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Books

Field Guides


Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals: Identification, Values and Lapidary Uses

Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals: Identification, Values and Lapidary Uses Lowest new price: $9.31
Lowest used price: $13.72
List price: $19.99
Author: Patti Polk
Brand: Krause Publications

Unlike the dense and highly technical academic tomes that are text-heavy, poorly organized and intimidating, this colorful and easy-to-use reference guide dedicated to collecting rocks, gems and minerals is ideal for readers who want to expand their understanding without getting lost in a labyrinth of science. Beautifully illustrated with 700 color photographs providing wonderful detail and smartly organized to take the hassle out identification, you will enjoy the simplicity of the guide and the enthusiasm and knowledge of author Patti Polk, one of the top agate collectors in the world and a self-proclaimed "rockhound." You will also enjoy two areas that our competitors don't bother with. First it includes values, and second, it covers an introduction to lapidary, which is the cutting and polishing of rocks and gemstones for jewelry or display.

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Birds of North America: A Guide To Field Identification (Golden Field Guide Series)

Birds of North America: A Guide To Field Identification (Golden Field Guide Series) Lowest new price: $8.98
Lowest used price: $4.00
List price: $15.95
Author: Chandler S. Robbins
Brand: Von Holtzbrink Publishers

Spot the silhouette of a Northern Goshawk in flight. Identify the raucous call of the Red-winged Blackbird. Discover the secret of picking out a Chipping Sparrow from its look-alike cousins. It's simple with this classic field guide, a treasured favorite among amateur bird lovers and exacting professionals. Recognized as the authority on bird identification, this invaluable resource provides:

-All of North America in one volume
-Over 800 species and 600 range maps
-Arthur Singer's famous illustrations featuring male, female, and juvenile plumage
-Sonograms that picture sound for easy song recognition
-Migration routes, feeding habits, and characteristic flight patterns
-American ornithologists' classifications
-Convenient check boxes to record birds you have identified
-Color tabs for quick references

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Gemstones of the World: Newly Revised Fifth Edition

Gemstones of the World: Newly Revised Fifth Edition Lowest new price: $13.49
Lowest used price: $10.99
List price: $24.95
Author: Walter Schumann

Newly published in a fifth edition, this definitive guide takes the mystery out of appreciating, buying and selling gemstones. It covers everything from the romance and history of more than 1,800 gemstones to their geographic locations; scientific, physical and colour properties; and the way they are formed, structured and mined. The book also fully covers the optical features of gems - light and colour, luminescence, refraction and inclusions - and key information about the densities and chemical elements of each stone, with fascinating details on different cuts, polishing, gems, hardness, cleavage, classification, trade names, rarity and more. There are also many charts and diagrams as well as magnificent colour photographs of the stones with data about them on the facing page. If you want only one book on gemstones in your library, this would be the one!

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The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior Lowest new price: $22.01
Lowest used price: $19.80
List price: $39.95
Author: David Allen Sibley
Brand: Random House

“Once in a great while, a natural history book changes the way people look at the world. In 1838, John ames Audubon’s Birds of America was one...In 1934, Roger Tory Peterson produced Field Guide to the Birds...Now comes The Sibley Guide to Birds.”

Thus did The New York Times, in 1999, greet David Allen Sibley’s monumental book, which has quickly been established nationwide as the peerless, standard bird identification guide.

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior is the new landmark book from David Allen Sibley. Designed to enhance the birding experience and to enrich the popular study of North American birds, the book combines more than 795 of his full-color illustrations with authoritative text by 48 expert birders and biologists. In this new guide Sibley takes us beyond identification, to show us how birds live and what they do.

