Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in Review of A Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestliongs of North American Birds by Paul J. Baicich & Colin J.O. Harrison (Academic Press, 1997). Johnsgard in the Auk (July 1998) 115(3). Copyright 1998, University of California and the American Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission


In 1978, during a visit to England, I purchased a copy of the first edition of this book, then called a field guide. It was written by Colin Harrison, published by Collins, and produced in standard field guide size. It never was effectively distributed in North America, which was unfortunate, because it was far better than the guide to bird nests by Hal Harrison in the well-known Peterson field guide series. Not only did it illustrate the eggs of about 550 species, in color and life size, but it also offered nestling paintings of nearly 150 species, plus numerous line drawings of nests and young. Just as importantly, it offered concise information on breeding seasons, incubation periods, nestling appearances, and nestling periods; altogether it provided a sort of condensed and updated version of Bent's life histories. I have used this book a great deal and found it invaluable as an introductory reference, as opposed to searching for primary data sources.

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