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Field Guide to North American Wildlife

Join an experienced naturalist for an eye-opening adventure into the variety of wildlife species found across North America.
Field Guide to North American Wildlife is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 14.
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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Basic But Informative Good information, although basic. A good starter course. However, I find the presenter's obeisance to evolution disappointing. I really don't think there's any reason to mention evolution.
Date published: 2024-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative Just finished watching this course. It is one of the best I've taken. I recommend everyone watch it.
Date published: 2024-05-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from NWF propaganda piece I was hoping for a guide to identify NA mammals. This isn't what it's about. The title is misleading.
Date published: 2024-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent information but . . . For me, the true value of this course was not in the information but in the species Mr. Mizejewski chose. The information on the more common species, such as the Black Bear, Salmon and Monarch Butterfly is readily available in programs such as PBS's "Nature." Nothing new from this course. But information on species such as the Red Wolf, Screech Owl and especially the Horseshoe Crab is not that readily available. The Horseshoe Crab held special interest to me as a physician. The crab's blood contains amoebocytes, blood cells which are used to detect and quantify bacterial endotoxins in injectable drugs, medical devices, and vaccines. Mr. Mizejewski presents his material in an easy-going, conversational way, making understandable those concepts which may pose a bit of a problem to those not familiar with his subject. His course guide is excellent, replete with photos and diagrams which greatly aid in understanding the material. But I must agree with DaGeek's excellent review concerning the animal fictional stories which precede each lecture per se. I like a good story but I'm sorry--these were not helpful, in my opinion. He gives wild animals exotic names and attributes to them human emotions and mental constructs that research has proven just do not exist. In each story we are subjected to just plain bad artwork and the insipid background music that TGC/Wondrium seems to favor. We are not children, so please don't treat us as though we are. Despite my above rant, I recommend this course with the caveat that you will have to endure about five minutes of "story time" before the course kicks into gear. The information you will receive, however, is worth that wait.
Date published: 2024-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Survey of 12 Species The title of this course is just a tad misleading as it leads you to believe it is a much larger survey of North American animals. Of course when you see that it are just 12 episodes you hope that is not true. That would indeed be a whirlwind. The presenter concentrates on 12 very interesting species, most of them endangered or threatened by humans or human induced climate change. While my career was in a different field, my first degree is in Biology, and I maintained an interest in the field. There is a lot of good information here, and I found it enjoyable. The presenter has a nice style, and obviously loves his subject. My one gripe with the series was his breakout to an anthropomorphic story in every episode about the animal being featured. To me, it came across like a children's book. I found these a little cheesy and the anthropomorphizing vaguely problematic as the presenter reminded us many times throughout the series that they are wild animals… with the usual precautions. My wife, a retired Special Ed teacher, did not share my opinion about the breakout stories. She enjoyed them. My take is that the presenter and producers are attempting to appeal to an audience of varied ages. On the whole we enjoyed the series. It would be something good to watch with young children or the grandkids.
Date published: 2023-12-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not sure who the intended audience is for this. I didn't finish this course. It felt like it might be geared for elementary or middle grade students, and I wasn't learning anything from it aside from a few bits of trivia. Also, the anthropomorphizing stories about the animals started to feel so patronizing and childish.
Date published: 2023-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very knowledgeable So informative. Learned so much, very interesting animals.
Date published: 2023-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative and well-produced Enjoyed the depth of coverage of each species and particularly the excellent photos, maps, and other graphics. The presenter was outstanding: easy to understand and consistently focused on the topic at hand. The subject was presented in a easily understandable manner while at the same time, not dumbed-down. Technical terms were used and shown on the screen. Kids should enjoy the general presentation; students of wildlife will appreciate the technical aspects.
Date published: 2023-12-16
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Overview

Join author and television series host David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, for a fascinating 12-lecture course that focuses on 12 wild animals found throughout North America. Field Guide to North American Wildlife is a chance to experience the beauty and wonder of these incredible animals and to learn why safeguarding their future is up to us.

About

David Mizejewski

At the National Wildlife Federation, we believe wildlife is part of our natural heritage and a source of endless wonder. Our mission is to ensure that wildlife and people thrive in our rapidly changing world.

