Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion: A Comprehensive Resource for Identifying North American Birds

Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion: A Comprehensive Resource for Identifying North American Birds

Pete Dunne

Language: English

Pages: 1373

ISBN: 0618236481

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this book, bursting with more information than any field guide could hold, the well-known author and birder Pete Dunne introduces readers to the "Cape May School of Birding." It's an approach to identification that gives equal or more weight to a bird's structure and shape and the observer's overall impression (often called GISS, for General Impression of Size and Shape) than to specific field marks.
After determining the most likely possibilities by considering such factors as habitat and season, the birder uses characteristics such as size, shape, color, behavior, flight pattern, and vocalizations to identify a bird. The book provides an arsenal of additional hints and helpful clues to guide a birder when, even after a review of a field guide, the identification still hangs in the balance.
This supplement to field guides shares the knowledge and skills that expert birders bring to identification challenges. Birding should be an enjoyable pursuit for beginners and experts alike, and Pete Dunne combines a unique playfulness with the work of identification. Readers will delight in his nicknames for birds, from the Grinning Loon and Clearly the Bathtub Duck to Bronx Petrel and Chicken Garnished with a Slice of Mango and a Dollop of Raspberry Sherbet.


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Spotted is hyperactive and likes being in the open; Solitary is deliberate and likes tight places and shadowy confines. Also, Spotted’s habit of leaning forward and chasing prey across open ground is mimicked by several other sandpipers, most notably Wilson’s Phalarope. Upland Sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda Bug-eyed Sandpiper STATUS: Common breeder in central portions of its range; less common to scarce and declining in the East and far West. DISTRIBUTION: There are two distinct breeding.

Rockies in the United States (where, in most places, it outnumbers the similar Western Sandpiper), using a strategy that incorporates long nonstop flights of several thousand miles to staging areas. Migration is fairly compressed: spring from late April to early June; fall from July to October. VI: 3. DESCRIPTION: A small, compact, nicely proportioned, grayish peep that likes to keep its feet wet. Small sandpiper (larger than Least; slightly smaller than Western), with a straight, stout, usually.

Proportions, somewhere between Ring-billed Gull and kittiwake. Appears long-tailed, with moderately slender wings. Adults show lavish amounts of white spotting in the black wingtips. Winter adults and subadults appear hooded, owing to the extensive tan-brown mottling; immatures are overall brownish gray, with a subdued pattern on the upperparts (not the contrasting black, white, and gray of immature Ring-billed). Flight is buoyant, nimble, playful; wingbeats are quick but light and caressing.

Veering, and rocking flight. Usually maneuvers to put the first tree it passes between you and it. Glides when landing. VOCALIZATIONS: Generally silent. Males and females sometimes make peeping sounds just before flushing. The most commonly heard sound is an accelerating, percussive thumping (not a vocalization) made by the male’s rapidly beating wings as it sits on a log or boulder: “thump ... thump ... thump thumpthumppumppumppump.” It’s a bouncing-ball-accelerating-to-a-stop sound. You can.

Trailing edge of the wing. Flight is straight but somewhat veering; wingbeats are rapid and steady. In migration, Horned Grebe sometimes briefly elevates its head (up periscope) and lowers it. VOCALIZATIONS: A rapid, high, excited, twittering chatter, “erEh’H’H’H’H’H’h,” that rises and falls and has both a breathy and bleating quality. PERTINENT PARTICULARS: When Horned Grebe molts into breeding plumage in late winter and early spring, it often looks dirty-necked and may show a head pattern.

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