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The audubon society master guide to birding.

The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, edited by John Farrand, Jr. (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1983; three-volume set, $42), is built around photographs instead of illustrations. You get more fidelity in this 1,244-page compilation, but some photographs can obscure field marks that artists have no trouble rendering. Where no good photographs exist, illustrations are supplied.

The biggest of the guides mentioned here, this set has generally the largest illustrations and the most text. Taking a note from Roger Tory Peterson's A Field Guide to Western Birds, the Audubon guide opens each entry with general information about the bird's habitat, numbers, migration patterns, and food. Separate sections describe the bird itself, its voice (onomatopoeia again), similar species, and range.

The categorical format leaves nothing out. Audubon's master guide is a good backup for any true field guide, but probably too bulky to carry.
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Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 1985
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