Being a Bird in North America (BABINA) brings birds to life on the page with a blend of humor and science that showcases the most interesting aspects of each species. With over 200 original cartoons, this book makes every species memorable, and sets itself apart from field guides. Whether the reader is new to the world of birds or a veteran birder, BABINA offers new insight into the lives of birds. It reveals the tricks used by birds to survive, the real problems they face, and addresses their conservation issues.
Being a Bird in North America features:
- Well-researched, properly cited species accounts.
- Focus on each species’ tricks for survival, and the real problems they face in nature or because of humans.
- Over 200 original cartoons from 15 artists
- Global distribution maps and conservation status.
- NatureServe Conservation Ranks for the world, Canada, Mexico, and the USA.
- French and Spanish names for every species
- Taxonomy, nomenclature, and species ordering as per the American Ornithologists’ Union (Chesser 2014).
- Photography from biologists conducting fieldwork
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Friesens; 1 edition (September 2015)
ISBN-13: 978–0-9877733-0-2 (v.1)
A Terrific And Entertaining Read!
From Steven Price, President, Bird Studies Canada
There is precious little humour and not enough conservation information about birds in a popular format. Robert Alvo’s Being a Bird in North America tackles both.
A Breakthrough Bird-Book
From a Young Birder
Being A Bird in North America was an incredible book. Its vocabulary was very comprehensible (I am only twelve) and I could figure out any words I couldn’t understand. The cartoons are not only funny, but also made me able to picture what the words said. In fact, my younger brother, who is only seven, could understand the information thanks to the cartoons! Yes, it was that comprehensible.
The global maps and the names in French and Spanish would definitely help any birder traveling. The information was accurate, from taxonomy to behaviour and all in between, and the conservation status rankings helped me really understand how threatened species were. And the organization was very logical, not scattered counterintuitively.
It is NOT a field guide, and it doesn’t function in the same way, but it offers quite a lot of information that field guides don’t have, such as facts about the birds’ life history, or habits that aren’t often mentioned in field guides because they don’t help with identification. For that reason it is a book that everyone, from kids to experienced birders, can admire.
All in all, Rob Alvo’s new book is an incredible, original creation that is the very best of its kind, and I very highly recommend it as a funny, informative read.
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If you love learning about birds, no other book comes close to providing as much enjoyment as Being a Bird in North America. The species accounts cover all of the birds that breed in North America, providing interesting tidbits about their natural history. But the most unique feature is its fantastic approach to illuminating the conservation status of each species. I’m grateful that Rob Alvo invited NatureServe to share information for the book, and I’m proud to display it in my office.
My long-time friend and former colleague, conservation biologist (and now writer) Rob Alvo, has conceived, written, and assembled an outstanding book! This is not your standard field guide, although for every species covered in Volume 1 there are one or more photographs, a global range map (useful but absent in other North American bird books), and taxonomic information including English and French common names. But what sets this aside from other bird books is the entertaining cartoon for every species, a page of interesting facts, and detailed conservation information. I am a conservation biologist, lifelong birder, and avid consumer of bird and natural history books, but I learned new and fascinating facts about each species in Rob's well-researched species accounts. Particularly useful is the conservation information presented for each species, thanks to Rob's research and his use of NatureServe data and information. I recommend this book without hesitation to birders and non-birders alike, and I can hardly wait for the next volume in the series. Keep this book on your bedside table and read a few species accounts every evening for a very enjoyable end to one's day.
Rob Alvo has done a remarkable job with this book. A unique perspective for looking at birds of North America; a little humor, science and concern for the problems and conservation of some of nature's most beautiful creatures. I am really pleased to have this volume in my reference library. Extremely well done and readable for a variety of age groups, including non-birders.
There are a plethora of identification guides for North American birds, but this stands out as being a biology and conservation guide. It's not really for ID, but it is for enjoyable and educational reading. The array of facts presented for species after species serve as a primer for many aspects of ornithology. Throughout the book we learn of conservation issues and some of the ways they are being handled. And the cartoons are appropriate and a lot of fun. Take it off the shelf; this is a book meant for reading!
I am a professional biologist, and I contributed quite a few photos for the book, so I have followed its progress with interest since it was a bright idea of Rob Alvo's. It was well worth the wait, and I look forward to another volume.