1) Dunne, Pete and Kevin Karlson. Gulls Simplified: A Comparative Approach to Identification. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 208 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This unique photographic field guide to North America’s gulls provides a comparative approach to identification that concentrates on the size, structure, and basic plumage features of gulls―gone are the often-confusing array of plumage details found in traditional guides.
Featuring hundreds of color photos throughout, Gulls Simplified illustrates the variations of gull plumages for a variety of ages, giving readers strong visual reference points for each species. Extensive captions accompany the photos, which include comparative photo arrays, digitized photo arrays for each age group, and numerous images of each species―a wealth of visual information at your fingertips. This one-of-a-kind guide includes detailed species accounts and a distribution map for each gull.
An essential field companion for North American birders, Gulls Simplified reduces the confusion commonly associated with gull identification, offering a more user-friendly way of observing these marvelous birds.
- Provides a simpler approach to gull identification
- Features a wealth of color photos for easy comparison among species
- Includes detailed captions that explain identification criteria and aging, with direct visual reinforcement above the captions
- Combines plumage details with a focus on size, body shape, and structural features for easy identification in the field
- Highlights important field marks and physical features for each gull
2) Rosenfield, Robert N.. The Cooper's Hawk: Breeding Ecology & Natural History of a Winged Huntsman. 2018. Hancock House. Paperback: 163 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S. (via publisher's website).
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The Cooper's Hawk presents the general reader and professional biologists interested in birds and nature, with an authoritative account of the breeding biology of the what is perhaps the most abundant, backyard breeding raptor in North America. This urban status exists despite cross-generational human persecution through shooting of individuals and indirect felling of forests, their apparent preferred nesting habitat. Using conversational prose, the natural history of the bird's diet, including bird feeder use and disease concerns, courtship behavior, and the ecological themes of breeding density, reproductive success, and adult survivorship are described.
There too is a focus on how and why fieldwork is conducted on this ubiquitous city dweller who preys mostly on birds, or 'urban fast food.' How urban birds may differ from their rural counterparts is addressed, and especially highlighted is the novel aspect of reproductive deceit in this red-eyed, blue-backed predator, as, unlike all other birds of prey studied to date, it is highly promiscuous. The text is complemented with original art and especially crisp photographs that demonstrate this bird's natural history.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with a serious interest in Cooper's Hawks.