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The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
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The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

4.6  ·  Rating Details ·  952 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
The Sibley Guide to Birds has quickly become the new standard of excellence in bird identification guides, covering more than 810 North American birds in amazing detail. Now comes a new portable guide from David Sibley that every birder will want to carry into the field. Compact and comprehensive, this new guide features 650 bird species plus regional populations found eas ...more
Flexibound, 432 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Knopf (first published January 2003)
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M. Sarki
A guidebook certainly to find its lofty place within my other treasures. My good friend in Florida remarked yesterday, "Birds offer free entertainment", and I could not agree more. A little late in life for me to find a new interest in identifying birds, but owning a cabin in northern Michigan and a small house near the Indian River estuary here in Melbourne provides ample opportunities for a budding familiarity. Filled with detailed information and illustrations, this book should offer years of ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
If you don't want to pack around the big comprehensive Sibley with you on your outdoor jaunts, then having the western and eastern guides is the way to go. These are excellent field guides and hold up pretty well over the years.
Feb 14, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birds, nature, wildlife
This is my primary field guide, the one I take with me when I'm birdwatching.
Jan 14, 2017 Megan rated it it was amazing
Hands down this is the field guide I use in the actual field. Species are arranged in groups located based of (more or less) overall relatedness, but within groups arrangement keeps in mind what is likely to be confused for what else.

Each species has a blurb that typically gives this info: How common it is; where you are likely to see it; is it likely to be alone or with other; Diet; physical description or behaviors of note; voice, as well as normal stuff like range maps and measurements.

Laura Hughes
May 22, 2015 Laura Hughes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, reference
I did a side by side comparison of this, the Peterson field guide, and the Audubon field guide, and I liked this one the best. The illustrations are clear and, for the birds I knew, seemed to capture the spirit of the bird in an easy-to-identify way. Important features and field marks are pointed out in the illustrations. There are pages with helpful comparisons for similar or easily-confused birds, like hawks and warblers. It's compact and densely packed with useful information.

The Peterson gu
Anne K.
Apr 04, 2010 Anne K. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: new and old birders
Shelves: reference
This is my "take with" bird book. One of the things I really like about it is that each group of birds has a overview page which shows smaller pictures of all the birds. It makes it very easy to compare sizes and prominent features so you can rule out some birds without having to flip through the book quite as much.

Of course, Sibley's art is quite good, expressive without being distracting. Like most bird books, he creates a sort of mean or average picture of the bird. Recognized sub-species ar
Feb 28, 2013 Goose rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best bird guide I've owned/seen. The illustrations are top notch and include the bird from different angles, particularly useful when you're trying to ID a bird from flight. This guide also includes a good distribution graph, brief blurb on the bird (such as habitat, call, etc.), and a fair smattering of rare/vagrants to the Eastern US area. It's also a good size, easily fits in a decent coat sized pocket. I carry it everywhere with me and haven't been let down yet. Perfect for th ...more
Feb 08, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature-guides
This is the bird book I use most often. I agree with the previous reviewer that its main flaw is that it's very liberal in its interpretation of "Eastern" and I often have to wade through several birds I have almost zero chance of seeing here to compare the similar ones that I am likely to see. However, overall the book is an excellent guide, and the one I am most likely to give as a gift to friends who want a good guide for identifying birds while hiking/etc.
A.D. Morel
Apr 18, 2013 A.D. Morel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: natural-history
This is the field guide to beat most of my other field guides. I like it so much, and if I'm checking around through the bird books, this one is near the top of the pile if not on the top. For handy, the Golden Guide is more likely to go in my pack, but this one has such great illustrations and excellent information. It's a must-have for me.
Jul 09, 2014 Joe rated it it was amazing
I love the Peterson guides, but I tend to use Sibley's just a bit more than Peterson's "Eastern Birds". The main difference I prefer here is that the range maps are on each page alongside the bird descriptions and the drawings are very clear and detailed.
Jul 30, 2012 Johanna rated it it was amazing
This reference was recommended to me by an Audubon Society friend who knows - I'm new to the east coast and was without the tools. Lovely, beautiful renderings, understated, nicely produced and to the point. Best book of 2012 so far, I'd say. Oh, you don't FINISH a book like this.
Feb 09, 2016 Sean rated it it was amazing

Sibley is indispensable. This is my everyday field guide while birding in the Eastern U.S. My only complaint is that the binding did not hold up very well. But that can be said for most books published these days.
Jan 31, 2012 Kidsbookworm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
I "grew up" on the Peterson guide and The Golden Guide to Birds, and I have those books also. But David Sibley's book is SO comprehensive, informative, and wonderful that I had to buy this one, also!

If you are at all interested in birds, I think this book is a Must Own.
Mar 15, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing
As I always say, photos are better than drawings; however, this series is so beautifully drawn and well notated that one doesn't need actual photos.

Pair it with this site:
and you have an excellent resource set for any level of enthusiast.
Apr 30, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birds
As someone who has recently become a birdwatcher, and loves to acquire books, I've got a couple (OK, more than a couple) other field guides. But this is my favorite and the one that I carry with my bins. The illustrations are just amazing.
Mar 26, 2010 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This is a fine bird guide that you will refer to for years to come. It’s compact enough to carry with you outdoors, but comprehensive enough to keep on your bookshelf. Very nice illustrations accompany the entries.
Jessie (saxgrl1)
Jul 31, 2009 Jessie (saxgrl1) rated it it was amazing
Always my go to book for bird ID. The different seasonal plumage illustrations as especially helpful for shorebirds and seabirds.
Feb 29, 2016 Roger rated it it was ok
lots of facts about bird in the north America
Oct 26, 2011 Jean rated it it was amazing
One of the best field guides I've tried. The introductory material is hugely helpful and the illustrations and descriptions are well done. Highly recommended for beginning birdwatchers!
Dec 08, 2008 Gabby rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Beautiful pictures. I actually refer to this when I need to identify a bird in my yard.
Dec 28, 2007 John added it
Shelves: booksforbirding
I finally have this long-coveted field guide. It was a Christmas gift from my sister. I'm going to be good at spotting birds now. I will. I will ...
Jun 29, 2016 Meri rated it it was amazing
Easy to use birding book with really nicely detailed illustrations of the birds that makes them easier to identify.
Apr 03, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it
I completely suck at birding, but I still enjoy it.
Aug 31, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it
I would have preferred that the book have color photographs as opposed to drawings but over all it is a good field guide. I like that the guide also shows what the bird looks like in flight.
Jun 27, 2010 kris rated it it was amazing
A must for bird lovers! This is my new found friend, to identify and learn about the birds!
Kaleb Holmes
Apr 08, 2016 Kaleb Holmes rated it it was amazing
Efficient analysis of North American Eastern species and methods to identify them.
Anastasia Steinbrunner
Dec 02, 2009 Anastasia Steinbrunner rated it it was amazing
This is the go-to book for bird ID. Everyone should own one!
Jan 06, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
While I'm still a Peterson's disciple, this makes a really nice addition to the library and has information not found in the Peterson's bible. I'll use them in tandem.
Josh Blackmon
Jan 15, 2015 Josh Blackmon rated it it was amazing
The essential guide for birding in eastern North America.
Jan 06, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
I have almost replaced my Peterson's guide with this one. Almost. They currently function as a whole!
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