Enter your mobile number or email address 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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition Flexibound – March 11, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Artist, writer, and naturalist David Allen Sibley is the author and illustrator of a series of successful guides to nature, including the New York Times best-seller The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has traveled extensively throughout North America and abroad as a birding tour leader and lecturer. Sibley has contributed art and articles to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, and North American Birds, and he wrote and illustrated a syndicated column for The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and the Linnaean Society of New York’s Eisenmann Medal. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I have purchased the second printing of this second edition and I am very happy with the corrections. The richer colors add new life to Sibley's paintings, the text is clear and easy to read and the layout is much improved. Page space is better utilized in this edition, allowing Sibley's beautiful illustrations to take center stage. The only caution I add is that, to my knowledge, there is no way to know what printing of the second edition you are purchasing when ordering through Amazon.com.
The second printing has been released and should be available at brick & mortar book stores as well as a number of online stores. Hopefully Amazon will make a distinction between the first and second printings so that its customers can order the correct one. In case there is no way of knowing which printing you are buying from Amazon, I offer the following 2 options:
1) Go to a brick and mortar book store and physically purchase the guide. You will want to turn to the copyright page and look for "Second printing, July 2014". If it says "Second Edition, March 2014" then you are holding the first printing with the off colors and light font.
2) Go to an alternative online source such as Buteo Books, where the second printing is in stock, available for shipping and it is specified as the second printing. They even have the option to buy the first printing if one is so inclined.
When I obtain the second printing, I will update this review. So far, I have heard good things: the font is readable and the colors are more representative of what one would see in the field. I'm looking forward to this second printing!
A very annoying feature of this guide is the font. Not the size necessarily, but where many of the bird illustrations are WAY too dark, the font is way too light and lacks contrast. I keep tilting the book to get a better angle as if the text is catching or reflecting light but it's not. I have great eyesight, but I find the text a strain to read. Many of the birds are too dark and the colors are simply wrong. This shouldn't be a matter of opinion. The book betrays itself with statements like "brilliant red" on the scarlet tanager when it's obviously showing dark red; "flaming-orange throat" on the blackburnian when it's dark orange; "bright orange-red bill (never as dark red as many Caspians)" on the royal tern, well it's not bright and when you flip to the Caspian it's almost the same color! The orange-crowned warbler is green, the hooded warbler has a highlighter-yellow face, the baltimore oriole's orange is more like an american robin's red and there are many more disappointments. Some of the bird's faces are so dark that you can barely discern any detail. Sibley set the bar and his second edition does not measure up.
Update: Thank you to R. Matz for providing a link to an article from birdforum.net in which Sibley has stated in a Facebook correspondence "There are a few images (like the male Scarlet Tanager) that are obviously not OK and will be corrected in the next printing, but I think that involves a very small number of images. The font is another issue, and it's clear that too many are finding it hard to read. Tests are already being done to find a way to fix that in the next printing."
Improving the readability of the text will be a major improvement. Along with the male Scarlet Tanager, I hope Sibley will fix color issues with the following birds:
- Eastern and Western Bluebirds (too dark)
- Orange-crowned Warbler (too green)
- Blackburnian Warbler (make the orange "flaming")
- Baltimore Oriole (brighten the orange)
- Lighten some of the birds on which the facial features cannot be discerned
I look forward to the next printing (which should be available this September)and the fixes it will offer. A "Thank you" to B. Walker for contacting Knopf to find out that a fix is in the works and that we should have a new print available to purchase by late Summer.
In this case, it is the coloration of the birds which struck me right away.Some of the white birds are far too light,and some of the darkest birds are so dark such that it is difficult to see the features of the birds. I have the Sibley Guide to BIrds,Second Edition,Second Printing (July 2014) side by side with the "Sibley Birds East.", "revised edition " (March 2016). The coloration of the birds is far better in the " Sibley Guilde to Birds.
I will probably return this Field Guide.I would not be surprised if Knopf reprinted it.
"Sibley Birds East " is 438 pages and fairly weighty. .It's not something I would tote around in the field
PLEASE NOTE : Amazon has lumped the reviews of the previous edition together with the March 2016 Edition. These are not identical books.
I would recommend that those who are perusing the reviews look at the dates.Any reviews published prior to the end of March,2016, have to be of the first edition.
There were other parts of the book that bothered me too. I was surprised there wasn't a quick finder at the very beginning of the book to get to a species quickly. It was like 5 pages into the book instead. Information of many of the birds were limited because it is a very compact book of many species. It seemed to focused on the more unreliable plumage of birds too much and not enough on the very reliable shape and structure.
But this is a pretty good field guide, especially because it is small and can be used in the field. It is comfortable to carry with the paperback. The size was so good a had to add a star to my rating. It had a lot of different angles on birds and flight views which were cool. Overall i don't know if i would recommend this because the text is small and a little hard to read. I prefer the nat geo guide for now.