Introductory essays outline the principles of avian evolution, life cycle, body structure, flight dynamics, and more. The 80 family-by-family chapters describe the amazing range of behavior dictated by birds’ biology and environment. Among the subjects covered and illustrated are:

--molts and plumages
--habitats
--food and foraging
--vocalizations and displays
--courtship and breeding
--rearing of young
--migration and movements
--scientific groupings
--introduced species
--accidental species
--anatomy
--flight patterns
--nests and eggs
--conservation
--global distribution

Accessibly written, superbly designed and organized, and brilliantly illustrated, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior is an indispensable source of information on the avian life around us.

From the creator of the seminal field guide, The Sibley Guide to Birds, comes another indispensable book for bird watchers. This veritable bible to the world of birds is the collaborative effort of 48 expert birders and biologists, who combine scientific accuracy and detail with an easily readable and well-organized format. How does a tiny chickadee survive subzero temperatures? How do flocks of birds synchronize their flights? How can an albatross cross miles of ocean without flapping its wings? Which bird brains are actually intelligent? It's all here in essays giving an overview of avian evolution, biology, and the aerodynamics of flight and in chapters devoted to the 80 bird families of North America, each one detailing taxonomy, habitats, feeding, breeding, vocalizations, migrations, and more. Concerned about declining populations, Sibley also discusses the conservation status of each species and the factors that threaten them. This fascinating source of information is destined to be a well-thumbed companion. -- Lesley Reed

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The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds (The Crossley ID Guides)

The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds (The Crossley ID Guides) Lowest new price: $21.99
Lowest used price: $18.00
List price: $35.00
Author: Richard Crossley
Brand: Ca Princeton Fulfillment


This stunningly illustrated book from acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley revolutionizes field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification. Whether you are a beginner, expert, or anywhere in between, The Crossley ID Guide will vastly improve your ability to identify birds.


Unlike other guides, which provide isolated individual photographs or illustrations, this is the first book to feature large, lifelike scenes for each species. These scenes--640 in all--are composed from more than 10,000 of the author's images showing birds in a wide range of views--near and far, from different angles, in various plumages and behaviors, including flight, and in the habitat in which they live. These beautiful compositions show how a bird's appearance changes with distance, and give equal emphasis to characteristics experts use to identify birds: size, structure and shape, behavior, probability, and color. This is the first book to convey all of these features visually--in a single image--and to reinforce them with accurate, concise text. Each scene provides a wealth of detailed visual information that invites and rewards careful study, but the most important identification features can be grasped instantly by anyone.


By making identification easier, more accurate, and more fun than ever before, The Crossley ID Guide will completely redefine how its users look at birds. Essential for all birders, it also promises to make new birders of many people who have despaired of using traditional guides.



  • Revolutionary. This book changes field guide design to make you a better birder

  • A picture says a thousand words. The most comprehensive guide: 640 stunning scenes created from 10,000 of the author's photographs

  • Reality birding. Lifelike in-focus scenes show birds in their habitats, from near and far, and in all plumages and behaviors

  • Teaching and reference. The first book to accurately portray all the key identification characteristics: size, shape, behavior, probability, and color

  • Practice makes perfect. An interactive learning experience to sharpen and test field identification skills

  • Bird like the experts. The first book to simplify birding and help you understand how to bird like the best

  • An interactive website--www.crossleybirds.com--includes expanded captions for the plates and species updates


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A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction Lowest new price: $14.21
Lowest used price: $13.97
List price: $26.00
Author: Joel Greenberg

In the early nineteenth century 25 to 40 percent of North America’s birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The down beats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. Feeding flocks would appear as “a blue wave four or five feet high rolling toward you.”

John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest “passes like a thought.” How prophetic—for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.

As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons’ propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national markets that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was way too late. Greenberg’s beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon provides a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.

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Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey

Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey Lowest new price: $4.62
Lowest used price: $4.98
List price: $16.95
Author: Joe Hutto

An unforgettable story about the fascinating behavior of the most elusive of wild game birds.

