| (A photo Guide) | By Steve N G Howell & Kirk Zufelt | Princeton University Press | 2019 | Paperback | 128 Pages | colour photos| ISBN: 9780691175010 |

The Publisher’s View: A state-of-the-art photographic field guide to the world’s oceanic birds

Oceanic birds are among the most remarkable but least known of all birds, living at sea, far from the sight of most people. They offer unusual identification challenges—many species look similar and it can be difficult to get good views of fast-flying birds from a moving boat. The first field guide to the world’s oceanic birds in more than two decades, this exciting and authoritative book draws on decades of firsthand experience on the open seas. It features clear text filled with original insights and new information and more than 2,200 carefully chosen color images that bring the ocean and its remarkable winged inhabitants to life. Never before have oceanic birds been presented in such an accessible and comprehensive way.The introduction discusses the many recent developments in seabird taxonomy, which are incorporated into the species accounts, and these accounts are arranged into groups that aid field identification. Each group and species complex has an introductory overview of its identification challenges, illustrated with clear comparative photos. The text describes flight manner, plumage variation related to age and molt, seasonal occurrence patterns, migration routes, and many other features.The result is an indispensable guide for exploring birding’s last great frontier.

  • A comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible guide to oceanic birds
  • Covers more than 270 species
  • Includes more than 2,200 color photos with concise captions noting key features
  • Features careful species comparisons, overviews of the latest taxonomy, tips on how to observe and ID birds at sea, and much more

Other Views: “This breathtaking book is a tour de force for the reader seeking to identify some of the most difficult, contentious, and fascinating taxa in the entire world of birds.” – Edward S. Brinkley, author of National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America

“Steve Howell and Kirk Zufelt are among the keenest and most knowledgeable seabirders. In this excellent book, they pull together what is known about seabirds in a single text. The result is more than just a field guide; it provides the foundation for an appreciation of where we are in understanding seabird taxonomy, distribution and range, and identification.”Robert Flood, Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town


The Authors: Steve N. G. Howell is an international bird tour leader with WINGS and is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading birders and an authority on oceanic birds. His many books include Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America: A Photographic Guideand The Amazing World of Flyingfish (both Princeton).

Kirk Zufelt is a physician with a lifelong passion for birds and natural history. A widely published photographer, he has spent more than a year at sea over the past decade studying and photographing the world’s seabirds at some of the remotest locations on the planet.


Fatbirder View: Some years ago I was almost a lone voice in recommending a book on seabirds because the photographs were often very distant… I thought this reflected life, most of us don’t get close so our views are distant so ID at a distance is where we need help. Of course, if you are not prone to mal de mare and enjoy a pelagic you may get a good deal closer and appreciate the use of this book. I can’t see me using it on a windy headland in November when sometimes the skuas and other seabirds get close enough to be sure of their ID. To be honest, most of us, most of the time will only be exposed to a very limited number of species. So this book becomes one more for study than use in the field and for that it is excellent, the text is comprehensive and ID features do get pointed out.

Regular readers will know I prefer to have my ID features pointed out on a good drawing where its easier to compare like with like.

Series world birders will want this on their bookshelves as will dedicated sea watchers.

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