Birds of Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a compact, current, easy-to-use field guide that identifies 336 species of birds that have been reported from in and near the Blue Ridge in North Carolina and Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. This guide applies to one of the most beautiful and biologically rich regions of eastern North America, it includes only those species of birds that will be found in the region, and it can be used with comfort, confidence, and pleasure by casual and beginning observers as well as those with more extensive experience.
A Preface and short Introduction explain the author's rationale for preparing a book on birds of this region, describe the structure of the book, identify various parts of a generalized bird's anatomy, and provide small-scale maps of Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Most of the guide consists of information about some 336 species of birds that are known to occur, or to have occurred recently, in the region. For the 252 species that occur regularly in the region, text containing identification information is presented on left-hand pages and figures of the birds, most of which are in color, appear on the facing right-hand pages. Another 38 species that occur only rarely or in extremely localized contexts in the area are listed separately and are accompanied by abbreviated descriptions and color illustrations. A third list includes 46 or so species that might have been seen only once or twice in the last 50 or 100 years; each of these species is accompanied by a brief line description but no color illustration.
A checklist of birds of the region, organized taxonomically by order and family, follow the descriptions of species. An index of species included in the guide, arranged alphabetically by common name, is at the end of the book.
The area covered by this guide extends approximately 20 miles on either side of the Skyline Drive (in Shenandoah National Park) and the Blue Ridge Parkway, and about 5 miles beyond the borders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thus defined, the region of coverage includes (a) all of the Blue Ridge in Virginia north of Roanoke, as well as the Valley of Virginia to the west and the western Piedmont to the east; (b) most of the Blue Ridge between Roanoke (VA) and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, as well as the western Piedmont to the east; and (c) all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as the area up to 5 miles beyond the park in North Carolina and Tennessee.