Sample text for A field guide to the birds : eastern and central North America / text and illustrations by Roger Tory Peterson ; maps by Virginia Marie Peterson.
Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog
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Veteran birders will know how to use this book. Beginners, however,
should spend some time becoming familiar in a general way with the
illustrations. They are not arranged in systematic or phylogenetic
order as in most ornithological works but are grouped in 8 main
(1) Swimmers — Ducks and ducklike birds
(2) Aerialists — Gulls and gull-like birds
(3) Long-legged Waders — Herons, cranes, etc.
(4) Smaller Waders — Plovers, sandpipers, etc.
(5) Fowl-like Birds — Grouse, quail, etc.
(6) Birds of Prey — Hawks, eagles, owls
(7) Nonpasserine Land Birds
(8) Passerine (Perching) Birds
Within these groupings it will be seen that ducks do not
resemble loons; gulls are readily distinguishable from terns. The
needlelike bills of warblers immediately differentiate them from the
seed-cracking bills of sparrows. Birds that could be confused are
grouped together when possible and are arranged in identical profile
for direct comparison. The arrows point to outstanding "field marks"
which are explained opposite.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Birds North America, Birds North America Geographical distribution