Vintage 1950s Bird Identification book - A Natural History of American Birds of Eastern and Central North America circa 1955
The little black-capped chickadee is the embodiment of cheerfulness, verve and courage. It can boast no elegant plumes, and it makes no claims as a songster, yet this blithe woodland sprite is a distinctive character, and is a bird masterpiece beyond all praise... (page 343, The Black Capped Chickadee)
First published in 1939, this vintage bird identification book features the ornithological work of Edward Howe Forbush (1858-1929) a child prodigy who grew into a bird expert and nature writer. Edwards's professional career began at the age of 16 when he became the curator of a local ornithological museum in Massachusetts. Before he was 20, he was leading expedition trips to Florida to collect specimens for study and had founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society before he was 40.
In 1925, Edward published a three-volume set entitled Birds of Massachusetts and Other New England States complete with illustrations by Louis Agassiz Fuertes and Allan Brooks. Compiling his life's work into a richly illustrated three-volume set undoubtedly made it an expensive purchase for hobby birders. In 1939, the Commonwealth of Massachusets lent support to create a condensed volume of Edward's original book, along with the original color bird plates. A Natural History of American Birds of Eastern and Central North America was born and offered at a much more reasonable price for all birding enthusiasts.
Retaining all of Edward's insightful descriptions about various birds found in the North American landscape plus adding 100 more species and including additional art by beloved birding expert and artist Roger Tory Peterson, A Natural History of American Birds became a lauded favorite among the birding community.
Beautifully written, each bird's description offers insight into their character, appearance, history, and personality alongside notes on breeding, location, range, and call sounds. Offering a well-rounded understanding of each bird, the color plates also help visually identify each species.
Laid out like a very approachable, very handsome textbook, this go-to resource helps birders quickly identify the winged wonders of North America via a detailed index, but it is also fun to read it like a novel, page by page from beginning to end, because Edward's descriptions of each of our country's beautiful birds are so lively and interesting.
A gorgeous presentation of a gorgeous subject.
- 1959 Edition published by Bramhall House
- 552 pages
- Includes original dust jacket
- Includes 96 full-color illustrations by Roger Tory Peterson, Louis Agassiz Fuertes and Allan Brooks
In lovely vintage condition. The dust jacket contains some minor chippy areas along the top and bottom edge. The front coverboard has a minor dent on the bottom edge, most likely where it was dropped at some point in time. The interior pages and all illustrations are very clean and bright. The spine is tight and all pages are intact. Please see photos.
Measures 11.5" inches (length) x 8" inches (width) x 1.75" inches (thickness) and weighs just a smidge under 4 lbs