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Sibley's Birding Basics Paperback – October 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In the past, when friends/acquaintances have asked what books I would recommend in order to improve their birding skills - not a field guide - I would recommend either Birding for Beginners; Sheila Buff or The Complete Birder; Jack Connor. In addition, I would always recommend getting The Basics of Bird Identification (Bird Topography) - A Birders Journal Publication. This is because neither of the two previous texts dedicated sufficient, if any, time on understanding bird topography. Reading the latter text was a big breakthrough for me in bird identification. I believe it is absolutely essential if you want to start nailing the tough field identifications. It gives you an understanding and takes you to another level of bird identification that you are just not going to get outside of bird-in-hand, detailed examination experience.
I have both of Sibley's previously published texts - he has been quite voluminous lately - The SIBLEY GUIDE to Bird Life & Behavior and The SIBLEY Guide to Birds. While I have mixed emotions about the goals of each of these texts and Sibley's success in accomplishing them, I can argue that they are very worthwhile books and any avid birder should probably count them among their personal library.
This brings us to Sibley's latest text, the topic of this CoBirds post. I have been birding all my life; more seriously for about the past 10 years or so - thanks to Walt and Alan V.
So you might say, "why read a 'birding basics' book?Read more ›
Anyway, "Sibley's Birding Basics" does, indeed, serve as the introduction to his bestselling field guide that he'd originally hoped to include in the field guide. He covers all the essential bird identification topics in a clearly, if scholarly, written manner, from the importance, structure and groupings of feathers; to the bird's outer anatomy; to birdsong; to clues to bird identification (behavior, molt patterns, feather wear-and-tear) that aren't covered at all in other field guides. And the illustrations, a talent for which Mr. Sibley is justifiably famous, are the most meticulous you'll find anywhere, whether the drawing shows a comparison between a summer tanager and a northern cardinal or simply of feather types.
Finally, "Birding Basics" includes a brief but to-the-point admonition to birders who might venture too close or too noisily to the objects of their fascination. For example, you read about the usefulness of "pishing" in other books and hear about it from other expert birders, but Mr.Read more ›
All of the three recent Sibley books are just first rate. I recommend starting with this one on identification, then getting his general guide one, then the one that talks about their behavior. I really liked the behavior one also. Its great to research out a bird that you are watching to find out more about how they act.
The illustrations in all of his books are first rate. I have a lot of bird books and found that Sibley's are the best of those I bought.
Sugar Land, TX
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is really interesting. It is a primer on how to "observe" which transcends just birds in that it makes you think outside the box about what we do when we are... Read morePublished 1 month ago by LovesAustin
Nice insight into the world of birding for novices. Useful information. Probably the only con is a reasonable one: being such a small book one feels that much more could have been... Read morePublished 2 months ago by sitmaeror
I would say that the book is a bit technical for new birders, though it presents a lot of information.Published 3 months ago by Howard Hile
Not as helpful as I had hoped. I probably would have been fine just getting a field guide and seeing real birds.Published 5 months ago by B. Comin
enjoying this read on how to get started watching and learning the names of birds..well explained.Published 7 months ago by JK in LA
This is required reading for my Field Ornithology class. I have been birding for over 20 years but I am learning great tips from this book, can't believe I haven't come across it... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Audrey Muenz