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"Advanced Birding" or "Identify Yourself"?

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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 02:09   #1
Jacamar
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"Advanced Birding" or "Identify Yourself"?

In anticipation of my upcoming return to the States, I'm planning to buy a book that goes more in-depth than a field guide (I have Sibley's East) to help identify the more challenging species. I have found these two options: "Advanced Birding" by Kenn Kaufman and "Identify Yourself" by Bill Thompson III. Does anyone have an opinion on which one is better? I can't seem to find a comparison between the two anywhere. Which one do you suggest I get?

Thanks.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 12:07   #2
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I can't help you with the Kaufmann book, but I can state that the Thompson book is the most useful book I have in ID'ing difficult birds, like sparrows, warblers, vireos, hawks etc.

But what the heck--get them both!

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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 13:19   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar
get them both!
Sure, if you'll pay.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 17:09   #4
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Depends where you are at in your familiarity with US species. In my opinion 'Advanced Birding' is for those trying to become better than average birders - 'Identify Yourself' is for those trying to expand their world beyond their back yard. If you are comfortable seperating species of warblers, vireos and sparrows etc you are beyond the world of 'Identify Yourself'.

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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 18:05   #5
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I can't help but plug Advanced Birding. It is a great book, and while it will be limited to North American birds, it's lessons on how to be more detailed in your observations are invaluable no matter where you go. I've had mine for years and I still break it open to brush up. I wish Kenn would write Advanced Birding 2 with more hard to identify species. I would think you could pick up Advanced Birding very inexpensively now.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 21:03   #6
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Advanced Birding is definitely better, IMO. And a used copy is dirt cheap. Some of the challenges listed in "Identify Yourself" aren't really challenges to most birders (e.g. Prothonotary vs Blue-winged Warbler)...
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 00:21   #7
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Thanks everyone! I think I'll go with Advanced Birding.
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 02:05   #8
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You can get both of them used for less than $20.00 at www.abebooks.com. That's the total cost for both books, less shipping. ( I edited this in to avoid any confusion the first sentence may have caused.)

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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 03:21   #9
Bill Atwood
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I think you can get far more out of Identify Yourself (even though the title is horrid).

They both have their good and bad points. You can get new copies of each from Amazon for $27.00 using supersaver shipping. As Bob suggested used copies are even less.
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 16:57   #10
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Thanks Bill. I'll consider that.
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 21:06   #11
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you dont really need to buy a $20 Identify Yourself to tell you what your field guide already does.....the book just isnt worth the money. Advanced Birding is what you want. No disrespect to Bill Thompson...
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 21:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nctexasbirder
you dont really need to buy a $20 Identify Yourself to tell you what your field guide already does.....the book just isnt worth the money. Advanced Birding is what you want. No disrespect to Bill Thompson...
for example, Kaufman has pages 184-212 on Empidonax flycatchers alone!
Thompson just skims the bare surface, 2 or 3 pages, and Kaufman is cheap and smaller. Kaufman is actually an advanced Thompson for less!
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Old Monday 16th October 2006, 02:19   #13
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I think I'll start out with Identify Yourself for now. I found some sample pages online and it looks like what I need. Once I'm in the States I can check out Advanced Birding and see if it is something I want to move up to.
Thanks everyone for your advice!
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