This chapter examines birding in the environmental age, with particular emphasis on how environmental conservation influenced the balance between conservation and recreation in the hobby and the ways ecological insights changed field guides. It first looks at the boom in recreational birding and field guides' assimilation of ecology and environmentalism before turning to a discussion of conservation in the environmental age. It then considers a number of guides and their variety, including David Sibley's Sibley Guide to Birds, the American Bird Conservancy's All the Bird of North America, and James D. Rising's A Guide to the Identification and Natural History of the Sparrows of the United States and Canada. It also discusses the migration of field guides and other birding essentials to the Internet and handheld electronics and the proliferation of books, CDs, websites, and catalogs that reveal much about the consumer side of birdwatching in the environmental age.
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