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Best bird guides by region...North America (1 Viewer)

gdhunter

Well-known member
Personally I find about 95% of my use of field guides is at home, either before or after birding. Only rarely do I actually carry it afield with me. Is that markedly different from how others utilize them?

Here's one birder who won't go into the field without a field guide relevant to the location. A testament to my shortcomings no doubt, but I've encountered many others with a similar dependence.

Hence my concurrence with the sentiment that Hawaii birds be treated separately.

Gary H
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I rarely carry my field guide around for local birding, although obviously will take it with me if in a more "exotic" part of the US or Canada.

I hope they put the Hawaii birds in. If I can get by with a Nat Geo guide that includes vagrants with single records from over a century ago, Adding the 80ish species from Hawaii shouldn't be too bad.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
NG 7th edition due September 12, 2017

According to Penguin Random House, the updated edition of the National Geographic FG is due on September 12 of this year: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/b...n-l-dunn-and-jonathan-alderfer/9781426218354/

They don't say anything about Hawaii, so I presume those species will not be included. And for a true field guide, that actually makes sense. I'd expect Puerto Rican species just as well if Hawaii were included. :-O

What bothers me a bit is that they don't seem to have the courage to produce a true FG, meaning no longer adhering to not user-friendly systematics. So, since they announce the book to be "the only book organized to match the latest American Ornithologists’ Union taxonomy", and "taxonomy updated to recent significant scientific rearrangement" I fear falcons will be with the parrots now? Or does the AOU not follow the hype of having to have to follow every trend in systematics?
Of course, for office use, a book with the systematics updated would be quite fine. So why not produce two versions, with the extra one for armchair ornithology.;)

On the positive side (at least for those counting numbers), there will be 37 new species. I presume mostly splits?
 
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Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I actually prefer the taxonomic approach, which to me seems far less arbitrary. I think it also helps quite a bit...having vireos away from warblers for instance, when I started out birding, really helped me in honing on the distinct differences between those groups. Unless the book was utterly amazing, I would probably boycott a field guide that went with a non-taxonomic approach (which is followed by almost all the major NA guides...National Geographic just tends to be updated more regularly than Sibley or Petersen).
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
also I presume those 37 species are mostly going to be vagrants and exotics. There have been a good number of splits but I think that number would be closer to say 10 than 37
 

Jim Martin

Friend of the auk
Just to say, we are publishing the second editions of the Sibley East and West guides (we are calling them Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern/Western North America, because that's how we roll), coming out on 25 June.

Jim
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Sibley is always good, we know it.....I love the two volume set and use it as a bible. But for my 'car'...I use the Kaufman field guide. And if I am out birding and actually want to haul a guide with me, I find it fits well in a binocular case while the Sibley is too large.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Just to say, we are publishing the second editions of the Sibley East and West guides (we are calling them Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern/Western North America, because that's how we roll), coming out on 25 June.

Jim

Thanks Jim,
Do you know if this results in any update of the Sibley app?

Niels
 
North America

The Sibley Guide to Birds - by David Allen Sibley. Still my favorite. Runner up goes to the latest NatGeo guide

I agree with the suggestions for Costa Rica and West Indies. For Panama, I'd go with Angehr and Dean.

South America is especially tough, since you almost have to go with (at least) one guide for each count

Hello!

Perhaps someone can help me out. I have the "Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America (2nd Ed)". It is great except that my "old eyes" are finding the print too small. Does someone have a suggestion for a larger print version of a field guide regarding Central/Eastern North America?

Thank you and Happy Holidays!
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
How about the Sibley app? I have horrible eyes and I am able to read the text on an iPad mini. The text would likely appear larger on a regular size tablet
Niels
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
The other big advantages of the app are sounds and the ability to compare two species side by side no matter where they would be in the book.

Niels
 
I just saw this large print field guide online:

Peterson Field Guide To Eastern Birds (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – Large Print, August 15, 1999​

Has anyone tried it? It might be worth it if you prefer the printed version.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
A 1999 printing? That's going to be 21 years out of date, and I think enough bird taxonomic changes have happened that I don't think it would be worthwhile
 

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