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A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America
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A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides #1)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,306 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Features the unique Peterson Identification System, which has never been surpassed as a tool for field identification and is available only in Peterson Guides. "The Birder's Bible" for over sixty years. All the birds of eastern and central North America--including accidentals, exotics, and escapes--shown in full color and described in detail. 390 complete, easy-to-read ran ...more
Paperback, 4th Edition, 380 pages
Published November 17th 1984 by Houghton Mifflin (P) (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Blakeslee
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I collect bird guides, but when I actually go out in the field, this is the ONLY book I bring with me. It's truly indispensable -- and I'll always love it for describing chimney swifts as "cigars with wings."
Louis
Oct 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any birder in E. North America
Shelves: nature
This is the famed Peterson's Guide. It is illustrated using paintings by Roger Tory Peterson. In a nice touch, the incomplete plate (page with the painting of birds) that he was working on when he died is found in the preface by his wife, and the forward references the completed version that was completed by a friend for inclusion in this Fifth edition.

The plates include lines that indicate field marks. The actual mark descriptions are in the short paragraph that is with each bird. Between 4 and
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was owned by my mother--who was the nature lover and birder in the family. She found more to watch then you might expect living in New York City. We lived near Central Park, which is something of a bird sanctuary. This book taught her a lot that she passed on to me, Though I'm by no means the naturist she was, I do appreciate the way this book made me more aware of the birds around me. I was oblivious before to all but the pigeons ("rock doves" in this book) and sparrows. After this I ...more
max
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Talk about definitive. There are others, but this was the first that was intended to provide specific identification aids in the field. It still rules. It is often fun just to do some armchair browsing through its gorgeous plates and recall what I have seen and where, and what I have not seen.

Birding is such a sweet pastime, and is fun either alone or in the company of others, especially highly skilled observers.
Brian Cassada
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book for birding. Use it often. The tips that each color plate has to help point specific unique characteristics for each bird are extremely helpful. This book came to me by way of a friend who was pointed to it by some more advanced bird watchers. Definitely a must have book for those who enjoy bird watching.
Jay
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is THE book my parents taught me with on our hikes. I've carried it with me all over the continent. When a mysterious bird drops by our bird feeder it's the book my children reach for. It rarely spends time on the shelf.
Mark Carey
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, books-i-own
For me this is the quintessential bird guide. My copy has little bits of post-it sticking out all over. I recommend it to anyone who loves watching birds.
Theresa
This book is a keeper , as an Ontario resident, it is a must , pelee Island adventures , always on the lookout for a new species, this book cannot be surpassed as a tool!
Christopher
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must have guide if you live in or are traveling to the Eastern and Central North America area. With numerous birds visiting daily to my backyard, this resource is always within arms reach, usually sitting next to a camera. Pictures are bright making identification easy and the book is laid out in a very easy to use format.
Cynthia
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unfinished
This guide can't be beat for helping new birders identify what is in their yard.
Has my Life List in it!
Robert
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The all time great bird book to beat all bird books. Even fits in your pocket!
Jerry M
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: field-guides
This edition is a bit long in the tooth, but it is the one I carry in my car. It fits into a large pocket of my light weight jacket and it is easy to carry. It is also extremely well made. I dropped my previous copy into the water more than once and my current copy is about 15 years old.

Peterson was a better artist than Sibley and he was better served by his printer. If you see the most recent Sibley you would be appalled at the way it was printed. Peterson's system of field marks is the best w
...more
Suzyberry
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is far and away the best birding book ever written. Roger Tory Peterson knew birds better than Audubon and his artwork and pinpoint perfect descriptions and maps are beyond excellent. I have been a birdwatcher for over 30 years and have relied exclusively on his book the entire time. My original copy is well-worn and well-loved with dates beside each bird I've seen...now have a new copy, but keep grabbing the old one because it is like a dear, old friend.
Greg Majewski
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Plain and simple, this book is how I got so interested in birds. There may be newer, "better" field guides available today, but Peterson will always be my go-to. Even if you are not a birder, perusing the illustrations will leave you in awe of the hundreds (thousands?) of birds around you that you never knew about and then make you point and yell "Hey! I've seen that before!"
Karen
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember looking through my mom's Peterson guide--it's old, it's hard-bound, with a green cloth cover--and finding the color plates fascinating. The pictures Peterson painted help me to identify birds far better than any of the photographs used in other guides. This edition will not disappoint if you prefer the illustrations to the photographs.
Brad
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, guide, birds
A nice book to own, but not very useful as a field guide given the current options in the market. The text is still useful as a reference for looking up field marks, but the taxonomic information is a bit outdated.
Diane
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I also have an older ed., a yardsale find, so I can always have one in the car and one in the house. Identifying birds has made me a better observer of the physical world and on adventures in the surrounding area gives me a sense of wildness in the world.
Sharlette Kneer
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Bird Guide although a newer edition may have more accurate range maps and information. Only downside is I prefer photos to drawings, but the drawings in this book were very detailed and realistic. It is a great reference for a birdwatcher.
Karena
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference, nature
After going to the Spring Bird Festival at Tommy Thompson Park yesterday, I realize that the names in this version might be outdated. See "Oldsquaw," which is now called Long-Tailed Duck. Also, the descriptions are pretty succinct.
Marilyn
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
J'ai tellement feuilleté ce livre-là quand j'étais petite, j'ai appris au moins la moitié des oiseaux du livre ! Si j'arrive à reconnaître autant d'oiseaux, c'est grâce aux heures que j'ai passé à regarder le livre encore et encore quand j'avais à peine 10 ans !
Patrick\
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guides
The Peterson guides have always been right at the top, both for ease of identification and for ease of use. I am waiting for the bird calls to be inserted with each remnant dinosaur, right there with the picture. Juveniles excepted. Probably coming, but not soon.
Charles
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Common Loon. Gavia immer. Voice: in breeding season, falsetto wails, weird yodeling, maniacal quavering laughter; at night, a tremulous ha-oo-oo. In flight, a barking kwuk. Usually silent in nonbreeding season. "
Tofu Fairy
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had this field guide for many years and love love love it. It is still my go-to place to help id any bird that I have never seen before or am unsure of. GREAT reference for any birder, novice or green.
Scott Cox
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I use this guide frequently while I'm on traveling on the East Coast on business trips. It is quite compact, however packed much useful field identification information.
Mark Rigney
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What was it Irma Thomas used to say?

Ah, I remember now. "Simply the Best."

I need three tools to be a good birder. Binoculars, patience, and Peterson's.
David Mccarrick
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a field guide; very useful. Good book for beginners.
Cyber Trout
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There are lots of birding guides published. There is only one to use.
Brad
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Indispensable companion to my hikes in the Michigan woods.
Laura
Yes, I read, re-read and reference this book all the time. It's perfect.
Myra Sullivan
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great guide to wild birds. Hats off to Peterson, the master of key identifying characteristics in the field.
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Roger Tory Peterson was an American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, and educator, and held to be one of the founding inspirations for the 20th century environmental movement.
More about Roger Tory Peterson...

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Peterson Field Guides (1 - 10 of 54 books)
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