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

4.69 of 5 stars 4.69  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  28 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
Turtleback, 473 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published January 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Sandra
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:
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/
and you have an excellent resource set for any level of enthusiast.
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.
Patrick\
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.
lia
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
Ken-ichi
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
Cody
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.
Mark
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.
Con:
This book lacks what most bird books do, a visual size reference. My fa
...more
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!!!
Kidsbookworm
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.

Sam
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.
Patrick
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.
George
Excellent book that reaches to the youngest and that explains the life of birds in north america !
I relayl loved it
Lonnie
Considered the bible of North American birds. Beautifully illustrated plates painted by the author himself.
Alison
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.
ernie
If your setting is Western North America I recommend having this book on hand.
Emily
This is an excellent field guild with beautiful illustrations.
Jim
Great daypack staple. It goes when I go outside.
Kim
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.
Elizabeth
It's Sibley's so it's awesome.
Sheila
The best bird guide ever!
Scott
Nice field guide.
Jo
Sep 06, 2007 Jo rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: nonfiction
The is priceless.
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