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Bird guide not to be use in the field

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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 19:58   #1
canutus
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Bird guide not to be use in the field

Hi,

I'd like to buy a guide of European birds, and one of North America birds. As I live in Argentina I wont be using it in the field, so size/weight is not a matter of consideration. For what I have read in other post it seams that "The complete guide to birds of Europe" (hardcover) by Svensson is the right choice for Europe, but for the North American guide the opinions are not unanimous. Many North American birds (Flycatchers, Shorebirds, terns) "visit" us during your winter, so alternate plumage drawings would be nice. What do you think you be the best choise: NatGeo 4th edition? Sibley's field guide to birds?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 20:29   #2
Beverlybaynes
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Canutus, both guides are very good, and cover all of North America. The Sibley shows more alternate plumages than the NG4. In case you ever would want to use the guide in the field, the NG will be easier to handle/carry.

So perhaps you should splurge on both!
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 21:48   #3
Stephen Dunstan
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For Europe I would go for the large format version of the Collins Bird Guide by Mullarney et al.

Stephen.
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 21:52   #4
Keith Dickinson
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I would second Stephen's choice, for a field guide. But if the book is not going into the field then why not a copy of the Concise BWP, almost the same price now as the Collins large format with more written information.
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 21:55   #5
Edward woodwood
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I get the Handbook to Bird Identification by Madge and Beaman

currently half price at 29.99

a fantastic book

Tim
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 22:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
I get the Handbook to Bird Identification by Madge and Beaman

currently half price at 29.99

a fantastic book

Tim
Where is it currently half price?
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 22:06   #7
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Forgot about this one, and it's on my bookshelf at the moment. Drop the Concise go for this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
I get the Handbook to Bird Identification by Madge and Beaman

currently half price at 29.99

a fantastic book

Tim
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Old Thursday 12th January 2006, 22:48   #8
Edward woodwood
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can't remember but it's on BF somewhere

if you do a search if this site you should find it

Tim
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 07:46   #9
black lark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
I get the Handbook to Bird Identification by Madge and Beaman

currently half price at 29.99

a fantastic book

Tim
forget about this one, its very poor .; thats's why its go down in price
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 07:58   #10
martin kitching
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black lark
forget about this one, its very poor .; thats's why its go down in price
?????????
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 08:36   #11
Darrell Clegg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black lark
forget about this one, its very poor .; thats's why its go down in price
Don't understand this comment at all. The book is very good - excellent in fact. The website you need to get it at 29.95 is www.psbooks.co.uk

As for the US - Sibley wins over the NG

Darrell
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 09:26   #12
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For illustrations I would still go for the Collins, for content the Handbook is a good buy at that price but some of the illustrations are decidedly ropey.
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 13:07   #13
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Thanks for the input. I guess the "large format version of the Collins Bird Guide by Mullarney et al." is the same as "The complete guide to birds of Europe" (hardcover) by Svensson , the black one with the Barn owl on the cover. Am I right? Dont want to buy the wrong book! Does this book has a larger geografical coverage than the Concise BWP?

Thanks again,

Cristian
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 14:39   #14
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Cristian,
The Concise BWP covers the complete western palearctic, therefore from North Africa to the Arctic and from Ireland to Israel. The almost the entire list of birds are illustrated and there are text and maps for each.
The Collins is strictly European, not every species has a distribution map, some species appear at the back as accidentals, no picture just the name or introduced birds where you have a small picture and a pargraph of text.
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 14:51   #15
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National Geographic has a 35 dollar reference book. It is a lot more fun to read than a field guide, as it tells a bit more. I don't have it yet, as I have too many Bird Life this and that books on the shelf.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/079...books&v=glance

It does have fairly good pictures, similar to their field guide. In the field I have not gotten used to their art work.
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 17:20   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrell Clegg
Don't understand this comment at all. The book is very good - excellent in fact. The website you need to get it at 29.95 is www.psbooks.co.uk

