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The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Second Edition

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,243 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Flexibound

Now completely revised and updated--the indispensable resource for all birders seeking an authoritative guide to the birds of the East in a portable format they will want to carry into the field. 

Compact and comprehensive, this guide features 650 bird species, plus regional populations, found east of the Rocky Mountains. Entries include stunningly accurate
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Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Knopf (first published June 30th 2003)
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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 ·  1,243 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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M. Sarki
A guidebook certainly to find its lofty place within my other treasures. My good friend in Florida remarked yesterday, "Birds offer free entertainment", and I could not agree more. A little late in life for me to find a new interest in identifying birds, but owning a cabin in northern Michigan and a small house near the Indian River estuary here in Melbourne provides ample opportunities for a budding familiarity. Filled with detailed information and illustrations, this book should offer years of ...more
Patsy
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birds
Have this as a reference
Logan Hughes
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birds
I did a side by side comparison of this, the Peterson field guide, and the Audubon field guide, and I liked this one the best. The illustrations are clear and, for the birds I knew, seemed to capture the spirit of the bird in an easy-to-identify way. Important features and field marks are pointed out in the illustrations. There are pages with helpful comparisons for similar or easily-confused birds, like hawks and warblers. It's compact and densely packed with useful information.

The Peterson
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John
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birds, nature, wildlife
This is my primary field guide, the one I take with me when I'm birdwatching.
Valerie
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Sibley's illustrations, and I realized my Western Field Guide was not quite as useful on the other side of the Rockies. I am looking forward to some more travels with this.
January
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nice size for a big back pocket. Illustrations are extremely detailed. I'm new to birding and found it fairly easy to identify birds within groups using the summaries at the beginning of each group and the accompanying seasonal maps. I also had fun checking birds off in the checklist index in the back.

And, I ran into some real birdwatchers in the Everglades and they complimented me on this book.

So there.
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
If you don't want to pack around the big comprehensive Sibley with you on your outdoor jaunts, then having the western and eastern guides is the way to go. These are excellent field guides and hold up pretty well over the years.
S̶e̶a̶n̶

Sibley is indispensable. This is my everyday field guide while birding in the Eastern U.S. My only complaint is that the binding did not hold up very well. But that can be said for most books published these days.
Lynn
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Pretty much the perfect bird book. David Sibley is a miracle.
Jessie (saxgrl1)
Always my go to book for bird ID. The different seasonal plumage illustrations as especially helpful for shorebirds and seabirds.
Jean
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best field guides I've tried. The introductory material is hugely helpful and the illustrations and descriptions are well done. Highly recommended for beginning birdwatchers!
Jessica Lowery
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
My favorite field guide, and I have many.
Ginny
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, my-library
For a field guide that actually works in the field a few things seem to me to be important, and this book satisfies. It is a sturdy book with sewn binding. The front and back covers have flaps that allow you to book mark pages. The pages themselves are thicker paper. The print easy to read.
Beyond that, I think this field guide would work best for a non-beginning birder. There are illustrations of birds, not pictures. So far, Ive not found any to be truly accurate to what Ive seen in the field.
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Gale Turco
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent field guide for identification of birds.
Susan Liles
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My go-to bird ID book!
Christine
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome reference!
Megan
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down this is the field guide I use in the actual field. Species are arranged in groups located based of (more or less) overall relatedness, but within groups arrangement keeps in mind what is likely to be confused for what else.

Each species has a blurb that typically gives this info: How common it is; where you are likely to see it; is it likely to be alone or with other; Diet; physical description or behaviors of note; voice, as well as normal stuff like range maps and measurements.

There
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Anne K.
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new and old birders
Shelves: reference
This is my "take with" bird book. One of the things I really like about it is that each group of birds has a overview page which shows smaller pictures of all the birds. It makes it very easy to compare sizes and prominent features so you can rule out some birds without having to flip through the book quite as much.

Of course, Sibley's art is quite good, expressive without being distracting. Like most bird books, he creates a sort of mean or average picture of the bird. Recognized sub-species
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Liz
Feb 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature-guides
This is the bird book I use most often. I agree with the previous reviewer that its main flaw is that it's very liberal in its interpretation of "Eastern" and I often have to wade through several birds I have almost zero chance of seeing here to compare the similar ones that I am likely to see. However, overall the book is an excellent guide, and the one I am most likely to give as a gift to friends who want a good guide for identifying birds while hiking/etc.
A.D. Morel
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-history
This is the field guide to beat most of my other field guides. I like it so much, and if I'm checking around through the bird books, this one is near the top of the pile if not on the top. For handy, the Golden Guide is more likely to go in my pack, but this one has such great illustrations and excellent information. It's a must-have for me.
Joe
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Peterson guides, but I tend to use Sibley's just a bit more than Peterson's "Eastern Birds". The main difference I prefer here is that the range maps are on each page alongside the bird descriptions and the drawings are very clear and detailed.
Sandra
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birds
As someone who has recently become a birdwatcher, and loves to acquire books, I've got a couple (OK, more than a couple) other field guides. But this is my favorite and the one that I carry with my bins. The illustrations are just amazing.
Johanna
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This reference was recommended to me by an Audubon Society friend who knows - I'm new to the east coast and was without the tools. Lovely, beautiful renderings, understated, nicely produced and to the point. Best book of 2012 so far, I'd say. Oh, you don't FINISH a book like this.
Peacegal
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This is a fine bird guide that you will refer to for years to come. Its compact enough to carry with you outdoors, but comprehensive enough to keep on your bookshelf. Very nice illustrations accompany the entries. ...more
Kidsbookworm
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family
I "grew up" on the Peterson guide and The Golden Guide to Birds, and I have those books also. But David Sibley's book is SO comprehensive, informative, and wonderful that I had to buy this one, also!

If you are at all interested in birds, I think this book is a Must Own.
Meri
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy to use birding book with really nicely detailed illustrations of the birds that makes them easier to identify.
Mel Claes winans
Let's be real, this is a field guide. That being said, it is a very useful, the variety of pictures cover all the bases and the descriptions are spot on. By far the best field guide for beginners.
Anastasia Steinbrunner
This is the go-to book for bird ID. Everyone should own one!
Susan
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have almost replaced my Peterson's guide with this one. Almost. They currently function as a whole!
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