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Simon & Schuster Children's Guide to…
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Simon & Schuster Children's Guide to Birds

by Jinny Johnson

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Johnson's guide arbitrarily divides birds into several groups. There are Ground birds (like Grouse), Sea birds (like penguins), Water birds (like Ducks), Wading Birds (like Plovers), Songbirds (crows?), and last but not least Owls and Birds of Preys (Eagles and what not). I'm not really sure why Johnston did this, but there may not have been many alternatives. For each group, one of the members is given an more in depth treatment. For example, Crows, a popular Songbird for their raucous calls, I mean beautiful melodies, are given their own splat page. The birds who did not receive their own page are only offered extremely limited space. At times, little more than size, range of habitat, and binomial name are presented for each Bird. For each group, the author draws attention to their 'Beaks and Feet' via a small box on the group page.

In some cases, the author offers a comparison of one group with the others relative to their differences in beaks and/or claws. The webbed feet of water birds, sharp talons of eagles and owls, and small gripping claws of perching birds. All of the birds had different needs in footwear. Beaks were also contrasted. Some birds needed to crack large seeds, some needed needle-like beaks to probe for insect, and birds of prey required beaks to tear and cut their food.

The book is now out of print according to Simon and Schuster. I not too attached to the book really. I did appreciate the 'beaks and feet' sections. If one was interested in birds a slightly higher level of treatment is offered by the National Audubon Society book on North American species has a host more pictures and largely identifies the birds through their silhouette rather than technical character. It also has individual sections with detailed information on each bird. Further, the Audubon book has more species included.
  rgwomack | Dec 2, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689801998, Hardcover)

A fourth volume in a popular reference series is presented in a lavishly illustrated, highly browsable format that categorizes birds in classic groupings and is filled with friendly, authoritative facts.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:45 -0400)

An introduction to all kinds of birds from around the world, arranged in such groupings as game birds, seabirds, waterbirds, wading birds, owls and birds of prey, and songbirds.

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