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

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  952 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Using classification and scientific common names based on the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list, this guide is organized for easy reference. All known species are covered
Paperback, Fifth Edition, 464 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by National Geographic (first published January 1st 1987)
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 National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Arielle
Sep 10, 2007 Arielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birds
This is one of the most amazing books for birdwatchers. I used it for all of my ornithology classes and learned so much about identifying birds by both their markings and behavior. I had this unbelievable teacher, who had been a birdwatcher for all his life, and he went through the guide, page by page, and he showed us slides and talked about each species with a depth of knowledge that was devotional. I learned how to tell all the different gulls apart at Ocean Beach (San Francisco) and saw a re ...more
Anne K.
Aug 14, 2007 Anne K. rated it really liked it
This is my trusty battered, mud stained bird book and I love it. The pictures are detailed, the descriptions short and concise, and there's enough space in the margins for me to write sighting notations.
Janet
Aug 08, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a comprehensive reference book about 800 North American birds. It is heavily illustrated, unlike some of the more condensed field guides. I especially appreciate seeing 3-5 related birds shown on one page. I also appreciate the pages that show a number of birds in flight within the same family, example shore birds or hawks, because this is often how birds are observed.

I find this reference especially helpful in narrowing the possibilities when trying to identify a bird within a family. I
...more
Angelo
Nov 19, 2013 Angelo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the birds of North America. It talks about how to find, identify, and the age. This book takes you through the world of birds.As you read the book it will tell you where the type of bird lives. Which you way think it is odd because a bird can go any where, but some birds have certain environments that they can only live in. There are some birds that come here from other countries as well. I think the type of people that would really like this book is bird watchers or people th ...more
Johann
Mar 07, 2015 Johann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I haven't actually read through this book from cover to cover (I'm using the sixth edition), it has proven itself extremely useful. I spent quite some time reading about the various field guides online and thought I had decided on the best option. Then I went to our local bookstore to flip through the options they had (including the Sibley, Stokes, Kaufman, and a few other guides), and this one really stood out from the rest. What I love about the book are the quick indexes on the front an ...more
T
Sep 13, 2007 T rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: birders
Shelves: reference, birds
Can't live without this one--it goes everywhere with me. I've since updated and bought the 4th and 5th editions, but all of my birding notes are still in this very worn copy. An excellent field guide, in my opinion. I supplement it with The Sibley Guide to Birds, which stays at home while I drag the Ntl. Geographic guide with me.
Sean
Feb 09, 2016 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Not my everyday field guide, but the illustrations can be useful for cross-referencing species, and it does cover all of North America so is good for travel outside of my region. I prefer The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America for regular home regional use.
Suz
May 06, 2012 Suz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite birding guide book. It has great pictures and descriptions. The blurbs with the range maps is fantastic and it has a lot of incidental species to South Texas (at least) that a lot of guide books lack since they are not "common enough", I guess.

There's a handy checklist in the back if you want to check off species as you see them, but since I'm a much more casual birder, I just write in the white space next to the bird where and when I saw it for the first time.
Donna
Jan 28, 2009 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This reference is great. In past editions it was difficult to find specific birds, but the combination of durable flap index and thumb tabs for the most frequent bird families (hawks, warblers, sparrows, etc.) make it super easy to use.

