By Steve NG Howell & Will Russell Illustrated by Ian Lewington | 428 Pages | 275 Colour Plates | 17 Colour Maps | 9 tables |
Princeton University Press | Hardback | Jan 2014 | ISBN: 9780691117966

Publisher’s View Rare Birds of North America is the first comprehensive illustrated guide to the vagrant birds that occur throughout the United States and Canada. Featuring 275 stunning color plates, Rare Birds of North America covers 262 species originating from three very different regions – the Old World, the New World tropics, and the world’s oceans. It explains the causes of avian vagrancy and breaks down patterns of occurrence by region and season, enabling readers to see where, when, and why each species occurs in North America. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, taxonomy, age, sex, distribution, and status.

Rare Birds of North America provides unparalleled insights into vagrancy and avian migration, and will enrich the birding experience of anyone interested in finding and observing rare birds.

Other’s Views:
“[…] There is very little in this book that warrants critique. […] Should you get this book? If you are an avid birder excited by searching for a rarity; or, if you embrace the challenge of learning those necessary identification features; or, if you are intrigued by the historical presence of a particular rarity, then you must get this book. There is no better compilation of rarities with such quality illustrations, completeness of researched records, and experienced identification.”
- Avian Review, 11-03-2014

”Birders thrill to see rarities. This superb book covers 262 rare species, featuring Ian Lewington’s unsurpassed artistry in 275 color plates. Species accounts discuss patterns of vagrancy, identification, seasons, regions, and migration.”
– Library Journal, starred review

”Rare Birds of North America is splendid. There is warmth and humor in the prose, and the color plates are stunning and will ensure a strong audience for many years to come. Such a book is long overdue for North American readers.”
– Edward S. Brinkley, editor of North American Birds

“An excellent treatment of a fascinating topic.”
– Paul Lehman, field guide consultant and bird tour leader

Fatbirder View: No North American lister should be without this book. The beautiful illustrations alone would make it a joy to own. But it would be the first port of call if you turned up something not in the North American guides. Here you will find solid information to help you identify the bird and judge the likelihood that it it what you think it is. The frequency and geographical pattern of rarity occurrences is invaluable in this respect. Nicely written and beautifully produced to Princeton’s normal high standard.


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