- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Sibley Guide to Birds (Audubon Society Nature Guides Ser.) Paperback – Bargain Price, October 3, 2000
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
- As in Peterson, Sibley employs a pointer system for key field markings--but additional text blurbs are included alongside the illustrations to facilitate identification.
- Descriptive passages on identification are more detailed than those in most other field guides. For example, Sibley includes extensive information on the famously hard-to-distinguish hawks in the genus Accipiter (sharp-shinned, Cooper's, and northern goshawk), noting differences in leg thickness and wing beat that will be of use to more advanced birders. A section on the identification of "peeps" (small sandpipers) includes tips about seasonal molting and bill length. Confusing fall warblers, Empidonax flycatchers, and Alcids receive similar treatment.
- As previously mentioned, ample space is given to illustrations that show plumage variations by age, sex, and geography within a single species. Thus, an entire page is devoted to the red-shouldered hawk and its differing appearances in the eastern U.S., Florida, and California; similarly, gulls are distinguished by age and warblers by sex.
- Range maps are detailed and accurate, with breeding, wintering, and migration routes clearly depicted; rare but regular geographic occurrences are denoted by green dots.
- The binding and paper stock are of exceptional quality. Despite its 544 pages, a reinforced paperback cover and sewn-in binding allow the book to be spread out flat without fear of breaking the binding.
Some birders will be put off by the book's size. Slightly larger than the National Geographic guide, it's less portable than most field guides and will likely spend more time in cars and desks than on a birder's person while in the field. For some it will be a strictly stay-at-home companion guide to consult after a field trip; others may want to have it handy in a fannypack or backpack. But regardless of how it is used, Sibley's Guide to Birds is a significant addition to any birding library. "Birds are beautiful," the author writes in the preface, "their colors, shapes, actions, and sounds are among the most aesthetically pleasing in nature." Pleasing, too, is this comprehensive guide to their identification. --Langdon Cook
Amazon Exclusive Essay: Author David Allen Sibley on Spring Birding in the United States
|photo credit: Erinn Hartman|
If you’re lucky enough to be able to travel to a place like Gray’s Harbor in Washington state, Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas, or Delaware Bay in the east, you can see hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds as they stop for a few weeks to refuel on their way to the arctic. Along the Gulf Coast beaches you can see birds that have just flown from the Yucatan or from South America and are dropping into the nearest patch of cover to rest. Even in urban areas--places like Central Park in New York City, Rock Creek Park in Washington DC, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and countless other parks in cities and towns across North America--you will find outstanding birding. During spring migration these natural oases can be filled with brightly-colored songbirds, and seeing an exotic bird like a Blackburnian Warbler or a Western Tanager, where there were none the day before, is a thrill unique to birding. You don’t even have to travel. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a neophyte, just grab some binoculars and a bird guide, and head out to your backyard, or to your local park or beach to see what’s happening. Those warm spring days when all you want to do is take a long lunch break and sprawl out on the lawn are the same days that the birds will be migrating north, and all you have to do is look up.
--David Allen Sibley
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The group accounts to begin each section are excellent. These accounts show all species in a family on one page; often examining hard to identify plumages like first-winter female wood-warblers. The range maps and voice details are much better than any previous attempt. Identification skills are sprinkled throughout the book in areas where they are most needed. In this regard, the Sibley guide gives the user some of what Kenn Kaufman's Advanced Birding, Jack Connor's The Complete Birder and the American Birding Association's Birding magazine provide.
It falls short of perfection in four areas that will be considered minor by most readers:
The drawings are not as sharp as in the NG. The feather detail is often absent and edges are blurred leaving less of the feather texture affect found in the NG. This may be a purposeful attempt to get users to focus on the feel of the bird rather than searching for details that can sometimes only be seen with a bird in hand.
The habitat information is not as complete as in the NG. Unlike the NG where habitat and historical details are provided with individual species, the Sibley guide gives their habitat info in group descriptions at the tops of most pages.
There are still some omissions. While I have not had time to search for every vagrant species, two birds I have personally seen in North America are not included - the whiskered tern and the brown shrike.Read more ›
The colors of the illustrations are excellent. This corrects one compliant of the 3rd edition of National Geographic Field Guide. Advanced and beginning birders will benefit from the examples. The range maps have been adjusted in several cases. Sibley has taken great care in producing the most up-to-date field guide.
The accompanying text is very informative. It is packed with information about each species. Sibley "Guide to Birds" definitely shows that years were taken to produce this comprehensive reference.
If there is a downside, this book is heavy. Many pages were required to incorporate all the interesting and informative information contained in this fabulous book!
Sibley has set a new standard in Bird Field Guides. It will be years before this book is surpassed. Sibley's "Guide to Birds" is a must book for any birders library.
There are a few negatives--only a few. The book would be unwieldy to carry in the field. (Best to bring it along and leave it in the car, perhaps.) The range maps are for the most part too small to easily distinguish, especially where birds appear in only limited areas. And the description of songs and calls strike me as inferior to Peterson's, from which I've learned most of the songs and calls I know over the past 40 years.
In comparison to the other new bird guide just published, Kenn Kaufman's "Focus Guide," I much prefer David Sibley's. While Kaufman has crammed an incredible amount of information into a small, very quickly accessible volume, Sibley's is far more useful in distinguishing between species. Kaufman's is far handier to carry along in the field, but it offers far less data on individual species than Sibley.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the product I was looking for, and it was sold just as described!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Extremely pleased My sculpting teacher states that if one can only buy one bird identification book, Sibley's guide is the one to choose.Published 3 months ago by Linda Rhodes Vitsyn