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Birds of Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park -Reviews


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"For birds, no other field guide focuses solely on such a sizable portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains of eastern North America than Birds of the Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park: A Field Guide by Ernest Preston Edwards. In fact, Edwards could have well titled his book 'A Field Guide to the Birds of the Blue Ridge Mountains' because of its usefulness throughout the Blue Ridge.

The stated purpose of this book is to provide an identification guide to the birds of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province of the Appalachian Mountain Range, particularly that portion of the province located in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Edwards achieves this with a well-organized, color illustrated field guide for the region that balances content with portability. ...The book is well-researched and addresses the 336 species users are most likely to encounter in the region.

One of the greatest strenghs of this book is how it is organized. It balances the usefulness of a field identification, without straying from taxonomic order. The guide is pocket-sized, lending itself to portability afield. ...it provides both accurate and timely information. Given normal care and protection, the book's sound construction suggests it will withstand the harsh environmental conditions the Blue Ridge can offer. ... I found the book pages easy to turn and birds were easy to identify using the color-coded pages. ...the guide offers a handy reference for intermediate birdwatchers (recreational and professional)..." - Jason M. Mitchell, Tennessee Valley Authority, Natural Areas Journal, Vol. 31 (1), 2011.



"Our Christian families spread out across the country at vacation time. Perhaps your children will go off to Bible camps. If you happen to be near the Great Smoky Mountains National park, [this] field guide will be worthwhile investing in. ...I dislike having to figure out what bird family a bird might belong to before I can look up information on it. This field guide solves that problem quite easily. The introduction provides maps of the region covered, a list of terms, and even a picture of the parts of a bird so you have an easier time looking for the identifying features of a specific bird. ...If I lived in the Virginias or just vacationed there, I would want to own this book. ...You won't have to weed through detailed explanations involving evolution anywhere in this book." - Diana Pederson (www.bellaonline.com/articles/art49419.asp) March 2007

"Covering 336 species, this region-specific guide is convenient and packable. This is a good book for a beginning observer in this region." - C.R., (Southeastern Naturalist, Vol. 5, No. 3), Humboldt Field Research Institute, January 2007


"Beginning and some intermediate birders who watch birds primarily in the southern Appalachians will find this guide useful because it narrows identifications down to the most likely species....Since the guide is very small and lightweight, it can easily be carried into the field. For that reason, it may be good for backpackers who need to reduce weight as much as possible. ...birders in the Mid-Atlantic region outside of the Appalachians may use this book profitably. Most species found in the Blue Ridge are present in other areas at one time or another during the year, and vice-versa." - John Beetham, A DC Birding Blog (www.dendrocia.blogspot.com/2006/09/review-birds-of-shenandoah-national.html), September 2006


"Ernest Preston Edwards is ... an authority on the birds of Mexico. But the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are Edwards' backyard, and he has produced the handiest of guides for those of us who are never happier than when tramping through those hills, binoculars in hand, looking for birds. Edwards' field guide would come in handy almost anywhere in Virginia's uplands and quite likely in West Virginia, Maryland and eastern Tennessee, as well. For once, someone who really knows birds has given us a truly compact, backpackable field guide.... It is ... a must-have guide...." - Paul Sullivan, Free Lance-Star, Frederickburg, VA, July 2006


Birds of Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a convenient, full-color field guide that lends itself to easy use by amateur birdwatchers and professional researchers alike. Birds of Shenandoah National Park features a brief entry for each of 336 avian species sighted in the area of Blue Ridge in North Carolina and Virginia, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Each entry consists of the species' common name, its scientific name, its approximate size, a verbal description of its appearance and characteristic habits, and a brief summary of where it can be found during what seasons of the year; yet by far the most valuable identifier are the illustrations, almost all of which are in full color. An index, a checklist, and a brief supplementary section of birds that are not common in the area round out this elegantly useful guide." - James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Mid-West Book Review, Oregon, WI, Small Press Bookwatch, July 2006


"...detailed, brightly colored illustrations by Edward Murrell Butler make it easier for novices to distinguish between species with similar markings. If you ride through the Appalachian corridor frequently and would like to know more about the birds you see along the way, I happily recommend this book to you. Its compact format travels well and adds a new dimension to your travels along Appalachian highways." - Dale Coyner, Appalachian Highways, June 2006


"This book is unique in providing a quick reference and guide to birds that one might expect to find when visiting the parks throughout the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains." - Warren Bielenberg, former Shenandoah Chief Naturalist, National Park Service

"Whether you are a casual backyard birdwatcher just learning to identify woodland birds or an experienced birder with a shelf full of field guides, this is the book for you! A regional field guide for the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive will have a place in your back pack as you hike the trails or tucked conveniently under the front seat as you enjoy cruising the roads. The descriptions of the birds are detailed (yet brief), the comments on habitat are helpful, and the illustrations on the facing page are very nice." - Thelma Dalmas, past president, Virginia Society of Ornithology

"What a gem this little book is! Crisp and succinct descriptions of pertinent field marks, ranges, distribution, and habitats are complemented by very helpful illustrations on the facing pages. Top that off with easy-to-read maps, a list of unusual and extremely rare species, and a checklist of the birds listed in the main text, and you’ve got the perfect field guide for a hike in the mountains, a ride on the Blue Ridge or through the Great Smokies, or a day of exploring the nearby areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia." - Teta Kain, past president, Virginia Society of Ornithology