Animal Tracks of the Great Lakes
Animal Tracks of the Great Lakes is a small book, but it covers most of the main animals of the Great Lakes region. It could also be used in other regions as well, since a lot of the animals are common in other areas. In addition to animal tracks, it also has descriptions of the animals, and beautiful illustrations. This is good as a quick reference book, but also is fun to read.
Reference: Ian Sheldon, Animal Tracks of the Great Lakes (Lone Pine Publishing, 1997) 159 pgs.
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Animal Tracks of the Great Lakes at Indiebound.org
Peterson Guide to Animal Tracks
Book Review: Peterson Guide to Animal Tracks
The Peterson Guide to Animal Tracks is a very thorough book on how to track North American animals, mainly mammals. The authors have a thorough knowledge of the subject matter, and include information and photos on tracking animals in various conditions, including: sand, mud, and snow. There are beautiful line drawings of animals, as well as photos of animal tracks, and pictures of further signs of animals, like nests and scats. Some of the more interesting drawings are of different kinds of rabbits, a weasel peeking out of the snow, and a comparison of fox, coyote, and wolf tracks. There is also an introduction and an extensive bibliography.
Reference: Olaus J. Murray and Mark Elbroch, A Field Guide to Animal Tracks, third edition (New York: Houghton Mifflin 2005), 391 pages.
Book Review: Butterflies of the North Woods
Butterflies of the North Woods by Larry Weber is an excellent field guide for identification of butterflies. It is part of the North Woods Naturalist series, covering the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. How many times have you seen a butterfly flying by, and weren’t sure what it was? This field guide not only has excellent photos, but it also has a lot of information on the habits of butterflies, such as what food they eat and what food the butterfly caterpillars eat. It really helped me out, because we get a lot of brown butterflies with eyespots in this area that all look very similar. It helped me to differentiate between them, by comparing the number of eyespots, etc. Also included is an interesting section on the history of butterflies, such as: butterflies are really a type of moth that may have started flying during the day to get away from moth-eating bats. There is also information on day-flying moths that only look like butterflies. Also part of the series: Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods, Dragonfies of the North Woods, and Damselflies of the North Woods.
Reference: Larry Weber, Butterflies of the North Woods, 2nd edition,(Duluth,MN:Kollath+Stensaas Publishing, 2006)
Book Review: Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods
An interesting field guide is Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods by Jim Sogaard (Duluth,MN: Kollath+Stensaas Publishing 2009). This guide focuses totally on moths, unlike other guides that also cover butterflies. It is part of the North Woods Naturalist series, and covers the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. This is a really excellent guide because the pictures are very good, and the information is easy to understand. It even contains a natural history of moths, and has some information I didn’t know about, such as: butterflies are really a type of moth, and butterflies may have developed the ability to fly during the day in order to get away from moth-eating bats. Moths have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and have developed many different colorings and defenses. Some of the moths are as brightly colored as butterflies, while others are camoflaged to look like tree bark. Some of the plain looking moths are very brightly colored as caterpillars, or have unusual tufts of hair. All in all this is an interesting book, because moths don’t seem to be talked about as much as butterflies. This is one of the reasons why the author wrote the book: he thinks that butterflies are great, but that moths are interesting as well, and deserve a book of their own.
Book Review- National Audubon Society Mammals
John O. Whitaker, Jr., National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals, (New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc., 1996, 2nd edition).
This is a fantastic field guide to mammals. It has a lot of information and good photos, and I have used it as a source for a lot of my articles (posts). The photos look realistic,like the photos were taken in the wild, and each family of animals has a seperate introduction, so you can see how all the animals in that group are similar. The information onthe individual species give helpful info on how to identify these animals, the kind of tracks they make, other signs they leave, a range map, and their habitat. All in all it is a good investment, and it often includes interesting facts about these animals that you might not know. I got this book some time ago, so there might be a newer edition.