Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America” as Want to Read:
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

4.7  ·  Rating Details ·  578 Ratings  ·  34 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 703 bird species plus regional populations found wes ...more
Hardcover, 473 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published January 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America by David Allen SibleyNational Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America... by Jonathan AlderferLichens of the North Woods by Joe WalewskiA Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers by Theodore F. NiehausSpiders of the North Woods by Larry Weber
Best Field Guides
1st out of 63 books — 13 voters
The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian AndersenJonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard BachThe Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen SibleyThe Raven by Edgar Allan PoeA Spicing of Birds by Emily Dickinson
Books About Birds
27th out of 249 books — 52 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
This is the definitive field guides for birds, in my humble opinion. My copy is absolutely in tatters too, with notes and observations on nearly every page. I suppose I need to buy a new one...
Douglas Dalrymple
May 27, 2015 Douglas Dalrymple rated it it was amazing
Having just written a review for Sibley’s Birding Basics I thought I might as well write a review for his field guide. Our family copy is pretty beat up at this point but it still gets a lot of use. I love this book. Not only for Sibley’s illustrations, which are terrific, but for his field marks and guidance. We’ve used other guides in the past, the Peterson and the Audubon guides, for example. I just prefer ‘The Sibley.” For ease of use and insight, I don’t think there’s a better choice.

In clo
Aug 09, 2016 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.
Jim Porter
Dec 07, 2012 Jim Porter rated it really liked it
I'll be "currently-reading" this masterpiece for years to come. Beautiful field guide, field book. The passion of the author is contagious. Looking forward to many years and countless observations.
Doranna Durgin
May 12, 2010 Doranna Durgin rated it it was amazing
This one will always be a "current book." My favorite bird guide--for the illustrations, the information included, and the little mini index in front of each family of birds.
Apr 16, 2008 Patrick\ rated it really liked it
Shelves: guides
Now the top-of-the-line. A terrific book. Still waiting for the recorded calls next to each identifying picture - little mini things, like in the greeting cards, sort of.
Stan Spencer
Sep 10, 2012 Stan Spencer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zoology
The best book yet for birding in the West.
William M
Oct 15, 2016 William M rated it it was amazing
Very good field guide. As with all field guides, it should be used in conjunction with other guides to get a better identification.
Oct 13, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: bird enthusiasts
Shelves: animals
Birdwatching, or birding, is a favorite hobby of mine and I am always looking for a great field guide. This one has proven to be my favorite. It's a field guide to birds of western North America (as the title says) and so far has included every bird I've been able to find here in Arizona and on trips to California and Utah.

The illustrations are beautiful and clear, unlike many guides which use photographs with varying lighting or in which the bird may be partially obscured. It makes it easy to
Ryan Mishap
May 10, 2015 Ryan Mishap rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guide-books
While we love our Birds of Oregon book for its specificity and ease of use, we bought one of these for travels to other states. One needs a bit more experience to utilize Sibley's versus the Oregon book, but there are more pictures offering several variations when needed.

The Sibley's app is astounding, and, truth be told, superior to the book (if anyone thought I'd say that, ever, I would've called them an idiot, but there it is). The app not only offers the birds that are in the book and the i
Apr 16, 2010 Ken-ichi rated it it was amazing
An exceptional field guide. Layouts and illustrations are clean and consistent, every species account includes multiple plumages (if relevant), maps, and useful points of identification. The organization is taxonomic, which can be troublesome for beginners, but the illustrations are so nice that the book is highly "flippable," i.e. it's relatively easy to flip through and find something close to what you're seeing. My only real complaint is that the pictorial indexes that lead each family only s ...more
Jul 06, 2007 lia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: birdwatchers and birdlovers
Shelves: natural-history
I wanted to comment on this book, which for many years, I have used almost daily. Before I became a Sibley devotee I was big on the Audubon guide. It's a toss up really, because the Audubon has real photographs and the Sibley has drawings-this made me resistant at first to changing over to the Sibley--but when I moved to New York I bought the East Coast version, and really grew to like it. That said, I really like the Audobon as well, but dislike where Audubon was coming from when he first start ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing
This is now my second favorite bird book. We found it at in the gift shop of Arches National Park in Utah. Our favorite bird book is misplaced and we were relying on two others that had severe limitations.
What I like about this guide:
Color coded seasonal migration routes.
Illustrations of both sexes, resting, inflight top and in flight bottom.
Unique flight wing shapes detailed
Subspecies not only mentioned but illustrated.
This book lacks what most bird books do, a visual size reference. My fa
Jan 31, 2012 Kidsbookworm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
I "grew up reading" the Petersen Guide and the blue Golden Guide to Birds. But David Sibley's guide is so comprehensive, interesting, and filled with wonderful artwork that I had to buy this edition, too.

