When many birders go out looking at waders, they see a distant mudflat with grey-brown birds of various shapes and sizes and have no idea where to begin the identification process. When advanced birders look at that same flock, they can identify the vast majority with a quick scan of the binoculars. Experts use the simplest, most easily observed characteristics, or jizz – size, structure, behaviour and general colour patterns – almost subconsciously, and they can identify most birds before the complexities of plumage detail need to be considered.
The Shorebird Guide allows birders of all levels to identify North American waders quickly and accurately. With more than 870 stunning colour photographs, images are sequenced to give a general impression of a species first, progressing to more detailed photographs of the birds at various ages and plumages. Captions list characteristics in order of importance, reflecting the process of elimination and deduction that experts use to identify these tricky-to-separate birds, while each species is accompanied by a full-colour map plus details on taxonomy, status, behaviour, migration, moult and vocalisations.
Michael O'Brien is a renowned artist and tour-leader, and an expert on bird identification. Richard Crossley is a wader specialist with particular expertise in identifying birds at a distance – a crucial skill for wader enthusiasts – while Kevin Karlson is a wildlife photographer, focusing on Arctic wildlife.
"[...] If I could only have one book on shorebirds, it would be this one. You owe it to yourself to get this book if you’ve ever been perplexed by dowitchers or if you consider peep a dirty word."
- Grant McCreary (09-12-2006), read the full review at The Birder's Library
"A well-designed guide by knowledgeable and talented field birders and photographers that will benefit both beginner and advanced birders alike."