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Field Guides & Natural History  Ornithology  Non-Passerines  Seabirds, Shorebirds & Wildfowl

Terns of North America A Photographic Guide

Field / Identification Guide
By: Cameron Cox(Author)
201 pages, 325 colour photos
Terns of North America
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Average customer review
  • Terns of North America ISBN: 9780691161877 Paperback Sep 2023 In stock
Price: £22.00
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About this book

This is the essential identification guide to the terns, noddies, and skimmers of North America. Covering every species and featuring hundreds of high-quality colour images, Terns of North America is the ideal companion for anyone interested in this charismatic but sometimes challenging group of seabirds. Detailed species accounts describe the size of each bird as it appears in the field along with structure, behaviour, flight style, vocalizations, subspecies, and North American and worldwide ranges. An incisive introduction lays out a remarkably simple approach to identification that focuses on key elements and addresses how to avoid getting bogged down in the variability in appearance. This state-of-the-art guide also provides additional in-depth coverage of the two most challenging groups of terns, Sterna terns and crested terns, aiding rewarding field identification while also highlighting the beauty and elegance of these marvellous seabirds.

Customer Reviews (1)

  • A great ID guide
    By Keith 21 Dec 2023 Written for Paperback
    I love identification guides like this that are well put together by someone who is both obsessed by the birds but also has the ability to write about them succinctly. There are 14 regular breeding terns in North America, plus three others that breed very close by in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean. In addition, there are two vagrant terns – White-winged Black Tern and Whiskered Tern, both of which are European species that occasionally appear by accident. This book deals with them all in detail. The one species to be omitted is the Large-billed Tern which is a vagrant that has recently occurred very infrequently, although maybe the author is regretting that decision since one decided to stay in Florida for five months just as this book was being launched! The guide follows the Clements Checklist, although the author occasionally mentions the opinions of other taxonomic authorities just for interest.

    Not wishing to dismiss the text (which is excellent), the main draw for me was more than 300 photographs by around 40 photographers that show each species every possible plumage based on age or season. The flight photographs are particularly valuable as they show the birds at the point when they are most challenging. The species accounts describe each bird with sections on structure, behaviour, flight style, vocalisations, subspecies and their ranges. I think my only disappointment here is the lack of any maps to back up that information. Also, although there is plenty of information on how to identify the two vagrant terns mentioned above, there is no indication of when they most occur. I very much liked the identification challenge pages, which reminded me of why a book like this was very much needed.

    An introductory section gives a lot of information about terns, and in particular the fundamentals of moults, plumages, and also the potential of hybrid terns occurring – something that we rarely consider.

    This is a great book and one that will really help all of us with a group of birds that we probably don’t know as well as we really should.
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Cameron Cox is the owner and operator of Avocet Birding Courses, a company that offers workshops and tours that focus on teaching birding skills and knowledge to make birding more fun. He is the co-author of the Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching.

Field / Identification Guide
By: Cameron Cox(Author)
201 pages, 325 colour photos
Media reviews

"An outstanding book that will help with your tern identification."
– Deb Hirt, Muskogee Phoenix

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