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74 Reviews
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive and helpful.
Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region is a very impressive and helpful bird identification tool. This happens to be a field guide that I feel confident using whenever I go birdwatching. I find that aspect to be the most important of any field guide--whether it's good enough to actually be trusted out in the field. This bird identification guide contains over...
Published on July 30, 2000 by sauerkraut

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much better than most
After using many inadequate field guides, this became my standard guide. Now I use it with the Sibley's field guide (the BEST field guide out there). Between the two of them, I have all the information I need. The photographs are a great complement to Sibley's drawings. But the photos often lack many of the important field marks. And the regional variation in some...
Published on August 31, 2004 by Simone


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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive and helpful., July 30, 2000
Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region is a very impressive and helpful bird identification tool. This happens to be a field guide that I feel confident using whenever I go birdwatching. I find that aspect to be the most important of any field guide--whether it's good enough to actually be trusted out in the field. This bird identification guide contains over 900 full color photographs. Also, all of the information pertaining to the particular species of bird is on the same page: this includes the color photograph, range map, and detailed text information (behavior, voice, feeding, nesting, and habitat for example). Having all of the information on one page is always very important. The book also contains quick alphabetical indexes inside the front and back covers that happen to be very useful for quick reference. The guide has a color tab index to bird groups, a quick guide to the most common backyard and feeder birds (good for beginners), and learning pages, too. I find the color photographs in this field guide to be clear, crisp, and very good. The guide also includes idenification symbols on the pages of particular birds that use feeders or birdhouses. A glossary of terms is included, too, along with a page that points out the names of the anatomical parts of a bird. Donald and Lillian Stokes have done an admirable job of putting this guide together. It's one of my favorite bird identification tools. I recommend it.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have for any real birder., October 13, 1999
By 
jpr@surge.net (jpr@surge.net) (Lima, OH (book used in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria)) - See all my reviews
This book provides bird watchers with an excellent guide to almost every bird found in the Eastern half of the US. The quick index and color tabs make finding the right page easy for most birders, and the introduction provides the information an inexperienced birder needs to learn how to use this book. The photographs are mostly excellent and show most of the important field marks. Immature, female, and non-breeding season plummage pictures are provided for many birds, and a wonderful description of the bird's plummage is always included. The maps, although sometimes inaccurate (as I've found with most guides) are easy to read. The addition of shading for migration routes would help, but could be confusing for some birders. The learning pages provide an excellent comparison of similar species; especially useful for sparrows and warblers. I would reccomend purchasing Peterson's guide in addition to this, but if you can only buy one, this is the one I'd buy. Keep in mind that every person is different, and will benifit from different organizations of species. Purchase the book you think will suit your preferences best.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Field Guide, December 12, 1999
By A Customer
This is an extremely helpful book for backyard birdwatchers. It may also be a great book for experienced birdwatchers, but since I'm a relative novice, I can't speak to that. It was one of the first books I purchased on the topic, and I would still rank it the best of the books I've seen. The color coding is a great idea for quick i.d.. The photos that accompany each description are clean and crisp, with very few exceptions, and I prefer the actual photos to sketches, like you find in some guides. The Learning Pages are helpful for newcomers to birdwatching. I would highly recommend this book for any birder in the eastern region of the U.S.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE best guides for the backyard bird watcher, August 24, 2001
By 
Michael Froehlich (Grand Forks, ND USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region (Paperback)
A few months after I set up bird feeders in my yard, I found myself looking for a good bird identification book to help me to identify some of the feathered visitors that I had never seen before and couldn't identify. I'm not a professional bird-watcher--just someone who enjoys the variety of birds (and their antics) and who wants to be able to identify and learn something about all these new birds my feeders were atracting. Finding a good bird ID book geared towards the backyard bird-watcher proved to be a lot easier said than done. I looked through all kinds of books, and even the ones by publishers whose reputations would lead one to believe they would likely be what I desired (e.g., National Geographic, Petersen's) were disappointing. Some of the problems with these guides were: dime-sized illustrations of the birds, paintings of birds rather than pictures of them in the wild, (In spite of "professional" bird watcher's who seem to think that bird guides with paintings are the only way to go, I've never seen a painted bird in the wild so I don't find paintings very helpful.), pertinent basic facts like nesting behavior and feeding habits buried in scholarly treatises, or contrarily, very bare descriptions. When I finally found this book (and its companion book covering the western USA), I had finally found what I had looked so long for. Here was a book that had actual pictures of birds in the wild--and they weren't dime-sized either. This book also frequently has a picture of not just the male but also the female birds along with immature young whose coloring is distinct from the adults--and even variant/sub-species show up from time to time. The information in each profile is a good summary of each of the most important aspects of a particular bird species (e.g., distinguishing characteristics, feeding habits, song(s), nesting habits and patterns, and the most interesting/useful notes about miscellaneous aspects of each bird). The guides are excellently organized--and in several ways. There