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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 15:28   #26
gdhunter
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I've never upgraded from my second ed and won't now. Whilst it was very well regarded 25 years ago, there are now better books for N America IMHO.
It may be that so critical an assessment will have the last word in this thread, but for those contemplating one single guide for North America it might be worth noting points in favor of the NGS 7th edition (based on experience with the preceding six editions):

Plates with facing-page species accounts & range maps, with confusion species often on the same plate or in close proximity.

Reasonably faithful renditions including many subspecies, seasonal plumage variations, and juvenile birds.

Concise species accounts noting salient ID points, voice, range & habitat. The plates are also annotated with the most significant field marks.

Comprehensive in scope, depicting all North American species accepted for inclusion in the most recent AOU checklist.

Updated taxonomy (splits, lumps, etc.), per AOU.

Portable.

Others might well add more benefits. Some might dispute many I've enumerated. But NGS may well be the dominant field guide in the North American market. I own (& use) many of the alternatives (Sibley, Peterson, Kaufman, among other). I have high regard for each, but likely as not I'll try to solve any ID puzzle first consulting NGS. It's always in my field pouch, along with one other from among those alternatives.

The only volume mentioned by title in this thread as superior is the Collins guide for European birds, and the Collins NA guide doesn't elicit similar praise.

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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 15:43   #27
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I feel I am repeating myself: When traveling to the US I bring the Sibley App, and if I bring a book it is the NGS (I upgraded from third to sixth ed a couple of years ago). Having both is actually great.

When at home I mainly need a US FG for looking at photos: there I usually reach for the big Sibley (which I would never recommend to a beginning birder due to the lack of text).

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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 18:13   #28
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Okay yeah...that book has a different name and cover in the states.

I have never seen a birder use that book, and it seems to have a reputation as being one of the worst guides ever produced in recent years for North America (too few plumages illustrated, common names no one stateside uses, mislabeled birds, innaccurate sizes and other info, etc.)
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 18:16   #29
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I'll also add to GDhunter is that I think this is the only guide on the market that extensively maps out subspecies ranges. Sibley does for a very very few species, but not to the extent of NG

I think Sibley and NG both compliment each other well.
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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 20:11   #30
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I've never upgraded from my second ed and won't now. Whilst it was very well regarded 25 years ago, there are now better books for N America IMHO.


A
I have essentially bought them all. Still my preferred FG, and by getting the newest editions I was sure I had the current names.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 16:19   #31
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A review

Here is my review of the new NatGeo.
http://birdaz.com/blog/2017/09/09/th...venth-edition/
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 16:20   #32
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by getting the newest editions I was sure I had the current names.
This time around, the names and sequence are current as of July 2016.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 18:45   #33
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Is this 7th edition field guide basically the concise version of the second edition handbook 'Complete birds of North America' although it's only about 100 pages shorter? I do have that.

I broke, ordered it!

Anyone in the UK will find it hard to get it cheaper than this, post free too.

https://wordery.com/national-geograp...ODdjZTMwNGM%3D

Edit: It's gone up by £2 since I ordered yesterday, still £17.99 on Wildsounds excl of P+P.


A

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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 19:48   #34
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Now what's needed is an update of the woefully out-of-date app. I'm sure I'm not alone in never buying paper versions of field guides also available as apps. An iPad is so much easier to carry around than a big bulky paper field guide.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 20:14   #35
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Here is my review of the new NatGeo.
http://birdaz.com/blog/2017/09/09/th...venth-edition/
Thanks, Rick, for this great and thorough review. I don't concur, as you may know, with your praise of following the scientific sequence though. Thus, it strikes me with some open joy that the sequence is already "outdated". In German, we call my feelings Schadenfreude. I don't know of an English equivalent. The other terms I found as translations imply a more negative connotation than I mean here.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to receive my copy in the next few weeks.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 21:07   #36
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Anyway, I'm looking forward to receive my copy in the next few weeks.
Due out tomorrow in the UK I think?



A
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 21:09   #37
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Now what's needed is an update of the woefully out-of-date app. I'm sure I'm not alone in never buying paper versions of field guides also available as apps. An iPad is so much easier to carry around than a big bulky paper field guide.
What is the screen like to see in bright light fugl, I can never see the screen on my camera so it must be similar?


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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 22:33   #38
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What is the screen like to see in bright light fugl, I can never seem the screen on my camera so it must be similar?
In the open on a sunny day, bright light can be a problem even on my big iPad Pro screen but shielding with my shadow pretty much cures it. As it happens, the places I mostly bird nowadays tend to be well provided with trees and other shade, and under those conditions the screen image is better if anything than the printed image. And, of course, apps have other advantages over paper guides, sound files being the big one, together in some cases with supplementary photos and/or various convenience features (e. g., the capacity for side-by-side comparisons of confusion species which I've found very useful indeed). Given all this, I really don't see much of a future for the traditional printed field guide, certainly not over the long term.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 09:05   #39
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Given all this, I really don't see much of a future for the traditional printed field guide, certainly not over the long term.
Not much good without electricity though, you'd be screwed if North Korea put out the lights!

