From Publishers Weekly
While Sibley's (The Sibley Guide to Birds) book is a field guide primer, it provides useful information for not only novice bird watchers, but also for veterans hoping to expand their life lists. This compact handy volume is an ideal complement to the author's two massive works on bird identification and behavior. Beginning with his trained artist's eye, Sibley advises readers on how to develop techniques in sighting birds by honing their ability to see details. Sibley also provides information on where, when and how to find and observe birds in the wild, ranging from the obvious, being quiet and moving slowly, to the more esoteric, anticipating birds' needs and keeping field notes. One of the most difficult tasks for bird watchers is differentiating between subspecies with very similar physical appearances. With this in mind, the writer provides suggestions for sketching birds in the field with special emphasis on comparative details, which will enable the birder to make a positive identification later. There's a bounty of information about feathers shapes, colors, sizes and functions, all discussed in accessible language. The book's illustrated entries range from common birds to the most rare. With its analysis of weather, gear, geography and seasons, Sibley's book will enable birders of all skill and experience levels to improve their abilities and enhance the satisfaction of their birding treks.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Extraordinary artist and naturalist Sibley follows his highly acclaimed The Sibley Guide to Birds and The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior with this excellent and attractive guide to birding basics. In 16 thoughtful, concise essays accompanied by 200 paintings, mostly new for this book, he explores general aspects of birding such as getting started, misidentification, voice, understanding feathers, age variation, ethics and conservation, taxonomy, and finding birds. If being a field naturalist is a craft, then this book is essential in helping to develop and understand the required skills. This little gem is worth the modest price for the paintings, or the text, alone. Highly recommended-Henry T. Armistead, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.