We love to watch and feed the birds and enjoy seeing new species, like the Painted Bunting, when we travel, so a guide to birds is a necessity.

We also like to identify birds who visit at our feeders during migratory seasons.

Tattered Cover Book Store
Dec 02, 2008 Tattered Cover Book Store added it
Recommended to Tattered Cover by: Anthony H
Shelves: staff-recommends
Anthony H says:

If you're looking for the only and absolute best field guide you'll ever need or want, look no further. Also author/illustrator of the Sibley Guide to birds of Eastern North America. These books are filled with precise field markings, youth to adult renderings, male and female depiction, and more. NOTHING EVEN COMPARES!!!
Aug 01, 2007 Patrick rated it really liked it
It's an excellent field guides with good pictures and descriptions, and ways to distinguish among similar birds; I sometimes have trouble finding a bird that I've seen but that is more due to my lack of general ornithological knowledge. I think a short intro characterizing the different classes of birds or giving some background would be helpful.
Mar 19, 2012 Sam rated it really liked it
Everyone who likes to carry one has an ideal field guide. I appreciate Sibley's for its sturdy flexible cover, good construction, and modest size. It fits nicely into my outdoor jacket and is a comfortable weight. The information is direct, simple, and easy to browse without sacrificing too much for the sake of brevity. Overall, this is an ideal field guide for anyone curious about birds.
M. Rivera
May 21, 2013 M. Rivera rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone intersted in bird-watching
Recommended to M. by: Prof. King
I bought this book for an ornithology class. I loved it. it has great illustrations as well as easy to use range maps and life histories of the birds. I am definitely going to buy the eastern guide soon.
Barnaby Thieme
Jan 22, 2009 Barnaby Thieme rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
It is easy to see why this is widely regarded as the finest field guide currently in print. It is extremely informative and easy to use. The illustrations and descriptions are excellent, and the groupings are highly intuitive. Top marks.
Louise Chambers
Lovely illustrations. Good size. I like the layout. Each variant has its own section with separate illustrations, so it is much easier to make a species variant or color morph ID.
May 27, 2007 Lonnie rated it it was amazing
Considered the bible of North American birds. Beautifully illustrated plates painted by the author himself.
Dec 20, 2013 George rated it really liked it
Excellent book that reaches to the youngest and that explains the life of birds in north america !
I relayl loved it
Mar 02, 2014 Cody rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, birds
My favorite field guide, equal parts form and function. Full up with succinct and precise descriptions and illustrations that are not only useful but beautiful.
Denise Cordova
Denise Cordova rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2014
Karen Marshall
Karen Marshall rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2014
Faye rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2008
Kathline rated it it was amazing
May 26, 2012
Zharfa rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2016
Braden rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2015
Coconutoilshops rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Field Guide to Western Birds: A Completely New Guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico
  • Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding: Understanding What You See and Hear
  • Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds
  • National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
  • Hawks in Flight: The Flight Identification of North American Migrant Raptors
  • The Eyewitness Handbook of Trees (Eyewitness Handbooks)
  • Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification
  • The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors
  • A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America
  • Collins Bird Guide
  • National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
  • Insects: A Guide to Familiar American Insects
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies
  • A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region
  • All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms

Share This Book