12 Books for Budding New England Naturalists

Photo of Black Locust flower buds

A well-chosen reference library can go a long way in supporting your naturalist endeavors. Here are a dozen titles that together form a well-rounded base to ground your studies. Look for used copies to purchase, or better yet, borrow them from your local library first, to make sure they speak your language. For alternative and additional recommendations on these and other nature topics, see my Books, DVDs, & Audio Picks.

General New England Nature Guides

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England (2012) by Kenn & Kimberly Kaufman

Naturally Curious: A photographic field guide and month-by-month journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England (2010) by Mary Holland

Plant and Fungi Identification

Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (1989) by Lawrence Newcomb [see my Newcomb's for Beginners series]

Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs (1973) by George Petrides

A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families: Northeastern and central North America (2005) by Boughton Cobb

Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England (1999) by George Barron

Plant Foraging

The Forager's Harvest: A guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing edible wild plants (2006) by Samuel Thayer

Ancestral Plants: A primitive skills guide to important edible, medicinal, and useful plants of the northeast (Vol. 1, 2010) by Arthur Haines [available as an eBook]

Animal Identification

Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern & Central North America (6th edition, 2010) by Roger Tory Peterson

Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (2007) by Eric R. Eaton

A Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools (2009) by Leo P. Kenney

Tracking and the Art of Seeing (1999) by Paul Rezendes

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