Turkeys, Joe Hutto writes, have gotten a bad rap for being, well, stupid creatures. In his account of a year spent studying a flock of wild turkeys in the loblolly pine woods of Florida, he aims to improve their reputation. They are, he notes, masters of disguise, blending in with their surroundings in ways so subtle as to make the work of predators--especially human hunters--difficult. And, he writes, they are "curious to a fault, want a working understanding of every aspect of their surroundings, and their memory is impeccable." His affectionate portrait may not convince English speakers to stop calling each other turkeys, but it will make welcome reading for birders and wildfowl enthusiasts.

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Birds & People

Birds & People Lowest new price: $35.07
Lowest used price: $34.99
List price: $65.00
Author: Mark Cocker

The definitive groundbreaking book on the relationship between birds and humankind, with contributions from more than 600 bird enthusiasts from all over the world
 
Part natural history and part cultural study, this book describes and maps the entire spectrum of human engagements with birds, drawing in themes of history, literature, art, cuisine, language, lore, politics, and the environment. Vast in both scope and scale, it draws upon Mark Cocker's 40 years of observing and thinking about birds to celebrate this relationship. The book is as important for its visual riches as it is for its groundbreaking content, as one of Europe's best wildlife photographers has traveled in 39 countries on seven continents to produce a breathtaking and unique collection of photographs. The author solicited contributions from people worldwide, and personal anecdotes and stories have come from more than 600 individuals of 81 different nationalities, ranging from university academics to Mongolian eagle hunters, and from Amerindian shamans to highly celebrated writers. The sheer multitude of voices in this global chorus means that it is both a source book on why we cherish birds and a powerful testament to their importance for all humanity. Endorsed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Birdlife International.

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Birds of Southern California

Birds of Southern California Lowest new price: $15.63
Lowest used price: $15.47
List price: $19.95
Author: Kimball L. Garrett

This pocket-sized photographic guide features over 550 stunning color photographs of the birds of Southern California along with their descriptions, voice, behavior and where and when to find each species. The bird habitats of Southern California are described as well as the basics of observing and identiying birds.

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The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (Crossley Id Guides)

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (Crossley Id Guides) Lowest new price: $17.59
Lowest used price: $17.67
List price: $29.95
Author: Richard Crossley
Brand: Ca Princeton Fulfillment


Part of the revolutionary Crossley ID Guide series, this is the first raptor guide with lifelike scenes composed from multiple photographs--scenes that allow you to identify raptors just as the experts do. Experienced birders use the most easily observed and consistent characteristics--size, shape, behavior, probability, and general color patterns. The book's 101 scenes--including thirty-five double-page layouts--provide a complete picture of how these features are all related. Even the effects of lighting and other real-world conditions are illustrated and explained. Detailed and succinct accounts from two of North America's foremost raptor experts, Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan, stress the key identification features. This complete picture allows everyone from beginner to expert to understand and enjoy what he or she sees in the field. The mystique of bird identification is eliminated, allowing even novice birders to identify raptors quickly and simply.


Comprehensive and authoritative, the book covers all thirty-four of North America's diurnal raptor species (all species except owls). Each species is featured in stunning color plates that show males and females, in a full spectrum of ages and color variants, depicted near and far, in flight and at rest, and from multiple angles, all caught in their typical habitats. There are also comparative, multispecies scenes and mystery photographs that allow readers to test their identification skills, along with answers and full explanations in the back of the book. In addition, the book features an introduction, and thirty-four color maps accompany the plates.


Whether you are a novice or an expert, this one-of-a-kind guide will show you an entirely new way to look at these spectacular birds.



  • The most complete guide to North American raptors, written by some of the foremost experts

  • The first raptor guide using Richard Crossley's acclaimed, innovative composite images that show birds as they actually appear in the field

  • 101 stunning color plates--including thirty-five double-page layouts--composed from thousands of photographs

  • Comparative, multispecies plates and photos of mystery species that allow readers to test their growing identification skills

  • Complete with introduction, 34 color maps, and detailed species accounts


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