Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere, Paperback Book

Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere Paperback

Part of the Helm Photographic Guides series

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Shorebirds are a very popular group of birds among birders of all standards, though their identification is often a challenge.

Covering all the species of the northern hemisphere, this new photographic guide provides all the information a birder will need at a glance.

Lavishly illustrated with colour photography by the author, Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere focuses on specific and subspecific separation and on ageing to provide a complete identification resource.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448 pages, 700 colour photos, 150 colour maps
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Wildlife: birds & birdwatching
  • ISBN: 9781408107904



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With over 850 quality color photos, this book acts both as an identification guide and resource for 134 species of shorebirds. Like a few other books on shorebirds, this is not a field guide due to its large size and its layout.Each species is shown with 3-19 good photos, nearly all of them being top quality. These photos are larger and with a greater number of poses than the author’s prior book of 1989 (see #8 below). The poses are mostly at a profile and are accompanied by in-flight or stretching shots that display the wing and tail patterns.The text ranges from 1-2 pages with 70-80% of it focused on descriptions and identification. The remaining information addresses status, habits, and distribution. I like how the material breaks out descriptions for adult and juvenile plumages as well as for breeding and non-breeding. My favorite text is each note that accompanies a photograph. These notes offer immediately relevant tidbits that are useful when given next to the particular plumage.Thirteen (13) tables are provided throughout the book to help compare details of similar species. It’s too bad these useful tables are not noted in the table of contents to more easily find them. Instead, these are orphaned and you must flip through the pages in search of them. Also somewhat odd is the use of a table to compare three races of the Short-billed Dowitcher but none for comparison between the Short and Long-billed.A distribution map showing three colors (breeding, non-breeding, and year round) offer general ranges for the birds. Only the outlines of the continents are used. Due to the global range of many of these birds, the use of a broad map provides little detail.Conflicting slightly with the title of the book, not all northern hemisphere (i.e., north of the equator) species are included. Instead, the author uses a line that follows natural habitat zones. This effectively disregards South America, Africa south of Morocco-to-Egypt, and the East Indies. However, he does include the Three-banded Plover that ranges over central and southern Africa while excluding the Spot-breasted Plover (endemic to Ethiopia) which is found just as far north.This is a very useful book with excellent photos to help identify the shorebirds. I should note the material within does not really offer anything new over other books, but it does offer additional and different photos.I’ve listed several related books below… 1) Shorebird Guide by O’Brien2) Shorebirds: An Identification Guide by Hayman3) Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia by Message4) Shorebirds of North America by Paulson5) Shorebirds of the Pacific Northwest by Paulson6) A Field Guide to the Waders of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East by Colston7) Guide to the Identification and Ageing of Holarctic Waders by Prater8) North Atlantic Shorebirds by Chandler9) Photographic Guide to the Shorebirds of the World by Rosair

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