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Tracking Skills

Companion Guide to Trackards for North American Mammals by David Brown (2013)

The Companion Guide to Trackards for North American Mammals provides detailed information in book form to assist users of Trackards or other tracking aids to accurately identify the tracks of mammals that they have found. Information is provided for front- and hind-foot track characteristics of each featured mammal, trail patterns, ways to differentiate each featured mammal s tracks from others with which they might be confused, scat characteristics, and peripheral evidence such as preferred habitats, damage to vegetation, feeding residue, and other evidence that can enhance the likelihood of accurate identification of tracks. The book also contains additional illustrations showing variations on track and scat morphology, habitat preferences, and other types of visual information that can facilitate track identification. The Companion Guide is sized to fit in the same jacket pocket as the cards so that it can be carried easily in the field and be available when you need it. goodreads – worldcat libraries

The Next Step: Interpreting Animal Tracks, Trails and Sign by David Brown (2015)

The Next Step is not another track identification guidebook. Rather, it is a book that will assist the tracker to proceed from the discovery and accurate identification of animal tracks through the search for other tracks and associated sign toward reaching an informed idea an interpretation of what the animal that made the tracks was experiencing at the time those tracks were made. The opening chapter frames the subject by touching on the difficulties and the rewards of tracking. Following chapters move through considerations of how the tracker finds, recognizes, and mentally processes the tracks and sign encountered; the role of different environments in hosting, influencing, and recording evidence of animal behaviors; the way in which tracks record different patterns of animal movement across and through those environments; provide examples of how information gathered by the tracker can be synthesized into an interpretation of the animal’s behavior at the time that the tracks were made.

Detailed information about the tracks, trails, and sign of selected species of mammals is provided in a lengthy chapter, following which is a presentation of tracking tips, tracking problems for the reader-tracker to solve, and three forays into the world of the mountain lion in search of tracks and sign of an unusually elusive target. Back matter includes a glossary, two appendices, references, and an index.

The Next Step will be useful to a wide range of readers and trackers, from professionals in biological sciences and natural resources to those more casual nature enthusiasts wanting to broaden their insights into the animal life taking place around them. Any reader who has an identified animal track with which to begin may take “the next step” toward documenting and interpreting the behavior of the wild animal whose trail or sign he or she may have found in forest, field, and wetland. The Next Step is at the front of the game of interpreting animal tracks, trails, and signs. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Tom Brown’s Science and Art of Tracking by Tom Brown Jr. (1999)

The Science and Art of Tracking expands upon Tom Brown’s most enduring subject: the important life lessons to be learned through tracking skills. Tom Brown was taught the ancient skills of survival by a Native American he called Grandfather. His most advanced lessons were those of the scouts, members of a secret society who were highly attuned to nature. The scouts refined tracking to a disciplined science and art form. With these physical skills came enhanced perception and true enlightment. “Tracking was their doorway to the universe,” Tom Brown writes, “where they could know all things through the tracks…”Now Tom Brown, Jr. shares generations of wisdom through one of the most rewarding pursuits to be found in nature. Tracking lets us unlock the secrets of each animal we follow, and in turn, to become more aware of our own place in nature and the world. It is a journey of discovery that engages the senses, awakens the spirit, and enlightens the soul. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Abbreviated Field Guide to Mammal Behavior: New England Region by Kathy Dean (2021) 

This book includes species accounts of 30 wild mammals detailing particular aspects of their natural history. Succinct descriptions of each animal’s behavior follow the headings of Activity, Habitat, Communication, Food, Anatomy & Senses, Breeding, Gestation & Birth, Dispersal of Young and Miscellaneous.  CWMARS — Trotting Fox Programs

Tracks & sign of insects & other invertebrates : a guide to North American species by Charley Eiseman & Noah Charney (2010)

The first-ever reference to the sign left by insects and other North American invertebrates includes descriptions and almost 1,000 color photos of tracks, egg cases, nests, feeding signs, galls, webs, burrows, and signs of predation. Identification is made to the family level, sometimes to the genus or species. It’s an invaluable guide for wildlife professionals, naturalists, students, and insect specialists. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species by Mark Elbroch (2006)

