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There was time when all there was were confusing and misleading illustrations and very little information on shorebirds. This book changed that. From 1977 on, even if you weren't a bander but a birder scoping out flocks of shorebirds, Now you could look at a shorebird and a have a reasonably good chance if identifying it, aging it, and even determining its sex. For the birders who wanted fine-point discrimination to identify difficult shorebirds, suddenly, it was there. Before the great explosion of sophisticated ID guides in the 1980's and 1990's, there was this book, and boy, did we learn some serious ID chops from it.