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4.6 out of 5 stars87
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on April 1, 2001
This is a nice book and well worth the money; but if you are looking for the "one" field guide my recommendation is to select the National Geographic Society (NGS) Birds of North America or the Golden Field Guide.
Here is why. Sibley is very large--about 13 sq inches larger the BNA and 18 sq inches large than Golden, too large to fit in any pocket and it is "heavy".
The art work is good with many more view than either of the other two books, but the descriptive text is very limited.
Here is an example: Huttons vireo.
There are five pictures in Sibley. Two in NGS and one in Golden. But in my opinion only one of this bird is all that is required. Others may disagree. Sibley has one sentence describing this bird 15 words. NGS has 85 words. Golden, 79 words. All three note that Huttons vireo is similar to the ruby crowned kinglet, but Golden and NGS show you a picture of the kinglet right beside the vireo and explain how to tell them apart. Sibley just says to compare it to the kinglet.
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on December 27, 2000
Although Sibley's guide in very useful and informative, the artistry leaves much to be desired. While Sibley is a very gifted artist, very accurate portrayals of birds are required in field guides for the easy refernce in the field. Sibley's use of different positions and flight leave some identifiable characterists hidden to the reader. Also, the Sibly guide contains a lot of wasted page space. About half of the guide is white page. This space could have been used to depict birds in different plumage or enlarged pictures of the birds for better identification. It seems that Sibly shrinks his paintings down so small as to hide his lack of detail. At the least this guide could have been made smaller, to make a less cumbersome field guide. This guide makes a better book of art than a helpful field guide.
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on January 11, 2001
I am always on the lookout for a good new field guide. When Sibley's new guide came out, I was anxious to see it, but went to take a look at the whole thing at a local bookstore before placing my order. I never ordered it. While the illustrations are absolutely fantastic -- my compliments to Mr. Sibley for this aspect of his book -- the text aspect is inexcusably poor. The general trend throughout the book seems to be a full page of beautiful illustrations, with a 2- or 3- sentence blurb at the bottom of the page. I would recommend Sibley's Guide to those who are looking for a book with excellent illustrations. However, this book is not as useful as some of the other guides on the market to those serious birders looking for a guide with some meat to the text.
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on November 19, 2013
Regretted buying it.

Not much more info than the Field Guides. Not worth the weight of this volume.

Hope this helps.
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on December 6, 2001
The Sibley guide is impressive but it is much better as a reference book than a field guide. I am a biologist and avid birder and I can think of at least two other bird guides I would prefer to take with me out into the field. My primary complaints about this book are as follows:
1) It is very confusing and difficult to use - the plates are too cluttered and the layout is inconsistent and non-intuitive.
2) The illustrations are nice to look at but are simplistic (read: cartoonish) and often lack detail.
3) Several bird species found in other guides are missing. Granted, the few I have noted are vagrants or accidentals and not likely to be encountered but I consider the book "incomplete" as a result.
4) The book itself is far too big and heavy - a relatively minor complaint but one that's worthy of consideration.
This is a very popular book and for good reason - it has a lot of good information and has very impressive illustrations. However, I contend that the NGS guide is far superior and will remain the choice of serious birders for years to come.
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on February 3, 2001
This is a book about identifying birds. The index does not include the word "egg", nor can any trace of the word be easily discovered....certainly no pictures. I am very disappointed with this monstrous oversight.
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