American Game Birds

Illustrating More Than One Hundred Species In Natural Colors

By Chester A. Reed


Pages 5 & 6


     This book is the result of repeated requests from sportsmen in the last few years for a convenient handbook illustrative and descriptive of the game birds. Although there are hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of volumes dealing with hunting the various species of wild fowl, we believe "American Game Birds" to be the first to illustrate practically all of them with accurately colored plates.

     Circumstances permitting, nearly every man or boy capable of holding a gun is, or sometime will be, a sportsman. Many sportsmen are expert ornithologists, well acquainted with the names and habits of most of the birds, but the great majority are not and often secure game which they or their friends are unable to name. "American Game Birds," according to an old sportsman who has hunted all kinds of game in all parts of our country, will be a boon to sportsmen of all calibers, for "the novice has got to have it to know what he is shooting, the man familiar with the birds of his locality will want it in order to see what his brother sportsmen are shooting in other parts of the country, and the old-timer will literally renew his youth as he turns over the pages and sees portraits of his old bird acquaintances and recalls the exact places and circumstances of their former capture."

     A book with this title might very properly commence with the most popular game birds and continue down the list to the least popular ones, but if we placed the Ruffed Grouse or the Bob-white in the van, some sportsman who believes there is no game but ducks would be sure to be offended. Since there is a natural order of birds that is adopted by scientists the world over, we have taken up our so-called game birds in this natural order, an arrangement that brings the Mergansers or "Fish Ducks" to the fore, even though they are not desirable as an article of food. We have included all the ducks, even though many of them are not fit to eat, and also all the sandpipers, even though many of them are so tiny that none but the veriest novice would intentionally shoot them, for the reason that they are very commonly seen, can be legally shot, and many are inadvertently taken before their identity is discovered.

     Chester A. Reed.

     Worcester, Mass., August, 1912.