Comprehensive guide to the animals of North America – Fully illustrated with drawings and photographs – User-friendly format makes comparing species easy This uniquely thorough reference and guidebook offers illustrations, descriptions, and measurements for the skulls of some 275 animal species found throughout North America. The skull–the collection of bones that house and protect a creature’s brain and sensory organs–is the key anatomical feature used to identify an animal and understand many of its behaviors. This book describes in words and pictures the bones and regions of the skull important to identification, including illustrations of all the bones in the cranium, leading to a greater understanding of a creature’s place in the natural world. Life-size drawings and detailed measurements make this guide an invaluable reference for wildlife professionals, trackers, and animal-lovers alike. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Bird Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species by Mark Elbroch, Eleanor Marks (2001)

Songbirds, waterfowl, owls, shorebirds, warblers, woodpeckers, nightjars, birds of prey – Dozens of feather groups photographed in color A sighting in the field is just one way birders can identify bird species. Observant nature-lovers can discover what birds are where by examining tracks, trails, and a variety of bird sign: discarded feathers, feeding leftovers and caches, pellets, nests, droppings, and skulls and bones. This fully illustrated guide–the first of its kind for North American birds–presents thorough and straightforward instruction for identifying bird families or individual species by careful examination of the unique sign they leave behind. It also offers keys to the birds’ behavior in the wild. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species by Mark Elbroch & Casey McFarland (2019)

The most comprehensive reference guide to mammal tracks and sign for North America. This new edition is more visual, with more than 1300 photos and 450 illustrations for easy comparison and identification of similar sign. Each species account includes information on tracks and trails, scat and urine, nests and lodges, as well as sign on the ground, in trees and shrubs, on fungi and on plants. Winner of the 2019 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Classic Books. goodreads – worldcat libraries – Commonwealth Catalog

Mammal Tracks and Sign of the Northeast by Diane K. Gibbons (2003)

A field guide for identifying the tracks of mammal species native to the region which extends from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania to eastern Canada. Simple to use and light and easy to carry in the field, the book contains the most important information that a tracker will need–including life-size illustrations of tracks and scat, gait patterns, trail width, species habitat, food sources, scat and urine information, breeding seasons, range maps, and special tracking tips for all thirty-seven species. A unique dichotomous key devised by the author allows trackers to identify even the most confusing track through a process of elimination. The charming, highly detailed, and to-scale pencil illustrations are indispensable aids to accurate identification. Mammal Tracks and Sign of the Northeast is an artistic and accurately rendered guide suitable for professional trackers, naturalists and wildlife professionals, outdoor educators, hunters, and amateurs alike. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Stories in tracks and sign : reading the clues that animals leave behind by Diane K. Gibbons (2008)

Test your ability to “read” the wilderness environment – Dozens of illustrated examples of animal behaviors and the resulting sign Beautiful nature photographs combined with illustrations allow readers to discover the mystery behind wild animal tracks and sign. Detailed information about each sign is provided, urging readers to imagine what animal might have made a particular footprint, left fleece on a rock, built a nest in a grill, and so on. On the next page, an illustration overlaid on the photograph shows what animal made the sign, such as a bobcat balancing on a snow-covered log. Certain to delight readers of all ages, this book presents a unique perspective on how to read animal tracks and sign in the wild. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Scats and Tracks of the Northeast: A Field Guide to the Signs of 70 Wildlife Species by James Halfpenny, James Bruchac (2015)

See those animal signs on the trail? Was that footprint left by a fox or a wolf? Was that pile of droppings deposited by a moose, a mouse, or a marten? Scats and Tracks of the Northeast will help you determine which mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have passed your way and could still be nearby. Clearly written descriptions and illustrations of scats, tracks, and gait patterns will help you recognize seventy Northeast species. An identification key, a glossary of tracking terms, and detailed instructions on how to document your finds are also included here. Easy-to-use scat and track measurements appear on each page, making this book especially field friendly and letting you know if a white tailed ptarmigan, a red fox, or even a black bear has been your way.

goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Backtracking: The Way of a Naturalist by Ted Levin (2007)

When I come upon an animals tracks in the woods, I find myself moving back against the animals direction to trace where it started from, Ted Levin writes in Backtracking: The Way of a Naturalist, He also traces his own development as a naturalist from his boyhood roots on suburban Long Island to his present life in northern New England. Along the way he introduces us to all sorts of wild creatures from red-backed salamanders, cicadas, and rattlesnakes to manatees, coyotes, and bald eagles. Ted Levins involvement is different than most outdoor naturalists. He lives with wild creatures at one time or another, a fisher, a short-tailed weasel, barred owls, milk snakes, and brown bats as well as observes them in the wild. Often, the wild turns out to be an interstate highway, a crowded beach, or a parking lot. He shows us how accessible the natural world is, that we need look no further than our own backyards to find it. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Mammal Tracks and Scat: Life-Size Pocket Guide by Lynn Levine, Martha Mitchell (2014)

Waterproof Pocket Guide with Life-Size Tracks and Scat. For tracks, this guide uses a unique process to identify 30 different mammals. When the tracks are clear, the book will walk you through a series of simple steps that can lead to identifying the animal. If the tracks are not clear, the guide will help you determine the Track Pattern (walking/trotting, bounding, hopping, or waddling). This will help you to identify which mammal left the tracks you are looking at.