As for the US - Sibley wins over the NG

Darrell
the drawings are real bad en the tekst was already behind when it came out
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 17:44   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black lark
the drawings are real bad en the tekst was already behind when it came out
the good thing about BF is that everyone is entitled to share their opinions. However, in this case I feel you are completely wrong. The Handbook is excellent although rather too large to use as a Field Guide. I've had it since it was first published and refer to it regularly. Some of the artwork may be not to everyone's taste but much of it is of a very high quality. I would recommend any birder, at least on this side of the pond, to include this in their personal library.

martin
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 17:57   #18
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Has anyone seen the "National Geographic Complete Book of Birds"? Is this the one you are mentioning Tero? Does it has ALL the info found in the fieldguide PLUS extra info or is something missing from the fieldguide?

Thanks,

Cristian
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 18:34   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin kitching
the good thing about BF is that everyone is entitled to share their opinions. However, in this case I feel you are completely wrong. The Handbook is excellent although rather too large to use as a Field Guide. I've had it since it was first published and refer to it regularly. Some of the artwork may be not to everyone's taste but much of it is of a very high quality. I would recommend any birder, at least on this side of the pond, to include this in their personal library.

martin
i just mean that there are mutch better guides around than this one, the drawings are just a little better than the peterson guide (i don't know why they still bringing it out)
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 19:07   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canutus
Has anyone seen the "National Geographic Complete Book of Birds"? Is this the one you are mentioning Tero? Does it has ALL the info found in the fieldguide PLUS extra info or is something missing from the fieldguide?

Thanks,
Cristian
It has all the field guide info EXCEPT I don't remember if it has maps. But the Amazon reviewer says:The new hefty tome, at 664 pages, has updated range maps for each species.

Don't buy their other, older book, which is not a catalog of all the birds.
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Last edited by Tero : Friday 13th January 2006 at 19:12.
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 19:17   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black lark
i just mean that there are mutch better guides around than this one, the drawings are just a little better than the peterson guide (i don't know why they still bringing it out)
really can't agree at all

HBI is a great book indeed.

beats the others hands down

Tim
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 19:18   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tero
It has all the field guide info EXCEPT I don't remember if it has maps. But the Amazon reviewer says:The new hefty tome, at 664 pages, has updated range maps for each species.

Don't buy their other, older book, which is not a catalog of all the birds.
Then it looks like a good option. And comparing this with Sibleys guide to bird? Former better info, later better drawings?
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 20:02   #23
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Sibley's is good, but he does have an odd style to draw birds directly from the front. As a single book, it is better than many, but some families I prefer other guides. You are talking about the bigger Sibley Guide to Birds?

I wish I could show you a page from each. But view the sample pages here.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067...lance&n=283155
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 20:38   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tero
Sibley's is good, but he does have an odd style to draw birds directly from the front. As a single book, it is better than many, but some families I prefer other guides. You are talking about the bigger Sibley Guide to Birds?

I wish I could show you a page from each. But view the sample pages here.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067...lance&n=283155
Yes. And plates at Sibleys look very nice. Do you know if in the NG complete book of bird many artists are involved in the drawings as in their FG? Actually are they the same plates?
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Old Friday 13th January 2006, 21:06   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canutus
Yes. And plates at Sibleys look very nice. Do you know if in the NG complete book of bird many artists are involved in the drawings as in their FG? Actually are they the same plates?
IIRC, they are mostly the same plates, although the "Complete" book might not have as many illustrations for each individual species. But there are some new illustrations for the newest birds in the region (Social Flycatcher, Mangrove Swallow, etc).
I think your comparison question of this and the Sibley guide is right on. The NG Complete guide is mostly info, but does have an illustration of every species. Whereas the large Sibley guide is mostly illustrations (and IMHO the best illustrations for NA), but not much info except for maps and some vocalization descriptions.
Getting both would be the best of both worlds.
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