Birding, the active seeking out and identification of birds, is a wide‐spread and fast growing avocation on this continent, and indeed throughout the world. Jon Rickert's A Guide to North American Bird Clubs lists 17 national/continental organizations for both professional ornithologists and amateur birders and 844 state, provincial, and local associations. In addition, there are those legions of “unorganized” bird watchers and occasional, inquisitive discoverers of backyard birds. Members of this diverse congregation of birders have at least one thing in common — the need for a reliable identification tool enabling them to correctly label the just‐seen, unfamiliar bird. A field guide is just such a tool.
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