The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Second Edition
If you are a birder or want to be a birder and live in the US east of the Rockies, this book will be indispensable to you. This compact tome shows 650 species of birds, broken into forty categories, and is filled with more than 4500 beautifully accurate illustrations of birds and over 600 maps to delineate the birds’ natural territories. The illustrations, in many cases, show both juvenile and adult birds as well as adult breeding and adult non-breeding markings. Wing shapes, bill lengths, and coloration are nicely defined with excellent illustration notes. The introductory section covers a lot in a few pages including bird classifications, equipment necessary for birding, learning to identify birds, variation in appearance, learning songs and calls, and much more. There is also a nifty little section that shows the parts of four kinds of birds — passerines, shorebirds, ducks, and gulls — and molt and plumage. A checklist and comprehensive species index finishes things off.
The writing, though it seems like little on each page, is lively, vivid, and on point. This handy little guide at approximately 5 by 8 by 1 inch will fit nicely into a small backpack or large pocket.