Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The NEW Young Birder's Guide!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Well, it's finally here and I'm really happy about that. It's my latest book, the book closest to my heart, and the book that I really wish I'd had as a young bird watcher: The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America. That's right, this baby covers the entire continent, not just the East, as the earlier version did.

Writing a book is like baking a cake. You gather the ingredients, mix them all together in the proper order, and pop it in the oven. Then you wait. And 45 minutes and you have a cake! Or, in the case of a book, you wait a year while it bakes to perfection.

This new YBG has 300 of the most common, most commonly encountered, and most awesome North American birds in it. That's 200 species from the original eastern version of the book (158 of which have at least some distribution west of the Midwest) with 100 additional western species added. It's 368 pages and retails for less than $16. If you want one personalized for yourself or the young birder in your life, here's the place to make that happen.

What makes me really happy is that now young (or new) birders in the West have a book expressly written for them—a book that was conceptualized by their peers (my kids' elementary school classes worked on both books. This one is arriving just as Liam is about to leave elementary school and start high school!).

That's Phoebe Linnea Thompson on the left, me in the middle, and William Henry (Liam) Thompson IV on the right.

My hope is that this book, which is intentionally NOT comprehensive in its coverage of North America's avifauna, will be a great starter guide. Any young bird watcher who gets into our wonderful hobby will then be able to step up to a full field guide of his or her choosing.

I'll be hitting the road in a few weeks to promote the new Young Birder's Guide, heading to South Carolina, West Virginia, central and northwest Ohio, Alaska, North Dakota, Maine, and Florida to give presentations on it and, whenever possible, to go out birding with some young folks. If you've got a young birder in your orbit, I hope to see you out there with the birds. Trust me, we'll have fun!

Thanks to my good friends at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allow me to be a part of the legendary Peterson Field Guide Series. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this...


On April 11, 2012 at 9:50 PM Anne said...

Can't wait to get your new book! I want to donate a copy to my school's library.

On April 11, 2012 at 10:34 PM KaHolly said...

Congratulations! I'm sure it's as wonderful as your volume of the east!!

On April 12, 2012 at 1:11 PM robin andrea said...

Congratulations! Looks like a great book. I wonder if my five-month-old grand-daughter is ready for it!

On April 12, 2012 at 7:42 PM Rosemary Lombard said...

Congratulations! When I was a kid, part of my small library was a beginners' bird book--much skimpier than yours--but it was influential. (Somehow, by a circuitous route, I wound up in animal behavior and natural history.) I'm sure your book will change many young lives.

On April 13, 2012 at 8:03 PM Chad said...

On behalf of the Indiana Young Birders Club, thanks for taking the time to publish such a great book! Providing encouragement to our young birders is so important and you sir are helping to make it a priority! Again, thanks so much!!!


On April 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM LCdave said...

My wife and I enjoyed meeting you at the Santee Birding and Nature Festival. Your leadership of the field trip was outstanding and your keynote presentation was the highlight of our weekend. Look forward to our paths crossing again. You are an amazing spokesperson for the birds!

David Youngblood
Summerville, SC