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252+ Works 14,740 Members 64 Reviews

About the Author

Peter Alden, principal author of this volume, has led nature tours and lectured all over the world for travel and museum organizations, and was a main author of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife. Rick Cech, author of several sections of this guide, is a nature writer, show more photographer, and founder of the North American Butterfly Association's newsletter, The Anglewing. Gil Nelson, regional consultant and author of the parks and preserves section, is a naturalist, writer, and educator. show less
Image credit: Headquarters, National Audubon Society, 2005. Photo by user Geographer / Wikipedia.


Works by National Audubon Society

Pocket Guide to Waterfowl (1994) 42 copies
Audubon Life-List Journal (1999) 25 copies
Audubons's Art & Nature (1995) 21 copies
Birds of Prey 2 copies
Hummingbirds Up Close (1988) 2 copies
Fun With Birds (1953) 1 copy
Pond Life (1967) 1 copy
Pacific Tide Pools (1968) 1 copy
Song Birds (1968) 1 copy
Getting the Bugs Out (2005) 1 copy
Puffin Adventures (1998) 1 copy

Associated Works


animals (228) astronomy (213) Audubon (155) Audubon Society (46) biology (183) birding (125) birds (713) botany (123) field guide (1,002) field guides (302) fish (55) flowers (89) gardening (45) geology (116) guide (175) guidebook (110) identification (81) insects (216) minerals (60) mushrooms (111) National Audubon Society (47) natural history (181) nature (1,103) nature guide (63) nature study (71) non-fiction (681) North America (199) ornithology (75) outdoors (68) own (53) plants (141) reference (907) rocks (84) science (623) spiders (115) to-read (74) trees (275) wildflowers (101) wildlife (61) zoology (57)

Common Knowledge




Excellent Field Guide, Great new color photography, well-arranged
LouieSG | 13 other reviews | Jul 15, 2023 |
If you're looking for a good field ID guide, this is not it. Nearly useless as an ID book even if you don't mind carrying a huge paperback. The organization is weird. The little symbols that represent the outline of mushrooms don't correspond to the ones they assign them to. Since I can't show you pictures in this review, here's a verbal example. Coral fungus used to be grouped together in the old guide in a separate category with a little thumb symbol that looked like a branched fungus. Now they're scattered throughout under icons that are just a generic mushroom with a stem and cap. What? Who the hell would look for coral fungus under that? Not one person, that's who. Ridiculous. That's pretty much the most egregious, but there are dozens and dozens of others that make no sense. Boletes are shown with the icon of a mushroom with a partial veil on the stipe, but not amanitas? Seriously, WTF, people. Nutty. The old guide had perfectly understandable symbolic icons for both of those that you could immediately recognize even if you didn't know the difference between a bolete and an amanita. They were obvious. Now they are buried under nonsense.

Also annoying is the lack of prior taxonomy information. And we all know that mushroom nomenclature changes about every five minutes, so not listing what the mushroom was known as five minutes ago is irritating especially since that term was probably in use for years if not decades. Ugh!

The binding is pretty decent, but I can see pages being torn and bent pretty easily in the future. There is a single satin ribbon which is also crazy given that you can't see look-alikes all together (like the Peterson guide, hint, hint) and that you'd need a whole bunch of bookmarks to see that kind of thing. Ditto for any suspects you may have since those aren't grouped in any logical way either. It needs a dozen cute little satin markers, not one.

Oh and there is a section for How to Use this Book and it contains nothing except some information about some conservation status icons that are used about 10 times in the whole 700+ pages. WTF? There is not a single useful identifications system at all. Not the usual if this then that type or the more innovative scheme the Peterson guide uses. Insane. It's really only good for the pretty pictures and the species information so my advice is to use this to confirm what you've already IDed using other sources. The editor signs off on the How to Use this Book page with good luck and godspeed. Yeah, you're gonna need it.
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Bookmarque | Apr 12, 2023 |
Absolutely love this book! As someone who has a casual interest in birdwatching, this book provided so much information on the variety of birds found in North America. I was able to identify a few birds that have been hanging around my home. The pictures are fantastic and includes maps showing where to find them in the summer, winter, if they are a resident, migration and if they are rare or not. Super informative! Highly recommend.
BridgetteS | Feb 12, 2023 |


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