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Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America (Peterson First Guides) [Paperback]

By Roger Tory Peterson (Editor), Teodor Liviu Morosanu (Illustrator), Gerard Cliquet (Editor), George Hendrikse (Editor), Indermohan Virk (Editor) & Stephen Balter
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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.2" Width: 3.7" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 20, 1998
Publisher   Houghton Mifflin
Age  11
ISBN  0395906660  
EAN  9780395906668  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This abridgment focuses on the North American birds most likely to be seen and features an informative introduction, and illustrated descriptions

Publishers Description
Peterson First Guides are the first books the beginning naturalist needs. Condensed versions of the famous Peterson Field Guides, the First Guides focus on the animals, plants, and other natural things you are most likely to see. They make it fun to get into the field and easy to progress to the full-fledged Peterson Guides.

Buy Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America (Peterson First Guides) by Roger Tory Peterson, Teodor Liviu Morosanu, Gerard Cliquet, George Hendrikse, Indermohan Virk & Stephen Balter from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780395906668 & 0395906660

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More About Roger Tory Peterson, Teodor Liviu Morosanu, Gerard Cliquet, George Hendrikse, Indermohan Virk & Stephen Balter

Roger Tory Peterson Roger Tory Peterson‚ one of the world’s preeminent naturalists‚ was born August 28‚ 1908‚ in Jamestown‚ New York. As is often the case‚ it was an influential teacher who turned a young boy away from mischief and toward a new future. Peterson’s seventh-grade teacher encouraged her class to join a Junior Audubon Club. Her enthusiasm for birds was captivating‚ and almost overnight Peterson became completely absorbed in their world. Not satisfied to observe the birds passively‚ Peterson became passionate about identifying each species. He began making field sketches and soon thereafter decided to pursue a career as an artist.


After graduating from high school‚ Peterson moved to New York City‚ where he attended the Art Students League (1927-1928) and the National Academy of Design (1929-1931). During this time‚ his pursuit of birds continued unabated and he had the opportunity to meet many of the leading ornithologists of the day. As an instructor in science and art at the Rivers School in Brookline‚ Massachusetts‚ he had his first opportunity to begin sharing his joy of bird watching with the next generation. Elliot Richardson (later attorney general of the United States) was one of Peterson’s students. Many years later‚ Richardson remembered Peterson’s influence and nominated him for Outstanding Teacher of the Year. This award was only one of the many honors Peterson would earn in his lifetime. The culmination of Peterson’s artistic and bird identification skills was the publication of his first book‚ A Field Guide to the Birds‚ in 1934.

When Peterson sought a publisher for the book‚ some doubted whether he could entice people into watching — and learning how to identify — birds. But when Houghton Mifflin took a chance on the young artist and naturalist‚ A Field Guide to the Birds sold out its first printing of 2‚000 copies in one week. It has never stopped selling in five different editions over the last 68 years‚ and it has gone on to spawn the most successful series of nature guides ever published in the United States.

Roger Tory Peterson was born in 1908 and died in 1996.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good Book for Beginners  May 19, 2010
Really wasn't what I was looking for as a serious birder, but it's a nice little starter for those who don't have the basics in their head yet. I plan on passing it on to my niece who's just developing an interest. Great illustration and beginner knowledge; really helps you with the most common birds available. Not for advanced birders. The price is right for what you get.
Does the job  Feb 11, 2010
Aside from knowing what a robin and sparrow are I have no clue about birds. I bought this book hoping to identify some of the birds at my feeder and a huge bird that is not a hawk that is sitting in my pine tree. It has been serving its purpose. The pictures are acurate and the description tells me that the birds do live in my area. If you are an expert or are looking for an extensive book on birds this probably will not be enough for you but for the beginner this does the job.
Truly a great beginner's guide  Sep 12, 2009
Are you thinking of birding? Don't know where to begin? If you're reading this, you have found exactly what you need to begin: "Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America (Peterson First Guides)".

Why is that so? I followed Peterson's advice: I familiarized myself with the guide. I also set out Peterson's two guides side by side as I went though them (the other being the full guide: "Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America"). Compare page numbers: 128 in First Guide to 532 in the complete guide. And sizes: 7 1/4 x 4 for First Guide to 9 1/4 x 6 for the full guide.

The next question would be: If the full guide is longer and bigger, why not use it? Answer: More and bigger means a lot more!! A beginner needs the basics to begin birding. My gosh, but the amount of information about birds is almost overwhelming. Peterson's point is to start at the beginning then progress. First Guide begins with the most easily recognizable birds, plus providing the basics in identifying those birds. A few birds in listed in your journal will boost your self-confidence and knowledge that you can, indeed, become a birder.
Here is a list of some of the basics Peterson advises the neophyte to look for:

1. Any basic identification guide begins with marked points. To understand those terms, the birder needs to know the parts of a bird!
2. Use the eight visual categories in which to place the bird in question
3. Size
4. Wing patterns
5. Does it wade?
6. How does it fly?
7. Shape of the wings?
8. Body shape?
9. Tail shape?
10. Bill shape?
11. Does it climb trees?
12. Tail patterns?
13. Wing bars?
14. Eye rings or stripes?
15. Flight pattern?

No, I didn't either (didn't know there are this MANY different things to look for concerning each and every bird!) Again, this is a reason why one must have a guide, so essential in the beginning as a reference point!

Using the list I was able to verify the bird that flies through my neighborhood every January, landing in my huge cypress tree just inside the bayou which runs along the back end of my property. Cormorants. Did I say one? Nay, 15-20 of these huge black birds that make this awful croaking sound while holding out their wings to dry. The first winter I was in this house they awoke me early one Sunday morning croaking and holding out those awesome wings. I thought I was in a horror movie.

My brother immediately identified them for me as cormorants. Having never seen such a bird, I demanded to know how he knew. He fishes--all year! Cormorants live and hunt on and by bodies of water. They are common in this area (Northwest Louisiana) during winter as they migrate through. He didn't know how he knew, but I learned what I wrote just last night when I looked up Cormorants. I can also identify which cormorant--the Double-Crested Cormorant because he is all black. The bayou on which I live is inland.

However, with Peterson's First Guide I can add some information. They hold out their wings to dry. There are six species of cormorants in North America. If one is sighted on an inland lake, it is surely a Double-Crested, but on major bodies of water, check a guide to learn which of the six he represents.

I used "he" in the last paragraph. A slightly amusing statment from Peterson refers to females. As a beginning birder, don't try to identify a female as her markings are designed for camouflage. Instead, check out the company she keeps! (A little Peterson bit of humor referring to male colorations as the identifying factors for a species.)

Ready to go birding? Get your binoculars, a journal and pen to record your sightings, a camera, a bottle of water. Next put on good shoes, put your First Guide in your pocket, and take that first step on your first discovery trip in birding! That's a lot of firsts, but you'll think them worth it at the end.
Excellent Book  May 22, 2009
Thank you for shipping so quickly and the book is better than stated. this site has pulled through once again!
Very Portable  Mar 31, 2009
I have both the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America and the Audubon Bird guide that I use for more in-depth information and identifications, however, this First guide is always sitting in my glove box. It's small and easy to stash in the car or your pocket. I think for anything beyond casual observation, you definitely need a more in-depth guide, but for the common bird species you are likely to see, its great. If you're looking for an affordable, portable reference, this is it. I really like the First Guide series.

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