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The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

4.69 of 5 stars 4.69  ·  rating details  ·  464 ratings  ·  32 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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 664)
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Christopher H.
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...
Jul 06, 2007 lia rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Douglas Dalrymple
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
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.
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.
Ryan Mishap
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
Jim Porter
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
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.
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
The best book yet for birding in the West.
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
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.
A great field guide. Perfect travel size, has just about every bird that I've ever seen or heard of being in the area, and it has beautiful illustrations.
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
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!!!
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.

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.
Barnaby Thieme
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.
M. Rivera
May 21, 2013 M. Rivera rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Excellent book that reaches to the youngest and that explains the life of birds in north america !
I relayl loved it
Considered the bible of North American birds. Beautifully illustrated plates painted by the author himself.
May 16, 2011 Alison added it
Shelves: birds
Sibley is a talented man. I wish the cover on this guide were a little more flexible.
If your setting is Western North America I recommend having this book on hand.
This is an excellent field guild with beautiful illustrations.
Great daypack staple. It goes when I go outside.
Oct 21, 2007 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves birds
I use it all the time. A valuable reference.
It's Sibley's so it's awesome.
The best bird guide ever!
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