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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on December 6, 2014
great book for identifying the different birds who come to our feeder.
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on January 17, 2014
This book was recommend to us by a long-time birder and it is definitely worth the money. We are enjoying having it in our collection of go-to books.
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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 May 16, 2008
This is an excellent book content-wise, but it is definitely not a field guide. I would recommend purchasing the two smaller eastern and western edition guides, since they contain the same information (just split between the 2 regions) and are portable.
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on July 21, 2004
A very, very good book of truly great assistance in identifying difficult birds such as Bicknell's Thrush and in distinguishing others such as Eastern and Western Meadowlarks. This said, it is a trifle heavy though I still carry it always in my shoulder bag. I would suggest that in the next edition the headers announcing the various regional plumages be more pronounced, that is they should stand out more. This would make the book even more useful.
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on March 14, 2004
For the first year I owned this book, I dragged it around in the field and decided that I did not like this book because the colors seemed garish. It really bothered me that many of the brown birds in the book looked rather orange, birds with red plumage were a tacky orange-red, and the blue colors seemed unrealistic to my eye. But after owning this book for a while now, I have decided that it is one of my favorites. The best things about it are the range maps on the pages with the birds and the multiple drawings for every bird. I prefer to carry the Peterson guide in the field because I like the arrows that point out distinguishing features in the Peterson guide and I need more realistic color when I am actually comparing a color plate to a live bird. But I bring the Sibley Guide to Birds in my car whenever I go birding. That way I can enjoy Sibley's cheery artwork as soon as I get back to the parking lot. In fact, I even prefer to look at birds in the Sibley Guide when I'm not in the field trying to identify a bird for the first time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2004
I've been a birder for many years and began a life list around five years ago. I own many of the standard field guides. Only recently did I obtain the Sibley Guide, but it's become my favorite. I generally use Sibley and Stokes in tandem.
Advantages:
1. Logical layout
2. "Species accounts" pages offer an excellent comparative view within the group, as well as a good all-up overview of the families/genus/species, and general behavior.
3. Individual species pages show comprehensive plumage reference art; more detailed than any I've seen. For this feature alone, the guide is worthwhile!
4. Species pages show variants (e.g., Great Blue/Great White Heron), fledgling and/or juvenile patterns. In some cases art of eclipse plumage is a very nice bonus.
5. Flight/wing patterns where relevant
6. Comparison of hummingbird mating display paths
7. Diurnal raptors section shows perched vs. in-flight underside plumage for each species. It also offers silhouette guides to help teach wing shape if plumage is light-obscured.
8. Good geographical reference map (though smaller than ideal*)
9. Good vocal descriptions
10. Nice (what they refer to as) "bird topography" section
11. Where applicable, good information on regional variations and species clines.
Disadvantages:
1. This is not a pocket guide; it's cumbersome. I use Stokes in the field, and use Sibley at home for reference afterward.
2. The binding on my copy isn't sturdy, particularly for something that's supposedly a field guide. I feel like I must treat the glue binding gingerly or the pages might start to fall out.
3. Not enough text re: birding ethics & conservation (but that might just be my inner tree-hugger appearing) :)
4. *Geographical range map is small. I imagine it'd be difficult for some people to see clearly.
5. Migratory geographical information only covers North America. I'd like reference for migratory species (even just within text) of migration route start/finish and total annual distance. (Aside: the artic tern has the longest distance migration [Arctic to Antarctic] and can cover 22k - 30k mpy.)
Overall, this a great reference, and I recommend it highly.
However, to Knopf publishers/Chanticleer Press: Please ask Dai Nippon Printing Co to use better binding glue in the next edition!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2004
A truly magnificent book, which, coupled with its companion volume, the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, provides the definitive text on American birdlife.
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on November 29, 2003
Mr. Sibley has created a bird guide for the 21st century. Practical, logical and incredibly informative, The Sibley Guide to Birds is the bird watchers bible. I have used this guide everyday since I purchased it and the incredible paintings make indentifying birds a joy. Concise and informative, this is the definitive guide for my favorite hobby!! I highly recommend this guide to both novice and expert alike.
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on November 27, 2003
I've owned the Sibley since it's release and I've just about worn the poor book to nothing. This book, his life's work, holds a detail in it's paintings that is simply unsurpassed.
The National Geographic was the guide of choice for many years, but now this is certainly tops. If you are a birder, you must own this, don't worry about the size or settle for the newer Eastern or Western mini-versions....Cowboy up and carry it in a pack or guide cover!
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