The written descriptions are fairly brief so the focus is on the drawings. The drawings are detailed and mostly include those of the different races, juveniles, and birds in flight.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
May 23, 2013 Sheri Fresonke Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, birds
We use this as a back up guide that is handy for those visiting both coasts of the United States since it contains the birds on both sides of the Rocky Mountains, a divide in the country that has lead to different species of birds like Meadowlarks and Bluebirds. It has good details on the hawks, too.
Scott Cox
Jan 17, 2016 Scott Cox rated it it was amazing
The illustrations and information contained in this field guide makes it my favorite for field use. Perhaps Sibley’s guide contains more detailed and up-to-date information, but this still remains my favorite guide - it helps of course that it contains all my hand-written notes from 3 years of field ornithology courses.
Greg Brozeit
Mar 28, 2015 Greg Brozeit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Finally finished reading this cover-to-cover after a year of about a page a day plus many reread parts as I tried to identify birds. Anyone in North American interested in finding out more about the birds around them should own this book. Great illustrations, great facts, and great insight to help appreciate the world around us.
Chelsea
Nov 30, 2015 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the field guide that I began birding with and I still use it today, in companion with my Stokes Guide. It's absolutely fantastic. It's well organized, well illustrated, and well written. I could not recommend this book more highly to anyone interested in learning about birds.
Stanley Hall
I wish I had the newest edition of this book. I've been carrying around this edition for almost 20 years and it is the best guide that I've come across. I have several other guides and I use them to complement this one.
Ben
Jun 10, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed book of birds. I don't know enough about the field to know how it compares to it's competitors, but the book does everything I want it to do. It has really come in handy with identifying all of those birds eating out of my birdfeeder.
Linda Jenkinson
Jun 22, 2014 Linda Jenkinson rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect book for identifying that bird in your back yard or to take along camping or on a Sunday walk through a wooded park.
Tiffany
Oct 13, 2008 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birding
Still my field guide of choice, well the 3rd edition is, in spite of new editions and Sibley's. This is the book I like to carry around.
Katelyn
May 17, 2010 Katelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great field guide, but sometimes I have a little trouble identifying the real bird from the drawings, but at least they have all stages of a birds life
adriana
Mar 17, 2007 adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: birders, nature-walkers
my field guide of choice. fairly life-like renderings of the species with gendered, age-specific and seasonal plumages included. most importantly, small enough to carry without being burdensome.
Kathie
I want to look birds up by state and color and size--this is a little more challenging than that, but it's very helpful. And it makes me feel smart :)
Julie
Apr 14, 2008 Julie added it
This is the bible of bird watching. I was turned on to bird watching when I married Kevin and I love it.
Jenn
Nov 10, 2013 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This detailed and handy field guide is a wonderful hiking companion. The full colored illustrations remove the guess work while identifying birds, and the range maps are accurate and trustworthy.
Beth
Sep 03, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birding
This is the best of my bird guides. It contains more specimens than my other birding books and includes better descriptions.
Erin
Jan 03, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: always-reading
Most informative and well written. This is a great book to get a start and/ or to brush up on your facts of Bird species in North America.
Randy
Jul 12, 2009 Randy rated it it was amazing
Invaluable to any birder...open it countless times during the year especially helpful identifying hawks and warblers. One of my Top 10!
demonslayer666
May 21, 2017 demonslayer666 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always really liked science and animals and someday I would like to be a veterinarian. This book was a lot of fun for me to read because it taught me a lot about birds, where they come from, how they look and what perspective I should look at them from. For example, if I had to do a medical procedure on a raven, I would have to put it under very heavy anesthetic so that it wouldn't come back in the middle of the procedure and kill itself accidentally while trying to get away.

This book als
...more
Anna Nesterovich
It is the best field guide to American birds I found so far. It contains recognisable pictures; distribution maps for all birds that are more than just unexpected visitors; fair descriptions; and some notes on voices. Unlike the vast majority of American field guides, it offers species according to taxonomy, not "color" or habitat.

Still, the book is very disappointing after European field guides, by Collins for example. It offers very little, if any, information on habitat and behaviour and alto
...more
Jayme
Feb 03, 2010 Jayme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great bird guide. This one got me through my Vertebrates of BC course at school. The pictures are drawn, with different variations included when necessary (male, female, summer, winter, etc.). Birds are separated by family (gulls, finches, owls, etc.) Colour coded distribution map is also included for most species, very handy.
Alexandra Desailly
A pretty good field guide all things considered. Though it does not compare to the Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
David Ward
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America by the National Geographic Society (National Geographic 1987) (598.072347). Birders consider this guide to be accurate and easy to use in the field or in the armchair. My rating: 7/10, finished 1993.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
books with illustrations on Kindle? 1 1 Feb 09, 2016 07:12PM  
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds
  • National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America
  • Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds
  • Birds of North America
  • A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region
  • The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Western Region (National Audubon Society Field Guide)
  • Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification
  • Collins Bird Guide
  • The Warbler Guide
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region
  • Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign
  • A Field Guide to Insects: America North of Mexico (Peterson Field Guides)
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to Weather: North America

Share This Book