According to the U.S. Forest Service, nearly half of all Americans spend time observing, identifying, or photographing wildlife and plants, and they invest billions of dollars annually on cameras, binoculars, guided tours, videos, handbooks, and field guides. Still, many people lack the basic skills and insights needed to make effective use of these resources. This remarkable handbook takes a step back from the sea of information to take a fresh look at the fundamentals of observing nature. Advocating a holistic approach, it shows how to move beyond memorization of facts and become better attuned to your surroundings; rather than simply comparing a bird to a picture in a field guide, you'll learn to observe its habitat, its posture, its movement, and a host of other factors. Not only will you be able to identify wildlife more accurately--you'll also gain a deeper understanding of the natural processes going on around you, and you'll enjoy a much richer and more meaningful outdoor experience.
Kurt Rinehart is director of the outdoor program at the Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont. He has participated in research projects across North America, studying mountain lions, jaguars, and wolves.