INSTITUTION

National Wildlife Federation

David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation and the author of Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife. He has appeared on shows such as The Martha Stewart Show, Conan, The Wendy Williams Show, and NBC’s TODAY, and he has hosted series on Animal Planet and Nat Geo WILD. He earned a BA in Human and Natural Ecology from Emory University.

By This Expert

Field Guide to North American Wildlife
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Field Guide to North American Wildlife

Trailer

Where the Red Wolf Still Roams

01: Where the Red Wolf Still Roams

Begin your look at North American wildlife with the incredibly rare red wolf, now one of the world’s most endangered species. Comparable in size to a German Shepherd, these wolves can only be found on the Albemarle Peninsula of eastern North Carolina.

26 min
The Resurgent American Alligator

02: The Resurgent American Alligator

Encounter a North American species that used to be endangered but has since bounced back. After a story that shows the kinds of challenges American alligators face, investigate the fascinating habits and remarkable abilities of this resilient reptile.

27 min
What You Probably Don’t Know about Bees

03: What You Probably Don’t Know about Bees

Explore not just one wildlife species but a group that includes thousands of individual species. While bees are all smaller than your little finger, they’re critically important to our ecosystems, and help keep life as we know it functioning.

27 min
The Monarch Butterfly’s Astonishing Journey

04: The Monarch Butterfly’s Astonishing Journey

Many of us can identify the beautiful monarch butterfly, at a glance, but far fewer of us realize why its looks are so distinctive, or just how extraordinary a creature it is. Follow this fascinating insect on its astonishing annual migration of up to 3,000 miles.

27 min
The Tiny but Fierce Screech Owl

05: The Tiny but Fierce Screech Owl

Screech owls are beautiful and agile, but most of us have no idea these birds are our neighbors—partly because they’re small, and partly because they’re masters of camouflage. Learn more about the screech owl’s dramatic, dangerous life.

26 min
The Arduous, Important Lives of Salmon

06: The Arduous, Important Lives of Salmon

Whether you’ve seen them in the wild or only on your dinner plate, you’ve likely encountered salmon. But you may not realize—as you’ll learn here—that salmon are important not only to ocean and river ecosystems, but also to those on land, as well.

27 min
The Giant Hellbender Salamander

07: The Giant Hellbender Salamander

At two feet long, the giant hellbender salamander is the largest salamander in North America. Discover why David thinks these wonderfully weird creatures are so cool, including the fascinating fact that they can breathe through their skin.

30 min
Neither Pig nor Rodent: The Tusked Javelina

08: Neither Pig nor Rodent: The Tusked Javelina

Learn about an animal often mistaken for a pig that’s been in North America for millions of years. Also known as the collared peccary, the tusked javelina is an intelligent creature that has no problem living peacefully near us—as long as we leave it alone.

29 min
Opossum: A Kangaroo Cousin in Your Backyard

09: Opossum: A Kangaroo Cousin in Your Backyard

Separate fact from fiction about the Virginia opossum with a story on why opossums need the impressive skills they’ve developed. Then, explore why the last century has seen the species expand its range northward and westward, and even into Canada.

28 min
Secrets of the Leatherback Sea Turtle

10: Secrets of the Leatherback Sea Turtle

Much of the life of a leatherback sea turtle is a mystery to us, taking place in the open ocean and often deep below its surface. David reveals what makes this animal so awe-inspiring—and so worth saving for future generations.

28 min
What to Do If You Meet a Black Bear

11: What to Do If You Meet a Black Bear

Get to know the species of bear you’re most likely to encounter in North America: the American black bear. You’ll learn what makes these bears so intelligent, fascinating, and resourceful. You’ll even learn how to act if you see one in the wild.

29 min
The Horseshoe Crab’s Many Gifts

12: The Horseshoe Crab’s Many Gifts

Conclude the course by learning about what might be the oldest, unchanged animal species on our planet. Horseshoe crabs—they’re actually not crabs at all—look like they come from another galaxy, but they play a crucial role in our marine and coastal ecosystems.

31 min