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National Audubon Society Field Guide to…
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National Audubon Society Field Guide to California

by Peter Alden

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149480,266 (3.97)2

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This field guide makes a useful supplement to another field guide. If, for example, you're going out to spend a day in the field birding, you could throw this small volume in your daypack alongside your birding field guide. Then when you're at the beach watching 2nd year Glaucous-winged Gulls feeding on small crustaceans, you can pull out this guide and determine that they are eating Red Crabs (Cancer productus). This volume is also useful for getting an overview of the flora and fauna of California -- echinoderms, arthropods, crustaceans, molluscs, mammals, etc., etc. However, the small size and encyclopedic scope of the book means that species descriptions are cursory, and identifying photos are too small; and some of the species descriptions are so brief as to be just plain misleading. On the other hand, one of the best sections in the book is the listing of parks and nature preserves in the back of the book -- this section alone is worth buying the book for. ( )
  danrharper | Apr 3, 2015 |
Pros: Beautiful pictures, well organized, pretty comprehensive
Cons: Pictures are small and hard to identify in varying seasons, not enough background info on individual species ( )
  amelia_bedelia | Oct 7, 2013 |
A good quick-reference for the more common types of plants and animals endemic to the state as a whole, but poor for identifying the many sub-species and local flora and fauna that exist in California's microclimates. Likely useful for a casual birder in Los Angeles or San Francisco, but not for a curious hiker on the Central Coast or Channel Islands. ( )
  owlbeen | Jul 3, 2011 |
This book is wonderful because it covers so many subjects. It's got sky charts, geological information, plants, fish, mammals, birds... The diversity of subjects is also its greatest weakness. It simply can't afford to go into great depth about any of them. I tried actually taking this book into the field and was sorely disappointed -- nothing that I needed to look up could be found in it. It's a wonderful book, but a poor field guide for anyone serious about the outdoors. ( )
  banshea | Jan 14, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679446788, Vinyl Bound)

California natives and visitors alike will appreciate this compact, photo-filled overview of the Golden State's natural history. Along with a summary of geography, geology, weather, and wildlife, there is a field guide to the identification of 1,000 of the state's unique inhabitants, including the smallest butterfly in the world (the Western Pygmy Blue), the largest animal (the Blue Whale), and one of the largest living single organisms (the Giant Sequoia). What's more, some of the best places to see this diversity of flora and fauna--the many parks, preserves, beaches, forests, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries--are listed with detailed information. To flip through the guide's pages is to envision endless possibilities for scenic and educational field trips, from fog-shrouded Point Reyes National Seashore to the barren salt pan of Death Valley National Park.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)

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