For scat,the book uses a unique two-step process. First, the shape is identified (round or cylinder). Next, each shape is divided into more detailed groupings, such as whether the scat is pointed, twisted or blunt. Additionally, there are other identification clues, such as whether the scat contains insects, bones, seeds or hair. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Practical Tracking: A Guide to Following Footprints and Finding Animals by Louis Liebenberg, Mark Elbroch, Adriaan Louw (2010)

Techniques from international tracking experts applicable to any quarry and terrain – How to follow and find elk, deer, bears, cougars, lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and cape buffalo Finding and identifying tracks and sign of an animal’s passing is only part of the ultimate goal for serious trackers, hunters, and outdoorspeople. They want to follow the trail to reach the animal in question. This detailed guide teaches them how. Written by a trio of master trackers, it covers what to look for to discern an animal’s pathway, what information tracks and sign convey, how to move through the wilderness to get in sight of the quarry, how to avoid dangerous encounters, and more. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Tracker’s Field Guide: A Comprehensive Manual for Animal Tracking by James C. Lowery (2013)

Jim Lowery is among North America’s leading tracking experts. In this book he distills his remarkable expertise, gained over decades of intensive research and practical field experience, into a comprehensive field guide to tracking North American mammals. Fully illustrated with hundreds of drawings and high-resolution photographs, The Tracker’s Field Guide sets a new standard for tracking books. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Peterson Field Guide to North American Bird Nests by Casey McFarland (2021) 

Beyond being a simple reference book, the Peterson Field Guide to North American Bird Nests is a practical, educational, and intimate doorway to our continent’s bird life. The diversity of nests and nesting strategies of birds reflect the unique biology and evolution of these charismatic animals. Unlike any other book currently on the market, this guide comprehensively incorporates nest design, breeding behavior, and habitat preferences of North American birds to provide the reader with a highly functional field resource and an engaging perspective of this sensitive part of a bird’s life cycle .  CWMARS — goodreads

Wildlife and habitats : a collection of tracking and natural history essays by Sue Morse (2021) 

Based on years of Sue’s writings for Northern Woodlands magazine, this new, 2021 edition describes in more detail than ever the habits and habitats of more than 25 species. In more than 300 pages, its 96 articles delve deeply into wildlife behavior and communications. You’ll also find easy tips, tricks and techniques to identify wildlife sign not just by tracks but also by the subtlest clues. Keeping track

Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign by Paul Rezendes (1992/1999)

Renowned nature photographer and tracking expert Paul Rezendes brings the fields and forests to life with his unique observations on North American wildlife and their tracks and sign. Illustrated with hundreds of his original photographs, Tracking & the Art of Seeing provides complete information on the behavior and habitat of over 50 animal species and shows you how to identify animals by their tracks, tail patterns, droppings, dens, scratches and other signs. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Porcupines: The Animal Answer Guide by Uldis Roze (2012) 

This guide presents solid, current science in the field of porcupine biology. Uldis Roze compares and contrasts porcupines in terms of body plan, behavior, ecology, reproduction, and evolutionary relationships. He examines the diversity of porcupines from around the world–from North and South America to Africa and Asia.  It explores the interactions between humans and porcupines, including hunting, use of quills by aboriginal societies, efforts to poison porcupines, and human and pet injuries (and deaths) caused by porcupines. Roze also highlights the conservation issues that surround some porcupine species, such as the thin-spine porcupine of Brazil, which is so rare that it was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in the 1980s. goodreads

Field Guide to Tracking Mammals in the Northeast by Linda J. Spielman (2017)

