Review Of "A Reference Guide To Gulls Of The Americas" By S. N.G. Howell And J. Dunn

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Individual gulls can be almost impossible to identify to the species level. Their plumage varies greatly with age, individuals differ greatly, and they tend to hybridize. This is the book for those who would identify all New World gulls, but it will have a very limited audience. Difficult to use and too big to carry in the field, it presents very detailed information (more so than similar books), and is suitable only for the most advanced birders. About 1,000 small photographs of 35 gull species follow a 46-page introduction. The species accounts are in the back, and flipping between the two sections is tedious. The great majority of readers will find that David Sibley's The Sibley Guide to Birds (CH, Mar'01, 38-3913) will be more than sufficient for gull identification. For complete information on gulls, The Birds of North America, ed. by A. F. Poole, P. Stettenheim, and F. B. Gill (CH, Oct'93, 31-0635; online version, CH, Nov'05, 43-1297), will be more useful. This new book will find a place in coastal ornithology collections that support those involved with gull identification. Summing Up: Optional. Graduate students and above; general readers.


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