Saturday, October 13, 2018

New Titles



1) Vallely, Andrew and Dale Dyer. Birds of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 584 pages. Price: $49.50 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Birds of Central America is the first comprehensive field guide to the avifauna of the entire region, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Handy and compact, the book presents text and illustrations for nearly 1,200 resident and migrant species, and information on all rare vagrants. Two hundred sixty detailed plates on convenient facing-page spreads depict differing ages and sexes for each species, with a special focus on geographic variation. The guide also contains up-to-date range maps and concise notes on distribution, habitat, behavior, and voice. An introduction provides a brief overview of the region’s landscape, climate, and biogeography.
     The culmination of more than a decade of research and field experience, Birds of Central America is an indispensable resource for all those interested in the bird life of this part of the world.
  • Detailed information on the entire avifauna of Central America
  • 260 beautiful color plates
  • Range maps, text, and illustrations presented on convenient facing-page spreads
  • Up-to-date notes on distribution supported by an extensive bibliography
  • Special focus on geographic variation of bird species
 RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for those birding the region!


2) Johnson, Kirk and Ray Troll. Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific. 2018. Fulcrum Publishing. Paperback: 276 pages. Price: $35.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In this long-awaited sequel [to Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway] Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll are back on a road trip—driving, flying, and boating their way from Baja, California to northern Alaska in search of the fossil secrets of North America’s Pacific coast. They hunt for fossils, visit museums, meet scientists and paleonerds, and sleuth out untold stories of extinct worlds. 
     As one of the oldest coasts on earth, the west coast is a rich ground for fossil discovery. Its wonders include extinct marine mammals, pygmy mammoths, oyster bears, immense ammonites, shark-bitten camels, polar dinosaurs, Alaskan palms, California walruses, and a lava-baked rhinoceros. Join in for a fossil journey through deep time and discover how the west coast became the place it is today. RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those who are fans of Ray Troll's artwork.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Title


1) Stebbins, Robert C. and Samuel M. McGinnis. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles & Amphibians, Fourth Edition. 2018. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Paperback: 560 pages. Price: $24.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This is the most comprehensive and trusted guide to reptiles and amphibians of western North America. The new edition retains the realistic and accurate paintings by Robert Stebbins and includes 160 color photographs for additional detail. All range maps are up to date and placed within their species accounts. Family, genus, species, and subspecies names have been updated to the currently accepted usage. Illustrations of eggs and larvae, which can aid in identifying salamanders and frogs, are a particularly helpful feature.
     The area covered includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, the western corner of Nunavut, Yukon, and Baja California.
     Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for all those with an interest in the reptiles and amphibians of the region!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

New Title


1) Varner, Collin. The Flora and Fauna of the Pacific Northwest Coast. 2018. University of Washington Press. Paperback: 464 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The Flora and Fauna of the Pacific Northwest Coast is an extensive, easy-to-follow resource guide to the plant and animal life of the vast and diverse bioregion stretching from Juneau, Alaska, south to coastal British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and down to California's San Francisco Bay. Encompassing over eight hundred native and invasive species, and including more than two thousand color photos, this is the most complete book of its kind on the market. The book is divided into flora and fauna, with detailed subsections for flowering plants, berries, ferns, shrubs and bushes, trees, fungi, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects [plus marine life]. Each species (identified by common and scientific name) is illustrated by a close-up photograph and a concise description of its appearance, biology, and habitat, as well as its traditional use and medicinal properties (where applicable). The book also contains a detailed map, a glossary, and a complete index of species.
RECOMMENDATION: A well illustrated introduction to the flora and fauna of the region.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

New Title


1) Shirihai, Hadoram and Lars Svensson. Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds: Passerines. 2018. Helm. Hardbound: 1271 pages in 2 volumes with slipcase. Price: $250.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This unique and spectacular handbook is the most complete and comprehensive photographic guide to the passerines of the Western Palearctic. Written by two of the world's most respected ornithologists, Hadoram Shirihai and Lars Svensson, the Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds contains the most up-to-date information available on bird identification covering all aspects of plumage, moult, aging and sexing, with sections on voice and other identification criteria, and detailed taxonomic notes.
     The handbook is divided into two volumes, with the first covering larks, hirundines, pipits and wagtails, bulbuls, accentors, robins, chats, wheatears, thrushes, prinias and cisticolas, and warblers, and the second covering flycatchers, reedlings, tits, nuthatches, orioles and sunbirds, shrikes, corvids, finches, and buntings, along with extreme vagrants.
     The exceptional text is backed up by a stunning collection of more than 4,000 photographs, featuring a comprehensive range of plumages that illustrate every race and morph of each species in the region.
     This stunning handbook will be the definitive reference for the region for years to come--no birder's shelf will be complete without it.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST HAVE for those with a serious interest in the birds of the Western Palearctic!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New Title


1) Skaife, Christopher. The Ravenmaster. 2018. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardbound: 241 pages. Price: $26.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens at the world’s eeriest monument.
     The ravens at the Tower of London are of mighty importance: rumor has it that if a raven from the Tower should ever leave, the city will fall.
     The title of Ravenmaster, therefore, is a serious title indeed, and after decades of serving the Queen, Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife took on the added responsibility of caring for the infamous ravens. In The Ravenmaster, he lets us in on his life as he feeds his birds raw meat and biscuits soaked in blood, buys their food at Smithfield Market, and ensures that these unusual, misunderstood, and utterly brilliant corvids are healthy, happy, and ready to captivate the four million tourists who flock to the Tower every year.
     A rewarding, intimate, and inspiring partnership has developed between the ravens and their charismatic and charming human, the Ravenmaster, who shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the ravens and the Tower. Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower’s true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in ravens and/or British history.