A Field Guide to Tracking Mammals in the Northeast gives you all the details necessary for following animals large and small—from chipmunks and woodchucks to bobcats and black bears. Meticulously drawn illustrations and informative discussions provide the user with an array of tools for identification unmatched in any other tracking book. This guide also includes thorough discussions of distinguishing features, illustrations of scat, notes on other signs and habitat, measurements for tracks and gaits, and diagrams of characteristic gaits. Lightweight, portable, and comprehensive, this book is an ideal tool for trackers at all levels. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Related Skills & Knowledge

Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking by Tom Brown Jr. (1986)

Utilizing the ancient lore of Native Americans, Tom Brown passes on a timeless tradition that connects humankind to Earth. This unique volume teaches us the basics of sight, smell, and taste; it shows us how to become one with nature, and how to receive all the signs and signals of the multitude of living creatures with whom we share the beauty and bounty of the wilderness. How to restore to our senses all the amazing powers stolen away by civilization; How to move as silently as the Native American scouts; How to spot and identify the tracks of a vast variety of animals; How to find humas lost in the wilderness. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year by David M. Carroll (2001)

David Carroll has dedicated his life to art and to wetlands. He is as passionate about swamps, bogs, and vernal ponds and the creatures who live in them as most of us are about our families and closest friends. He knows frogs and snakes, muskrats and minks, dragonflies, water lilies, cattails, sedges–everything that swims, flies, trudges, slithers, or sinks its roots in wet places. In this “intimate and wise book” (Sue Hubbell), Carroll takes us on a lively, unforgettable yearlong journey, illustrated with his own elegant drawings, through the wetlands and reveals why they are so important to his life and ours — and to all life on Earth. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild by Craig Childs (2007)

Whether recalling the experience of being chased through the Grand Canyon by a bighorn sheep, swimming with sharks off the coast of British Columbia, watching a peregrine falcon perform acrobatic stunts at 200 miles per hour, or engaging in a tense face-off with a mountain lion near a desert waterhole, Craig Childs captures the moment so vividly that he puts the reader in his boots. Each of the forty brief, compelling narratives in The Animal Dialogues focuses on the author’s own encounter with a particular species and is replete with astonishing facts about the species’ behavior, habitat, breeding, and lifespan. But the glory of each essay lies in Childs’s ability to portray the sometimes brutal beauty of the wilderness, to capture the individual essence of wild creatures, to transport the reader beyond the human realm and deep inside the animal kingdom. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Crossing Paths: Uncommon Encounters with Animals in the Wild by Craig Childs (1997)

Childs has taught desert ecology, worked as a river guide, and lived in a tepee in the Colorado Rockies. Through these essays, he shares his experiences with animals in the wild, as well as his thoughts and feelings about the wild. He certainly has the experiences to share, whether he’s talking about finding himself face to face with a mountain lion, trying to take photos of easily disturbed pronghorn antelopes, or under assault by single-minded mosquitoes. The information is solid, and Childs’s reflections leave the reader with more to think about than just another animal encounter. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Behavior of North American Mammals by Mark Elbroch, Kurt Rinehart (2011)

A guide not to identifying mammals, but to understanding what they do, Behavior of North American Mammals provides detailed information on more than 70 species of mammals and includes illuminating and attractive photographs and drawings. Comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible, the book includes information on daily and seasonal activity, food and foraging, home range and habitat, communication, courtship and mating, development and dispersal of young, interactions with their own species, and interactions with other species. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Moose : behavior, ecology, conservation by Valerius Geist

Found from Alaska to New England, moose, the largest living member of the deer family, are the biggest of the big game animals of North America. Did you know that a large bull moose can top the scales at a whopping 1,400 pounds and stands a towering six to seven feet tall? But it’s not just its body that makes the moose such an enormous, imposing figure. For example, the Alaskan moose, the giant of the species, has antlers that can exceed six feet across. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds by Bernd Heinrich (1994)

Much like a sleuth, Heinrich involves us in his quest, letting one clue lead to the next. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a “raven father,” as well as observing them in their natural habitat, studying their daily routines, and in the process painting a vivid picture of the world as lived by the ravens. At the heart of this book are Heinrich’s love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation andanalysis, we become their intimates too.

Throughout history there has existed an extraordinary relationship between humans and ravens. Ravens, like early humans, are scavengers on the kills of great carnivores. As scavengers, ravens were associated with hunters they found in the north: wolves and, later, men. The trinity of wolf, man, and raven in the hunt is an extremely ancient one. In considering the appeal of the raven, Bernd Heinrich suspects that a meeting of the minds might reside in that hunting trinity.

