399 pages, 200 colour & b/w photos, 150 colour & b/w illustrations, colour maps
A lighthearted and broadly cultural and visual approach to learning everything there is to know about birds, bird-watching, birds in history and the arts, and life on the wing. Short narrative pieces are interspersed with sidebars, quotes, top-ten lists, and how-to instructions. Illustrated with photographs, contemporary and archival art, maps, and diagrams, National Geographic Bird Watcher's Bible has lots of cross-references and riches to find on every page.
National Geographic Bird Watcher's Bible includes a lively introduction featuring the joys of birds and bird-watching, how birds are everywhere you look, why people enjoy and appreciate them, why they are so amazing and so beloved, and why they have been important to every culture throughout history. Chapters include information on bird anatomy with digressions on feathers, color, beaks, wings, and talons; bird myths, legends, and superstitions; the life cycle of birds, starting with mating behaviors of all sorts of species; early ornithologists; flight and how it works; the basics of bird-watching and how to keep a field-guide; birdhouses, bird feeders, bird baths, bird seed choices, and protecting birds from predator animals in your neighborhood.
"[...] National Geographic Bird-watcher’s Bible: A Complete Treasury is an appealing, enjoyable introduction to the world of birds and how we relate to them. Newer birdwatchers, or even those just somewhat interested in birds, should really enjoy it."
- Grant McCreary (09-11-2012), read the full review at The Birder's Library
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Jonathan Alderfer, writer, editor, and illustrator, contributed extensively to several editions of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America and co-authored the sixth edition with John L. Dunn, as well as contributing 60 new illustrations to it. He has served on the Maryland/District of Columbia Bird Records Committee and as associate editor of the American Birding Association's magazine Birding. He is a frequent speaker on radio and in workshops on birding and bird illustration. The author lives in Washington, D.C..