Friday, August 2, 2013

The Warbler Guide

I have received my copy of The Warbler Guide from Princeton University Press, and quite frankly, I'm speechless. This new resouce really raises the bar. 

As I familiarize myself with each new feature, I become more and more excited. I can't imagine how long it took to put this book together from the moment of conception to the final copy, or how excited the authors, Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, became as they brainstormed how they could include everything. Clearly ,they both thought long and hard about what would make this field guide the best.

For starters, the birds featured in this book are listed in alphabetical order, as opposed to taxonomical organization, which is the norm.  Whew!  Quick and easy.  That's the way I like it!!

Pretty much everything about this guide is 'quick and easy'.  That's what you need when you are out in the field.  Knowledge at a glance. 

For instance, I'm most impressed with the icons and key terms.  At the very top of each species account page they have an icon for Silhouettes, showing the shape of the species,  an icon for Color Impression (Charley Harper move over!!),  an icon for Tail Pattern, a Quick Range Icon, a Preferred Habitat Icon, and a Behavorial Icon when appropriate.  All of this information at a glance to help narrow down identification when you're in a hurry,

and it only takes up a space measuring 5-1/2 x 1/2 inches. 
That's sheer genius. 
The dozens and dozens of photographs used throughout the book are absolutely beautiful - clear, crisp, and all inclusive - Distinctive Views, Additional Photos, Comparison Species, Aging and Sexing.
Key identification features are clear, bulleted, and easy to read at a glance.
There's that phrase again.  At a glance.  Perhaps they should have named this book Warblers At A Glance.  Sometimes that's just about all you get to see of the warbler you're trying to identify!  They can be busy little birds, flitting around eating insects (for my non-birding friends:  they catch them in the air!!  Sometimes they are just a blur!!).
Not only is this an unparalleled field guide and resource book, but there are some very special additional features.  The authors go into vocalization information with quite some detail (I'm still figuring this section out), and have made available an audio companion - The Warbler Guide Song and Call Companion, not to mention their QuickFinder Guides...I FORGOT to mention their QuickFinder Guides?!!
Talk about AT A GLANCE!! 
All this from one who initially said she was speechless.  Well, I could go on and on and on about this incomparable book.  And it's just in time for fall migration.  It will take your birding experience to a whole new level.
Tom and Scott - My hat is off to you. 
You should stand up
and take a bow!!

The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle is the first identification guide for warblers to focus on both the physical characteristics AND the songs, calls, and chips. As promised, the authors have assembled a downloadable audio companion for the book that contains every audio example (over 1,000) found in the book.

The Audio Companion ($5.99, via Macaulay Library) will make the sonograms and song and call analysis “come to life” for readers. These audio files are organized and labeled to ensure seamless cross referencing from the text to your favorite mp3 player. The authors have also helpfully used sonograms for album art for individual sound files, so readers can more easily match the vocalization to the text.

The audio companion booklet [PDF] explains the features and how to use the audio files:

Would you like to win a copy of this book?
I happen to have an extra!!
Just let me know in your comment.

Have a great day!



eileeninmd said...

Thanks for the review, it sounds awesome!

Lesley said...

I just want to say how excited I am for you! Your enthusiasm is pretty evident. I will pass on the book but will enjoy reading your posts about it!

Terry said...

I don't know much about warblers, but I love birds so I'm sure I'd love this book! Thanks for the chance! :0)

Miss Holly said...

Oh my gosh!!!! I am over the moon excited about this book!!!! I saw a bird in the adirondacks that I have still not positively identified......I was a warbler of some kind...I have scoured every book I have...maybe this little gem will hold the key.
That said still a must have book for the bird lover!! Count me in!!
I'm not sure I told you but early this spring I was woken up by the first whip o will I have heard in years!!!!
I almost cried...just one several minute long song right outside my window...
Absolute heaven to my ears!!!!
They were everywhere here when I was a child...bloody DDT...
But it was a joy to hear!!!!

Allie said...

That sounds awesome! We sure could have used something like that when we were homeschooling. I'll pass this on to others!!

grammie g said...

Hi Karen...The first thing I would need to know is how large is the print seeing that it is so small or can I just look at pictures Haha!!

Sounds exciting for you to have, and when it comes to warblers boy they can be tricky to ID!!

Happy warbling!!


TexWisGirl said...

oh my gosh, i hardly dare to enter after i won the crossley i.d. guide from you! but i will, anyway. i'd love to learn a bit more about warblers - they pass thru here quickly, but...

Tammy said...

This sounds like a great and very useful resource! I really struggle with identifying warblers! I'm in on the chance to win: thanks:)

Montanagirl said...

Hi there. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment! Thought I'd pop over and visit yours. LOVE it! Just signed up to follow you. Would like for you to follow mine as well, if you wish. That Warbler Guide looks priceless!

Roy Norris said...

I have had a look at the website Karen.
Thats a very special resource for you. Amazing.

DeniseinVA said...

Great review Karen! It's lovely to read your enthusiasm about this book. Could you count me in please? Have a great weekend :)

Carrie P. said...

great review. I think I have heard a warbler in my woods at springtime but I have not been able to find it with my binoculars. So I am not sure what kind of bird it was.

Crafty Green Poet said...

It soulds brilliant! Of course it wouldn't be much use over here in the UK, our warblers are entirely different!

Linda said...

This does sound like a wonderful book, and they should pay you for this post. :)

Thanks for your visit to my blog today. I've looked at several of your posts on this blog, as well as on your other blog; and I'm duly impressed. I'll be back.