Heinrich’s passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven takes you on an exotic journey–from New England to Germany, Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic–offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich (2003)

From flying squirrels to grizzly bears, torpid turtles to insects with antifreeze, the animal kingdom relies on some staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who must alter their environment to accommodate our physical limitations, animals are adaptable to an amazing range of conditions–i.e., radical changes in a creature’s physiology take place to match the demands of the environment. Winter provides an especially remarkable situation, because of how drastically it affects the most elemental component of all life: water.

Examining everything from food sources in the extremely barren winter landscape to the chemical composition that allows certain creatures to survive, Heinrich’s Winter World awakens the largely undiscovered mysteries by which nature sustains herself through the harsh, cruel exigencies of winters. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-By-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England by Mary Holland (2010)

Are you ready for a black fly bite to get graphic, for a barred owl’s call to take on new meaning, and for the life cycle of the eastern newt to suddenly seem complex, beautiful, and intricately bound to the subtle patterns of mysterious underwater landscapes and damp forest floors? Naturalist Mary Holland’s new book Naturally Curious promises a walk in the woods will never be the same. Holland leads you through the New England seasons out-of-doors—through the sun, rain, and snow; along roadsides and wetlands; above underground burrows and under treetop nesting sites. With just a turn of the page you’ll suddenly know more about the creatures that frequent your backyard or the pond you visit every summer than you ever thought possible. Naturally Curious perfectly melds practical field guide with informal nature literature, providing you the remarkable opportunity to sit back, relax, and learn something fascinating about the natural world around you. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Naturally Curious Day by Day: A Photographic Field Guide and Daily Visit to the Forests, Fields, and Wetlands of Eastern North America by Mary Holland

This follow-up to Naturally Curious, a National Outdoor Book Award winner, is a day-by-day account of nature observations throughout the year. Daily entries include entertaining and enlightening observations about specific animal or plant activity happening in eastern North America on that date. Set up as a naturalist’s journal, entries describe in detail sightings and events in the natural world and are accompanied by stunning color photographs of birds, animals, insects, plants, and more. Essays throughout describe specific events in nature happening during each month, while sidebars supply natural history facts and information pertinent to the topics of the month or the time of year. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Forest Cats of North America by Jerry Kobalenko (2008)

Forest Cats of North America is an intensive look at panthers, cougars, lynxes and bobcats, describing each species in detail. Range maps identify where the cats live and fact files feature scientific and common names, number of subspecies, physical traits, diet, life span and more. Spectacular color photographs capture these cats as they stalk, hunt and raise their young. The fascinating evolution of big cats is covered including the differences between North American and African cats and how the cougar may well be the ancestor of the cheetah. goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Liquid Land: A Journey through the Florida Everglades by Ted Levin (2004)

Consider just two of the countless facts about the damage we have done to the Everglades: Half of its original 14,000-square-mile expanse is gone, and saving what is left will cost at least $8.4 billion. Alluding to destruction on a scale we can barely grasp, figures like these can at once stir and immobilize us. In Liquid Land, Ted Levin guides us past the dire headlines and into the magnificent swamp itself, where we come face-to-face with the plants, animals, and landscapes that remain and that will survive only if we protect them.Levin has traveled extensively through the Everglades, often in the company of such dedicated individuals as Archie Jones, the conchologist who for fifty years has been studying and rescuing tree snails, or Frank Mazzotti, with whom Levin spent two weeks in the field monitoring American crocodiles. Through Levin’s adventures we come to know intimately a place where water was meant to flow as a broad, shallow “sheet” and where minuscule changes in elevation yield a dramatic change in the diversity of life, from manatees and mangroves on the coast to panthers and orchids in the interior.

Throughout, Levin profiles the various parties who have tried to master, protect, or coexist with the Everglades–from the agribusiness concerns known collectively as Big Sugar to Friends of the Everglades to a small community west of Miami, nameless but for the designation “8.5 Square Mile Area.” As we float, sometimes slog, alongside Levin through hammocks, keys, and sloughs, we see firsthand how drainage and development have led to water pollution and salinity fluctuations, a disruption of the swamp’s wet/dry seasonal cycle, an explosion in the mosquito population, and a weakened response of the ecosystem to drought, fire, hurricanes, and invasive species.