A

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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 11:33   #40
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............you'd be screwed if North Korea put out the lights!

A
There are many more chances for being left without the necessary power. I can see the advantages, but they would only mean for me to go with the book PLUS the electronic version. Bird voices are definitely a great positive point.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 12:19   #41
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There are many more chances for being left without the necessary power. I can see the advantages, but they would only mean for me to go with the book PLUS the electronic version. Bird voices are definitely a great positive point.
There clearly are advantages Robert but the likes of us who just love books, will stick with convention.

I'm not particularly 'tech savvy' but my wife is so we'll probbaly end up with both too.


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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 12:20   #42
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Given all this, I really don't see much of a future for the traditional printed field guide
Until the first time your beloved electronic gadget fails on a birding trip.

Coming to think about it, there is a growing number of people who would use electronics as a tool in the field and demand sturdy and damage-proof devices. However, there seems to be little for them on the market. The trend, if anything, is more fragile and short-lived electronics.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 12:22   #43
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Until the first time your beloved electronic gadget fails on a birding trip.

Coming to think about it, there is a growing number of people who would use electronics as a tool in the field and demand sturdy and damage-proof devices. However, there seems to be little for them on the market. The trend, if anything, is more fragile and short-lived electronics.
Exactly so, tech is great when it's working but so many ways it can fail. What will you do if you're birding for some time in a place where you can't charge your device/s?

It's fine if you can use batteries but when you actually have to charge something, that could be an issue.


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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 12:53   #44
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Exactly so, tech is great when it's working but so many ways it can fail. What will you do if you're birding for some time in a place where you can't charge your device/s?

It's fine if you can use batteries but when you actually have to charge something, that could be an issue.


A
Agree. There are many advantages to paper field guides which I don't see going away soon. I can always find a bird much more quickly in a paper guide than on a device. And paper guides are much more capable of withstanding abuse and difficult weather conditions--and much cheaper to replace if they are damaged. Plus I can fit most paper guides in a pocket; tablets are big and unwieldy.

However, in situations where you aren't going to be referring to a guide much because you already know the birds well, I can see where having a paper guide would be unnecessary simply because you won't be using it much. But for frequent reference, or if you are in a new region where you are still learning the birds, paper guides cannot yet be beat in my opinion. But my personal preference in such situations is to carry both when in the field--songs are one big reason. But I opt for the phone app for portability reasons.

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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 16:17   #45
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Thanks, Rick, for this great and thorough review. I don't concur, as you may know, with your praise of following the scientific sequence though. Thus, it strikes me with some open joy that the sequence is already "outdated". In German, we call my feelings Schadenfreude. I don't know of an English equivalent.
We use the same word in English. If we don't have our own word for something, we just tend to steal it. One of the many reasons English is the most successful language on the planet

Agree that it's a very useful review by Rick.
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 01:16   #46
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From Fugl:
Quote:
Given all this, I really don't see much of a future for the traditional printed field guide, certainly not over the long term.
This does eventually become a completely different discussion: is there enough economy in birding apps if part of the development is not paid for by a printed book?

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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 02:01   #47
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From Fugl:

This does eventually become a completely different discussion: is there enough economy in birding apps if part of the development is not paid for by a printed book?
At the moment, in these transitional times, probably not, but in the future when printed books of all kinds have been largely supplanted by E-versions read on ever more powerful and versatile mobile devices (waterproofed, solar/satellite rechargeable, foldable even, who knows what the IPad of 5, 10, 20 years from now will be capable of?), the economics will have worked itself out. In the meantime, there'll be teething problems, sure, but what else is new in the world of disruptive technology? Getting back to the here and now, for my purposes, as I've already said, doing the kind of birding that I do nowadays, I find the apps (I have all the North American ones as well as several of the European) already superior to paper books in just about every respect.
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 03:36   #48
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37 new species

Does anyone know what the 37 new species are in the 7th edition without having to go page by page and comparing to the 6th?
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 06:50   #49
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Does anyone know what the 37 new species are in the 7th edition without having to go page by page and comparing to the 6th?
Some will be vagrants I guess but there will be splits Like American Three-toed Woodpecker and American Barn Owl although the splits I mention, whilst they are new species, they wouldn't increase the numbers?

It will use the American Ornithology Society list so you can check that for splits.

A

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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 13:50   #50
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Some will be vagrants I guess but there will be splits Like American Three-toed Woodpecker and American Barn Owl although the splits I mention, whilst they are new species, they wouldn't increase the numbers?

It will use the American Ornithology Society list so you can check that for splits.

A
American Three-toed Woodpecker has been in the last few editions (it was split quite a while ago, stateside IIRC. Barn owl has not been split by the AOS (and even then it would just be renaming...I don't think the old world form has been recorded in the States or Canada.

It's probably will be mostly vagrant seabirds/Alaskan Strays/Stuff from Mexico and the Caribbean that have appeared since the last edition, alongside whatever taxonomic splits that occurred up to 2016. I have the book on order but it should arrive Thursday, so I can maybe give you a better sense then.
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