Rare birds of North America

Steve N. G. Howell

Book - 2014

A comprehensive, illustrated guide to the vagrant birds that occur throughout the United States and Canada. This book covers 262 species originating from three every different regions: the Old World, the New World tropics, and the world's oceans.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 598.168/Howell Checked In
Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press [2014]
Main Author
Steve N. G. Howell (author)
Other Authors
Ian Lewington (author), Will (Will Conor) Russell, 1941-
Physical Description
xviii, 428 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages [411]-423) and index.
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • How to Use This Book
  • Abbreviations and Terminology
  • Geographic Terms
  • Introduction
  • What is a 'Rare Bird-And When and Whence?
  • Migration and Vagrancy in Birds
  • Migration
  • Vagrancy
  • Drift
  • Misorientation
  • Overshooting
  • Dispersal
  • Association
  • Disorientation
  • False Vagrancy
  • Where Do North American Vagrants Come From?
  • Old World Species
  • East Asia
  • Western Eurasia-Africa
  • New World Species
  • Mainland
  • Island
  • Pelagic Species
  • Temperate Southern Hemisphere
  • Subtropical and Equatorial
  • Topography, Molt, and Aging
  • Bird Topography
  • Molts and Plumages
  • Molt and Aging
  • Waterfowl
  • Pelagic Seabirds
  • Gulls and Terns
  • Shorebirds
  • Wading Birds
  • Raptors and Owls
  • Larger Landbirds
  • Aerial Landbirds
  • Songbirds
  • Species Accounts
  • Waterfowl
  • Old World
  • New World
  • Sungrebes
  • Alcids
  • Pelagic Seabirds
  • Petrels
  • Albatrosses
  • Storm-Petrels
  • Tropicbirds
  • Frigatebirds
  • Boobies
  • Gulls and Terns
  • Shorebirds
  • Old World
  • Plovers
  • Oystercatchers
  • Stilts
  • Sandpipers
  • Pratincoles
  • New World
  • Thick-knees
  • Plovers
  • Wading Birds
  • Old World
  • Herons
  • Cranes
  • Rails
  • New World
  • Herons
  • Storks
  • Rails
  • Jacanas
  • Raptors and Owls
  • Old World
  • New World
  • Larger Landbirds
  • Old World
  • Nightjars
  • Pigeons
  • Cuckoos
  • Hoopoes
  • Woodpeckers
  • Corvids
  • New World
  • Pigeons
  • Cuckoos
  • Trogons
  • Kingfishers
  • Aerial Landbirds
  • Old World
  • Swifts
  • Swallows
  • New World
  • Hummingbirds
  • Swifts
  • Swallows
  • Songbirds
  • Old World
  • Old World Flycatchers
  • Shrikes
  • Accentors
  • Chats and Thrushes
  • Old World Warblers
  • Wagtails and Pipits
  • Larks
  • Old World Buntings
  • Finches
  • New World
  • Tyrant-flycatchers and allies
  • Mimids
  • Thrushes
  • Silkies (Silky-flycatchers)
  • Wrens
  • Vireos
  • Wood-warblers
  • Grassquits
  • Tanagers
  • New World Grosbeaks and Allies
  • New World Orioles
  • Appendices
  • Appendix A. Species New to North America, Fall 2011-Summer 2012
  • Appendix B. Species of Hypothetical Occurrence
  • Appendix C. Birds New to North America, 1950-2011
  • Literature Cited
  • Index
Review by Choice Review

The title of this volume is deceiving, leading readers to expect a book outlining the lives of rare North American birds. Instead, it is a beautiful treatment of Eurasian, Caribbean, and Neotropical species that accidentally or intermittently appear primarily on the shores of Canada and the US or along the US border with Mexico. Howell and Russell (both, WINGS Birding Tours) have serious backgrounds in international birding. Lewington is billed as "one of the world's finest bird illustrators"; based on illustrations here, this reviewer agrees. The text covers 262 species in field guide format. Many illustrations are presented for most species, including adults, immatures, and various plumages. Each species account summarizes North American records (in some cases, only one), including seasonal occurrence; notes the distribution worldwide; and presents elaborate notes on field identification. This is a very nice book, which serious birders will own. Libraries with significant ornithological holdings will have copies, as will those with extensive natural science collections, particularly libraries in areas where most of these species appear, e.g., coasts and borders of the focus area. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. P. K. Lago University of Mississippi

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Howell (Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America), Ian Lewington (Rare Birds of Britain and Europe), and Will Russell (WINGS International Bird Tours) collaborate on the first comprehensive guide to rare birds occurring throughout the United States and Canada. "Rare" here means five or fewer individuals found annually since 1950. The book's introduction explains avian migration in general and vagrancy in particular; maps showing migratory routes (and paths taken in error) and tables listing patterns of occurrence by region and season make complex information intelligible. The authors' sifting of bird-sighting records for a period covering some six decades is impressive. Detailed accounts of 262 species comprise the bulk of the book. Lewington's lovely color illustrations are supported by the sort of information one expects to find in bird guides (e.g., key identification features, taxonomy, distribution, similar species, behaviors, etc.). VERDICT That we are enjoying a "golden age of bird [book] publishing," as another reviewer in these pages has said, is clearly exemplified by this work. The birding hobby's growing popularity means that its fervent fringe of "life-listers" is growing, too, and for them, or anyone with an eye for the unusual, this book will surely tantalize.-Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.