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Friday, September 17, 2010

Reviews, The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America

Hi All,

We're getting great reviews and comments on our new, The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, which is now in stock in many places and will be available at stores nationwide by October 25th.

From Wayne Petersen of the Massachusetts Audubon Society,

"Birders worldwide will eagerly welcome this comprehensive and all-inclusive new field guide from Donald and Lillian Stokes. Brimming with 3400 stunning photographs illustrating 854 species, this is unequivocally the most spectacular compendium of North American bird identification photographs ever assembled between two covers. With high-quality depictions of the essential plumages of virtually every species and subspecies currently on the American Birding Association (ABA) Checklist, this monumental volume offers birders the most up-to-date information on field identification of North American birds currently available. The guide also contains many innovative text and layout features,... Handsome, comfortably sized at 5.5 x 8.5 inches, and affordable at less than $25 this volume significantly resets the bar for North America field guides."
Wayne Petersen, Director Important Bird Areas Program, Massachusetts Audubon Society

From National Audubon Society Magazine online,

"The new Stokes guide ... should put to rest any remnants of the debate over photos versus illustrations... the key to any guide, photographic or illustrated, is in the quality of the images and in having enough of them to show the birds in their diagnostic plumages and postures. The new Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America fulfills this requirement in spades... [It] is a strong candidate for the title of best field guide ever... The text is, perhaps the most expansive of any one-volume North American guide in print...since it arrived in my home, I haven't been able to put it down."

"This is by far the most comprehensive North American field guide I have in my possession. Check this out! 854 species, from rare vagrants to your favorite backyard birdies, are included using over 3,400 photos!"

(Oriole page from guide)

(Magnolia Warbler page has 9 photos showing male, female, summer, winter, immature plumages and even undertail!)

(Cape May Warbler page has 9 photos of the different sexes, ages and seasonal plumages)

"Just to make sure it was comprehensive I looked up Siberian Accentor, which was a vagrant seen in Idaho a few years back...Bam!...there it is on page 580. The little code in the bottom corner indicates the photo was taken in the month of February in Idaho!!! This new guide also discusses all subspecies and hybrids that birders might come across in the field. I thought I'd put this claim to the test to. I wanted to see if there was mention of a Violet-crowned Hummingbird x Broad-billed as I had seen at Arizona's Boyce Thompson Arboretum...Bam!...there it is in the hybrid notes for both species on page 417 and 421. Awesome!...
It is a photographic field guide which I feel best captivates readers, especially new birders and youth. You can't help but be sucked into the pages when you see the stunning photos. When my kids got home from school today, my daughter caught a glimpse of me perusing this new guide and she exclaimed "Whoa! Can I see it?!" This Stoke's guide largely overcomes, and perhaps surpasses, the advantage of illustrated guides by having multiple photos of each species. The more challenging the identification and the more variable the plumage the more photos and even more pages are dedicated to that species. The sections on hawks and gulls are perfect examples of this special treatment."

(Red-tail Hawk account has 23 photos and 4 pages and includes all morphs and subspecies!)

The Red-tailed Hawk gets four whole pages! The eye-catching photos are pooled from top bird photographers in North America, including Lillian Stokes herself...
This is the most up-to-date field guide on the market. Revised names and distribution maps are all there. It even includes the Pacific Wren!...
Every self-respecting birder will want to have a copy of this fantastic field guide."

Corey Finger at 10,000 birds blog,

"With a release date of 25 October 2010, The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America will be showing up on the wish lists of many a North American birder this holiday season. Entirely illustrated by photographs, the main selling point of the new field guide is the sheer number of species and subspecies covered with excellent photographs. The back of the book claims 854 species and over 3,400 stunning photographs but I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers were low because it seems like nearly everything is included. The 792 pages of the book are bursting with eye-popping images from the Painted Bunting on the front cover to the awesome flight shot of a Pileated Woodpeckeron the back....
And if one is going to own a photographic field guide for the birds of North America, the Stokes now have the most complete book on the market...
The list of each species subspecies and hybrids is a wonderful touch; I can’t think of any other field guide that ever included such information....
I highly recommend The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America."

From Mike McDowell, The Digiscoper Blog, and Eagle Optics staff,

"One of the most comprehensive and informational field guides available to birders... if you desire the most recent identification tips, updated range maps, key behavioral information and clues, detailed descriptions of songs plus some of the best bird photography out there, then this is the field guide to get"

Nate of The Drinking Bird blog,

The newest guide from Don and Lillian Stokes, The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America... promising to be the most comprehensive photographic guide ever published... by any objective measure the Stokeses have succeeded in creating a field guide that meets or exceeds that lofty standard… Birds are shown in every plumage you may... observe, at multiple angles, with particularly difficult identification issues given more room rather than less (Gulls are particularly well-represented)... Every subspecies is mentioned, if not pictured… And vagrants, even exceptionally rare ones, are pictured in all their glory, sometimes multiple times...This, then, is a guide that leaves absolutely nothing out... The success of a field guide stands or falls with the quality of its photos… the ones picked to flesh out this guide are stunning, many of them from Lillian Stokes own extensive collection, and laid out to great effect… the inclusion of all described subspecies and known hybrids is an excellent touch… The Stokeses have taken the medium about as far as it can go in a single volume, including just about everything that any birder would want, and that’s great... the Stokeses have truly put together a beautiful and comprehensive book.

Comments from people who bought the guide,

I just received my copy of your new field guide, and it is incredible! The photographs and descriptions are so helpful, especially since you have shown the birds both posing and in flight."
Mary Bastrentaz, President, DuPage Birding Club

"A Masterpiece. The Stokeses have done what I did ot think was possible, blow me away with a field guide to birds. What I love best about the new Stokes Field Guide is the photography."
TJ Young

"They did it again! I don't know how the Stokes' do all that they do but this newest guide from the is the most comprehensive of all. The pictures are excellent showing plumage variation from different regions, seasonal differences, and the juveniles."
Jane Alexander

"Wonderful pics, got my brand new copy of your book. It's by far the best I've seen."
Tim Chickering, FB

"Just received the Stokes Field Guide to NOrth America from Amazon. What an epic work. Just great stuff. Can't wait to dig in and enjoy more thoroughly."
A Rives McGinley


Kevin said...

Congrats on those stellar reviews! Dying to get my hands on it...

Birding is Fun! said...

I just finished reading all the introductory information and feel like I could write another post praising your work. What a great addition to the birding world!

Lillian Stokes said...

Idaho Birder, Thanks so much!!

Amy B. Athens, GA said...

I now officially cannot wait to get my hands on this guide! Congrats on the wonderful reviews!

Coates Wildlife Tours said...

What a great looking book, a great intro to the birds of USA for me, an Aussie.

Maybe you could come and check out the Australian birds some time. The Gouldian Finch of Western Australia's Kimberley is certainly worth the visit and I'm sure you would be one of the lucky ones to get a good photo!