Nonfiction Review: Complete Birds of North America

I’m sharing about another nonfiction reference book today: the Complete Birds of North America from National Geographic. I think it’s fitting to talk about such a book on this platform— my blog is named after my state bird, after all!

About the Book

This desk reference is the most up-to-date and comprehensive source of knowledge on North American bird identification, distribution, behavior, habitat, and conservation concerns available today.

More an encyclopedia than a field guide, National Geographic’s Complete Birds is a browsable treasure trove of facts. This comprehensive volume profiles every bird observable in the continental United States and Canada, featuring species accounts with details that include calls and songs, breeding behaviors, molting patterns, and the vast extent of their polar and neotropical migrations. The precision maps, illuminating photographs, and more than 4,000 exquisite pieces of annotated art make this the biggest and best bird book ever.

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review

The new Complete Birds of North America, in its third edition, is a gorgeous book for bird lovers’ reference. While its scientific descriptions and information make it less of a coffee table piece and more of a reference tome, its beautifully detailed illustrations and maps make it an accessible reference for any level of birder. The book is divided into sections by bird family, with a brief description of each grouping’s behavior, plumage, geographical habits, and details on any endangered species or conservation efforts.

I especially appreciate the concise introduction that reminds readers of the taxonomic organization of bird species and the language used in describing plumage — and “feather topography”! It makes the illustrations and species descriptions found later easier to understand. This book makes me want to sit on my porch with a pair of binoculars and watch my bird feeders!

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for the review copy. This is my honest review.

3 thoughts on “Nonfiction Review: Complete Birds of North America

  1. That is a really cool book. It would have taken a long time to put together. Is the book huge? I feel like it would be big.

  2. I am absolutely loving this one myself! I’m trying to figure out all of the birds that come through my yard and learned we have a ton that are just passing through. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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