A Casual Field Guide to the Birds of Florida

COVER: American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Florida

The Well-read Naturalist reviews the American Birding Association's Field Guide to the Birds of Florida.

Wow! How field guides have changed. Britain’s Birds: An Identification Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland gives comprehensive photographic coverage of every bird recorded in Britain and Ireland to date. Here's Keith's take on this photographic field guide.

Just after nightfall, at the edge of the old city in Harar, Ethiopia, a small group of tourists gather in an area near an ancient shrine to wait for Africa’s second largest carnivore – the Spotted Hyena – to appear from the darkness. The tourists are not waiting behind any type of protective barrier. The… Read more »

Quality binoculars are expensive, and if you want to enjoy the exceptional quality of premium birding binoculars from the “big three” (Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss), you typically have to dig deep into your wallet. The high price can be attributed to the binoculars’ exceptional components, superior craftsmanship by highly skilled workers in their respective German and… Read more »

What is the BEST Field Guide for Each Country?

Birder with Field Guide, by Laura Kammermeier

The guides at Birding Ecotours have put together a list of top field guides for countries on every continent. This list is a great place to start your bird research in advance of your next trip.

The endemic Jamaican Tody, at the Goblin Hill Villas, Portland, Jamaica. Photo by Steve Shunk

You awake to the drumming of Jamaican Woodpeckers, performing in the snag outside your window. Gray Kingbirds and White-chinned Thrushes call from the woodland edges just a few meters away. You saunter to your deck and pause for several minutes with your arms on the railing, bathing in the tropical breeze, as you stare across… Read more »

Review of The Lodge At Pico Bonito, La Cieba, Honduras

The Lodge at Pico Bonito is a naturalist’s dream. Located deep in the tropical rainforest just outside of La Cieba, Honduras, Pico Bonito is surrounded by a remarkable variety of wildlife – every step on this wonderful property a veritable jungle safari.

Book Review: The Eponym Dictionary of Birds

As with most dictionaries, this volume is not designed to be read from cover to cover. It is one to refer to and to take great swigs of from time to time. A word of warning – you may find yourself quickly immersed and killing hours quite easily. But it will assuredly be time well spent.

NEW: Leica Announces First Entry-Level Premium Binoculars

MEDIA RELEASE December 2, 2015: Leica Sport Optics is pleased to introduce its new entry-level premium Trinovid HD binoculars. Boasting an impressive price point, yet loaded with Leica's extraordinary time-proven features, the new Trinovid HD is ideal for the value-conscious birder or nature observer desiring access into the coveted world of Leica's exceptional optical performance… Read more »

Book Review: Robins and Chats by Clement and Rose

Robins and Chats, by Peter Clement and Chris Rose 2015 Published by Christopher Helm Buy now This is the latest in the long-running series of Helm Identification Guides – and like the others it is an impressive and weighty tome. A previous Helm volume by Peter Clement on the Thrushes appeared in 2000. At that time… Read more »

Book Review: Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition

It’s not a surprise that every birder on our recent trip to Peru had their own copy of Birds of Peru by Princeton University Press; this is simply the best field guide for this bird-rich country.

Review: Toft’s National Birds of the World

Toft's National Birds of the World

Both a comprehensive listing and guide book, National BIrds provides a range of information from species data to how these birds have been used and abused through the ages. It recounts tales of how they came to be adopted and presents a wide range of official and cultural contexts where they appear from feathers in tribal costumes to stamps and currency.

A Sunbird Professional Nature app Itunes: $69.99, £52.99, 1.58gb, requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5. Available from itunes.apple.com.   The Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East is described as a ‘Professional Nature’ app, and its price tag reflects that. Let me give… Read more »

Book Review: American Birding Association State Field Guide Series

There are very few state-level bird field guides that are worth using. They are often generic, cookie-cutter guides that are not tailored to the state. Many organize species in a non-standard way (such as by color, habitat, or size) that may seem like a good idea but is problematic in practice. Worst of all, because… Read more »

REVIEW: PhoneSkope Introduces Remote Shutter Device

The PhoneSkope Bluetooth Remote is a valuable device that controls shake and should be used by anyone who uses the PhoneSkope adapter.

Review: Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge

Two Red-lored Amazons in flight

Tranquilo Bay exceeded even my high expectations. I was impressed by the comfort, service, great guides, and the variety of excursions and activities offered. An attractive option for groups where not everyone is a hardcore birder.

The ZEISS Victory SFs are a superb binocular made especially for bird watching and nature observation. One clever feature makes them a joy to hold in the hand.

Book Review: The Kingdom of Fungi

A page from The Kingdom of Fungi, showing Ramarias

Part textbook, part work of art, The Kingdom of Fungi by Jens H. Peterson is a fine resource for anyone curious about these oft-neglected organisms.

Birds of the Serengeti cover photo Secretary Bird

This attractive guide uses uncomplicated text to explain what birds of the Serengeti you are most likely to see. It is not designed to be totally comprehensive.

Book Review: Rare Birds of North America

Northern Lapwing from Rare Birds of North America

Rare Birds of North America is a beautiful, quirky, and exacting resource that will no doubt shape discussions of rarities for years to come.