books. Paperback: 74 pages. Price: $8.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: From the damselfly to the whirligig beetle, our nation's streams are teeming with critters. This convenient, inexpensive guide allows you to identify any that you find--whether you're working on your fly tying, researching the local insect life, or just mucking around in the river. Also includes information on the river conservation and management work performed by the Izaak Walton League, making this an especially valuable resource for stream monitors, biologists, and other specialists.
RECOMMENDATION: An introduction to stream macroinvertebrates.