The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson (Author), Scott Whittle (Author), Catherine Hamilton (Illustrator) | 560 pages | 1000+ colour photos | 50 maps | Princeton University Press | Paperback | 2013 | ISBN: 9780691154824
Publisher’s View: Warblers are among the most challenging birds to identify. They exhibit an array of seasonal plumages and have distinctive yet oft-confused calls and songs. The Warbler Guide enables you to quickly identify any of the 56 species of warblers in the United States and Canada. This groundbreaking guide features more than 1000 stunning color photos, extensive species accounts with multiple viewing angles, and an entirely new system of vocalization analysis that helps you effectively learn songs and calls. The Warbler Guide revolutionizes birdwatching, making warbler identification easier than ever before.
Tom Stephenson‘s articles and photos have appeared in Birding and Bird Watcher’s Digest, at Surfbirds.com, and in the Handbook of the Birds of the World. He has guided groups across the United States and Asia. A musician, he has had several Grammy and Academy Award winners as clients, and was director of technology at Roland Corporation.
Scott Whittle lives in Cape May, New Jersey, and has twenty years of experience as a professional photographer and educator. He holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York, is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, and is a New York State Big Year record holder.Fatbirder View: I would challenge the publisher’s view that warblers are among the most challenging birds to ID. That would certainly be true of the Eurasian Warblers but not the Wood Warblers of the Americas. Apart from some of their juvenile or non-breeding phases they are bright and colourful and there are not too many confusions, certainly not when compared to their old world counterparts.
Having said that, it does nothing to detract from this fantastic and, yes, ground-breaking book. It treats the group in a different but equally exciting way to the new Raptors book in that it gives one a mountain of info without repetition, deviation or hesitation ☺
Everything from sonograms to seasonal variations, confusion species to aging and sexing and with pretty detailed distribution maps as well. The term ‘tour de force’ sits well upon its wide shoulders. It is pretty weighty even in the soft cover version and you would need to be very keen to carry it into the field… but I am sure there will be those whose backs are broad enough and whose need to study deep enough.
My birding days began well over half a century ago and my very first guide were cigarette cards courtesy of Brook Bond™ and an I-Spy book of birds. Later this was supplemented with an RSPB guide to the UKs commonest species. At the time these seemed fabulously detailed and then along came Collins Guide to the Birds of Europe and Sibley’s North American fieldguide and we realised how wrong we were. Now a new generation is upon us with first Crossley and now Stephenson & Whittle. There will be no birder north of the Rio Grande who would turn down this book. There will be few who intend to visit North America that would not want to spend time familiarising themselves with the Wood Warblers, and there is no better way for them than to open these pages and get lost in their cornucopia of detail.
Fatbirder June 2013