is a quick, color-coded index for finding pages on the most common birds as well as color-marked sections on broad types of birds. A comprensive and easy-to-use index is also included. The only negative aspect to the guides which I've found are that more than once I have found the ranges to be inaccurate--or perhaps out of date. (It's true that the ranges of some bird species seem to spread out rather quickly.) According to the range in the guide, purple finches shouldn't be even near my area; yet, thanks to the guide's comments about distinguishing house finches from purple finches, I've identified them at my feeders many times. Finally, the western region guide covers the region west of the 40th Meridian (line of longitude) which is roughly from the middle of the North Dakota border with Canada down through the "boot" of Texas. (Yes, Canadian birds are covered too.) Any birds that appear at all in that area are covered--even if most of their range is east of that line. The converse is true for the eastern region guide, so in many cases a bird species will be listed in both guides because their range covers areas on both sides of the 40th Meridian.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much better than most, August 31, 2004
By 
Simone (Tome, New Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region (Paperback)
After using many inadequate field guides, this became my standard guide. Now I use it with the Sibley's field guide (the BEST field guide out there). Between the two of them, I have all the information I need. The photographs are a great complement to Sibley's drawings. But the photos often lack many of the important field marks. And the regional variation in some species may make the pictures useless or worse, misleading. Juvenile and female pictures are often missing. Many occasional visitors to New Mexico are missing from this book, although the common species are there. The maps are pretty good. The behavioral, feeding and breeding info is very helpful. It's a great resource for the backyard birdwatcher, and a good supplement for the serious birder.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Material, Exceptional Photos, July 19, 2005
Impressed with the expository and striking photography. My kids ages: 9, 6, and 3 all pick-up the book and recognize brids from the quality photos in this book. It is clear in checking other materials that the Stokes Field Guides are above other bird books.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tried-and-true field guide, March 8, 2004
By 
Enhydra Lutris (Washington State, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region (Paperback)
The Stokes Field Guide-Western Edition has become my pocket reference of choice in the field. I wore out my first copy from overuse, which is a high compliment to its usefulness (and binding sturdiness).
As a pocket guide and quick reference, you cannot beat Stokes' "bang for the buck." It offers most of the basics that most birders would need in the field:
* Quick color tab index
* Large photos (which usually capture indicative plumage)
* Good all-up glance at ID, feeding, nesting, and other relevant behavior
* Nice North American habitat guide that zooms in if the range is geographically smaller
* Habitat type info has been very helpful
Downsides are few, but:
1. I think the anatomical reference is incomplete, but for most purposes basically adequate.
2. The "quick reference to the most common birds" pages seem somewhat pointless because the species are so arbitrary.
3. The color quality in some photos aren't as indicative as I'd like, but you have to expect some inconsistencies due to the nature of photographs, habitat and lighting.
4. There really isn't a section on responsible birding, ethics, and avian conservation. Their conservation section consists of BBC and CBC census data only.
That said, I love this guide. Between the Stokes and Sibley ID guides used in tandem, most people won't need another field resource for visual field identification.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Stoke'd about this Bird Book, September 26, 2002
This review is from: Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region (Paperback)
There's not a bird that can get by me with this book in hand. Of the three bird books we own, I'd say the Stokes "Field Guide to Birds" is at the top of the nest.
Besides the individualized color-coded sections with categories for Seabirds, Hawk-like birds, chicken-like birds, bird-like birds, flycatchers, and on and on, the book also features some quick guide features that help you in a tight bind when you have spotted a bird, reached for the binoculars with one hand, reached for the book with the other hand, all the while scaring off your prized find. The quick alphabetical index is on the inside cover if you know enough about your bird types to narrow down the search quickly. If you are more of a visual bird boy, there's a Quick Guide displaying wonderful pictures on a white background of 53 of the most common feathered friends.
To even make it more handy, there are "learning pages" among all the individual bird genus species pages. These are truly insightful giving tidbits of info on Flycatchers, Hawks, Shorebirds, Gulls, Warblers, and Sparrows. You will be educated by them learning how to identify immature birds, birds by behavior. It just may include that one tip that helps you put a pos ID on that hard to find match.
Compared to other bird books like the popular "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds" this book doesn't leave you flipping between pages to find all the info you are flapping your wings to get a hold of. With this book I have ID'd Scrub Jays, Northern Flickers, Black Phoebe's, Western Kingbirds, and the Yellow-billed Magpie and consequently learned you can find that Magpie nowhere else but Northern California. This bird book flies high, higher than the rest.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best Bird Guide, March 13, 2000
By 
Mike Davis (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
I got this book after reading the online reviews and was not let down. I have several other bird books but this gets the most use.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect For Me, February 7, 2006
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This review is from: Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region (Paperback)
This is the best bird book I've ever used. I'm not a serious birder- just like to know what I'm looking at when I see a new bird. The photographs are clear and the information is organized in a way I find intuitive. I'm planning to get several more to use as gifts.
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Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region
Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region by Lillian Q. Stokes (Paperback - January 29, 1996)
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