Liquid Land captures the Everglades’ essential beauty and mystery as it explores ongoing restoration efforts. Our success or failure will have an impact on environmental policy around the world, Levin believes. As the preservationist rallying cry goes, “The Everglades is a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet.” goodreads – worldcat libraries 

Life in the Cold: An Introduction to Winter Ecology by Peter J. Marchand (2014: fourth edition)

Peter Marchand believes that winter is unfairly misunderstood, a season associated with “stillness, darkness, and death.” Yet as each spring affirms, living things somehow manage to reappear. Since 1987, when the first edition appeared and was chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s 101 Best Sci-Tech Books, Marchand has been treating thousands of readers to a winter world that is very much alive. Now in this enlarged third edition, he offers a brand new chapter adding complete information on three major animal groups: northern cervids (deer, elk, moose, and caribou); semiaquatic mammals (beaver, otter, mink, and muskrat); and gallinaceous birds (grouse and ptarmigan). Experts and novices alike will find Life in the Cold indispensable and enjoyable. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Wild Harmony: Animals of the North by William Obadiah Pruitt (1988)

Describes the wild animals that inhabit the taiga, a subarctic zone, and discusses the region’s characteristics and seasons.

goodreads – worldcat libraries

Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places by Bill Streever (2009)

From avalanches to glaciers, from seals to snowflakes, and from Shackleton’s expedition to “The Year Without Summer,” Bill Streever journeys through history, myth, geography, and ecology in a year-long search for cold–real, icy, 40-below cold. In July he finds it while taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic swimming hole; in September while excavating our planet’s ancient and not so ancient ice ages; and in October while exploring hibernation habits in animals, from humans to wood frogs to bears. A scientist whose passion for cold runs red hot, Streever is a wondrous guide: he conjures woolly mammoth carcasses and the ice-age Clovis tribe from melting glaciers, and he evokes blizzards so wild readers may freeze–limb by vicarious limb.

goodreads – worldcat libraries 

The Shrub Identification Book by George W.D. Symonds (1973)

The book is in two parts: Pictorial Keys and Master Pages. The Keys are designed for easy visual comparison of details which look alike, narrowing the identification of a shrub to one of a small group — the family or genus. Then, in the Master Pages, the species of the shrub is determined, with similar details placed together to highlight differences within the family group, thus eliminating all other possibilities. The details of laurel blossoms on this plate are an example and are followed in the book by details of laurel fruit, leaves, and bark. All of the 3,550 photographs were made specifically for use in this book and were taken either in the field or of fresh material carefully selected from the more than 20,000 specimens collected. Wherever possible, details such as leaves, fruit, twigs, etc., appear in actual size; otherwise, similar details are reproduced in the same scale. goodreads – worldcat libraries

The Tree Identification Book by George W.D. Symonds, Stephen V. Chelminski (1958)

The book is in two parts: Pictorial Keys and Master Pages. The Keys are designed for easy visual comparison of details which look alike, narrowing the identification of a tree to one of a small group — the family or genus. Then, in the Master Pages, the species of the tree is determined, with similar details placed together to highlight differences within the family group, thus eliminating all other possibilities. The details of the Oak trees on this plate are an example of the system. All of the more than 1500 photographs were made specifically for use in this book and were taken either in the field or of carefully collected specimens. Where possible, details such as leaves, fruit, etc., appear in actual size, or in the same scale.


Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels, Brian D. Cohen (1999)

An intrepid sleuth and articulate tutor, Wessels teaches us to read a landscape the way we might solve a mystery. What exactly is the meaning of all those stone walls in the middle of the forest? Why do beech and birch trees have smooth bark when the bark of all other northern species is rough? How do you tell the age of a beaver pond and determine if beavers still live there? Why are pine trees dominant in one patch of forest and maples in another? What happened to the American chestnut? Turn to this book for the answers, and no walk in the woods will ever be the same. goodreads – worldcat libraries

Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast by Michael Wojtech (2011)

Many people know how to identify trees by their leaves, but what about when those leaves have fallen or are out of reach? With detailed information and illustrations covering each phase of a tree’s lifecycle, this indispensable guidebook explains how to identify trees by their bark alone.

Chapters on the structure and ecology of tree bark, descriptions of bark appearance, an easy-to-use identification key, and supplemental information on non-bark characteristics–all enhanced by over 450 photographs, illustrations, and maps–will show you how to distinguish the textures, shapes, and colors of bark to recognize various tree species, and also understand why these traits evolved.

Whether you’re a professional naturalist or a parent leading a family hike, Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast is your essential guide to the region’s 67 native and naturalized tree species. goodreads – worldcat libraries

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