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Pete Dunne has taught birding to beginners for years, but he has never found the right book to help them get started. Now the popular birding author identifies the skills and tools available to people with any amount of interest, great or small, in bird watching. Beginning with backyard birding and moving through a quick but comprehensive survey of tools of the trade, Dunne outlines ten basic, simple steps in bird identification that can make a birder out of the most casual of observers. He goes on to show beginning birders how to use their skills to explore new horizons through birding by ear, birding by telescope, and finding and identifying rare or difficult birds. Written in the lively, authoritative style that has made Dunne one of the most popular writers in this field today, Pete Dunne on Bird Watching will inspire in readers both a growing passion for birding and a lifelong respect for the natural world and its inhabitants.
"Judging by the great number of field guides in print, bird watching is among the world's most popular avocations. Dunne (Hawks in Flight) takes a new tack, providing novice birders and those thinking of taking up the hobby with a literate and exhaustive beginner's manual. The quirky and often poignant anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book also make for an interesting read for advanced birders. From the backyard to field trips and guided tours, the author provides valuable information that would take years of in-the-field effort to obtain. Dunne's advice on binocular design, specifications and uses is easy to understand, despite the technical data. There are also helpful suggestions on proper clothing and footwear, which take into account terrain, season and climate. The author explains such esoterica as why birders should never wear white as well as the finer points of proper bird-watching etiquette. There is an important section discussing a range of field guides and how to use them based on the essential keys to bird identification found in these compendiums. Additionally, this birding primer details the best sites for viewing particular species; where to find more information on bird watching; and how to move beyond the initial level of this fascinating pastime into the more sublime reaches of advanced birding. 100 b&w photos."
- Publishers Weekly
"To anyone with a modicum of interest in finding and identifying birds, Dunne is a well-known name. Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory in New Jersey and author of seven books on birding and numerous columns and articles for birding magazines, he is an articulate spokesman for the birds and those who pursue them. This new how-to book on the art and science of bird watching distills years of Dunne's experience and brings together hundreds of tidbits from his published columns. He describes how to attract more birds to the yard by feeding, landscaping, and providing water, then he moves on to the tools needed to see and identify the new additions to the yard, discussing binoculars and field guides and how to choose the best ones. The next chapters cover the fundamentals of birding. Birding ethics and the responsibilities of birders are covered in the final chapter. Scattered sidebars written by other birding experts offer insider's insights. Dunne has an affable, knowledgeable, and conversational writing style that entertains as it educates."
- Nancy Bent, Booklist