Field Guide Requirements-- some thoughts

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Field Guide Requirements-- some thoughts
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 10:46:26 +1000
I think that "taxonomic order" is something that exists in people's imaginations.

No two lists that I have come across use the same order - every guide is different. Each author seems to have his/her own interpretation. The ordering in S&D is very different to P&K for example.

I agree with Bob that a field guide should be based on observational order - it makes no sense to have quail and button quail in different parts of the guide, or similarly to separate treecreepers from sitellas, gulls/terns from the pelagic birds etc.

Regards, Laurie.

On Friday, March 9, 2007, at 10:26  AM, Peter Shute wrote:

Some comments from a beginning birder, interquoted below:

Once the bird has been identified the user can then refer to
one of umpteen texts to read that author's version of the
birds' sequence in a Taxonomic listing.

As a beginner I was a bit mystified by the ordering (until I read the
introduction that explained it).  I guess taxonomic order doesn't help
with identification, but at least it makes it possible to have all the
books use the same order, which I think is useful.  I.e. different
authors are going to have different ideas about what looks similar.
Perhaps a compromise is to add some instructions to "see similar birds
on page x".  S&D give a few good clues, e.g. the Wilson's Phalarope
picture has an extra Marsh Sandpiper picture beside it.

"What Bird is That" groups them by habitat, which I find a bit useless
in the garden, as they're not in their normal environment.

I don't mind taxonomic order, but it does tend to wear the book out with
all the extra page flipping.  I've added postit flags to the start of
all the main groups to minimise the flipping I have to do.  I think one
of the Guides has that built into the book. None of mine do, so I think
it might be Morcombe, which I don't have.


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU