233 pages, 389 colour photos and colour & b/w illustrations
Designed to help birders and banders identify, age, and sex all seventeen species of hummingbirds found in North America, this is the only identification guide devoted entirely to hummingbirds that includes up-close, easy-to-use illustrations. It also provides information on the eight species that have been reported but rarely seen in North America.
On first viewing hummingbirds are often a blur of fast-moving color. However, when they perch and hover they can be observed, and the size, shape, and color; the proportions of the body, bill, throat, and tail; the wing feather pattern; and the birds' behavior are crucial to accurate identification. The author's concise descriptions and illustrations pinpoint all these features in clear, jargon-free language. Anyone who loves hummingbirds will welcome the information he provides.
"[...] Hummingbirds need their own field guide, and North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide is more than adequate for the task. I can see it sitting on the table of many a hummingbird bander. It would be useful for birders as well, but unless you’re an extreme hummingbird aficionado, it’s not a necessary addition to your library if you already have the Peterson or Photographic Guide."
– Grant McCreary (28-03-2016), read the full review at The Birder's Library
"A valuable resource for anyone trying to keep tabs on visitors at a feeding station."
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George C. West is a zoologist who is an expert on the physiology and ecology of birds. He is a professor emeritus of zoophysiology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA, and the author of more than one hundred scientific papers, as well as the coauthor of Do Hummingbirds Hum? Fascinating Answers to Questions about Hummingbirds and other books. He lives in Green Valley, Arizona.