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Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast

Joan Easton Lentz (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 329 pages
ISBN: 9780520243217
November 2005
$26.95, £22.00
This easy-to-use, concise, informative guide is a must for anyone who wants to leave behind Southern California's noisy freeways and crowded beaches in search of the wild places where birds can be found. An excellent introduction, an indispensable regional guide, and a perfect companion for excursions from San Luis Obispo County to the Mexican border, it is designed to familiarize birdwatchers, hikers, naturalists, residents, and travelers with the appearance and behavior of 120 of the most common coastal birds.

*Features 120 superb color plates and lifelike habitat drawings that depict birds in their natural surroundings

*Sixteen maps show numerous birding sites accompanied by detailed directions

*Species accounts include information on the abundance and seasonal status of each bird and give intriguing natural history details

*Introductory sections describe the coastal habitats of Southern California, provide tips for beginning birdwatchers, and discuss the basics of bird behavior

A Bird’s Eye View
Boundaries of the Coastal Strip
Climate and Habitats
Birding Basics: What to Look For
How Coastal Birds Live
Feeding and Flocking
Nesting Colonies
Before You Go
Species Accounts
Geese and Ducks
Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns
New World Vultures
Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
Stilts and Avocets
Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers
Barn Owls
Tyrant Flycatchers
Crows and Ravens
Swallows and Martins
Starlings and Mynas
Pipits and Wagtails
Blackbirds and Orioles
Birding Sites along the Coast
San Diego County
Orange County
Los Angeles County
Ventura County
Santa Barbara County
San Luis Obispo County
Going by Boat
Shoreline Size Chart
Gull Identification

Seasonal Occurrence Bar Graphs
Suggested Reading
Joan Easton Lentz is a Research Associate with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She also teaches bird classes for the Santa Barbara Community College Continuing Education Division and is author of Great Birding Trips of the West (1989) and Birdwatching: A Guide for Beginners (1985).
“The University of California Press has produced over the years many fine handbooks on that state’s natural history. This latest volume is within their Introductory series and is clearly designed for the birding beginner. here popular ornithologist Lentz presents the 120 most common bird species of the coast, south of Monterey to San Diego, California. Each species is shown in an excellent color photograph and discussed in about a page of text. The accounts include ecological and behavioral attributes of the birds as well as standard field guide descriptions. The handbook also summarizes the birding sites (e.g., refuges, parks) along this coastal strip, in 50 pages with many maps. A long introductory section starts the book with birding basics for the novice. Inquisitive residents and travelers in this area will appreciate the accessibility provided for the rich avifauna.”—Charles Leck ARBA (Amer Reference Books Annual)
“The entries in ‘Birds of the Southern California Coast’ are often painterly descriptions.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Coastal southern California offers some of the best birdwatching anywhere. The best way to learn about the birds here would be to go on a field trip with Joan Lentz, but if you can't do that, reading this book is the next best thing. Joan shares her knowledge of birdlife with clear, graceful writing and with contagious enthusiasm, making this book the perfect introduction to the subject."—Kenn Kaufman, author of Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America

"Joan Lentz has a gift for making the complex world of birds and birding accessible to the beginner and the casual enthusiast, and through this gift she celebrates in this attractive volume the bird-rich coastal regions of the nation's most ornithologically diverse state. I hope and expect that Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast will expand the numbers of citizens who appreciate and strive to preserve our imperiled coastal habitats."—Kimball L. Garrett, Ornithology Collections Manager, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

"A 5th generation and lifelong California resident, Joan Lentz has the ability to communicate her extensive knowledge to birders of all levels. This book introduces a whole new generation of birders to the wonders of the southern California coast—it will be invaluable to birders of all levels of expertise."—Jon Dunn

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