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Best Field Guide?


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#1 JimBob

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:50 AM

What do you think is the best guide? I am going to get another one but wanted your opinions. I already have the Stoke's guide to Eastern and Western regions, and the Stoke's field guide to birds of North America. I am thinking about getting the Sibly's guide to birds of North America. Do you think that is a good idea? If not what do you think is? I know this is totally a matter of opinion. 

#2 Possumbird55

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:45 PM

In my opinion, field guide choice is a matter of personal preference.  But, I own a Peterson's guide to Birds of Eastern North America and I love it. 



#3 JimBob

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:52 PM

Thanks! I will look in to Peterson's. And yes, it is personnel opinion. But I just wanted to know what you thought.   

#4 creeker

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:59 PM

I own Peterson's Western, Smithsonian Western, Stokes Western, National Geo North American, Golden North American, and Sibley North American. If I had to choose one, it would absolutely be the Sibley. It shows many more plumage variations than the others. I like the Stokes Guide as a backup. It's nice to see an actual photo to compare along with the drawings of Sibley.

#5 JimBob

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:29 AM

Thanks! I like to go to the library and check out books that I might get. I really like Sibly's and would like to get one. Anybody else want to say something?

#6 sandylee

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:51 AM

From all my field guides, when I grab two of them to cross reference an ID... they will be Sibley's and Stokes.  Peterson's would be my #3.

#7 NatureLady

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:53 PM

Well we have Stoke's, Sibley's and Peterson's. I LOVE Stoke's mostly cuz it has actual pictures and the hubby loves Sibley's cuz it points out the field marks. We hardly ever use Peterson's and the Sibley's is better at showing different plumage's of almost ever bird in the book. So I'd get Sibley's if you already got Stokes! 

#8 creeker

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:20 AM

Wow! That's three of us that like Sibley's and Stokes together. And here I thought I was unique! Huh?  JimBob, just make sure you get the North American Sibley as opposed to the Western Edition. We get migrants/vagrants here that are not in the Western guides. Total species of birds seen in San Diego County is now 504. That should make you feel a little better about moving here.

#9 JimBob

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

Wow! I knew that there was a lot of birds in the San Diego  area. But I did not think that one person could see that many. I will get the North american edition. I checked it out of the library and really like it. I am hoping to see a lot of birds on the way there. Yes we are driving! The company that my dad is going to work for is going to pay for gas, only if we drive at least 300 miles a day.  

#10 creeker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

I haven't seen that many! That's the county total species for all birders, ever. Actually it's 505 now. I've seen a couple of species here myself. Wink

#11 Possumbird55

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

After seeing all the positive comments on Sibley's field guide I'm going to check into getting one.  Peterson's is the only one I've ever had and since birding is simply a hobby for me the Peterson's has been enough.  But, I think I might learn something new if I got another field guide in addition to it.

 Thanks y'all!



#12 creeker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:28 PM

Possumbird55:

After seeing all the positive comments on Sibley's field guide I'm going to check into getting one.  Peterson's is the only one I've ever had and since birding is simply a hobby for me the Peterson's has been enough.  But, I think I might learn something new if I got another field guide in addition to it.

 Thanks y'all!

Valleygirl, It's actually more of a reference guide. A little too big to carry in the field. I usually keep it in my car and refer to it right after any questionable sighting. You will definitely learn something new from it. JimBob, you will want to join this listserve to keep up on all the rare bird sightings in the San Diego area.

http://dir.groups.ya.../group/SDBIRDS/



#13 JimBob

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

creeker:
I haven't seen that many! That's the county total species for all birders, ever. Actually it's 505 now. I've seen a couple of species here myself. Wink

 Oh okay. I saw the redpoll thing that you posted and saw that the county was at 505. Then I was like "then how does creeker have 504?" I knew that it was nearly impossible. Oh and how many is a couple? For some reason I think that it is more then I would call a couple!  



#14 Possumbird55

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

Thanks Creeker but I rarely carry a field guide with me anyway...I usually take a picture, if I can, then try to ID once I get back home.  If I don't get a pic I go from memory

#15 JimBob

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

Well I have a favorite guide now. My mom got it for me for Easter, in my basket. It is the 5th edition National Geographic North American one. It is light weight, and like every single bird in North America! I was planing to get it on my own but she got it for me instead.

AKA I would recommend this guide to everybody! Oh and it has thumbtabs!!!! Making it so much easier to find and id birds!

ABA list: 425 Latest- Black-chinned Sparrow, Mountain Quail
Yearlist: 326 Latest- Black-chinned Sparrow
Yard List- 100!! latest: Olive-sided Flycatcher
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#16 Canada

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:14 PM

National Geographic released their 6th e. of Birds of North America, and it's great. Awesome subspecies maps, updated plates, and great identifying tips in the text. I'd say that of all the field guides I've carried around, National Geographic has been my favorite. That, and iBird on my smartphone. :)

#17 illin

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:15 PM

I have both the small Nat. Geo and the big hardcover Nat Geo. Complete Birds of N.A. They are nice but the Eastern Sibley is my birding bible. If I am going into the field and feel I need a guide it's the one. It is sturdy, much better made than most of the others. And it fits in the back pocket of a normal pair of blue jeans. I keep the small Nat. Geo. in the car along with any specialty books I might need. i.e. The Shorebird Guide, Peterson's Warblers, etc. I leave the big Nat. Geo. and the big Sibley at home.

I would also recommend looking for used books on Abe or Amazon if money is tight. I have gotten some awesome ornithology books at great prices.

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#18 cabirds

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:41 PM

I am not a big Peterson fan. I know, weird, huh?

Sibley Guide to Birds, Stokes Western, NatGeo Birds of North America
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#19 JimBob

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:12 PM

Well as of right now my birding Bible is my NatGeo. Once I move to San Diego I think I will be needing less blue jeans and more sun screen! (I would rather live in AK then CA!)

ABA list: 425 Latest- Black-chinned Sparrow, Mountain Quail
Yearlist: 326 Latest- Black-chinned Sparrow
Yard List- 100!! latest: Olive-sided Flycatcher
My flickr: http://www.flickr.co...s/89595711@N08/  

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#20 cwj2323

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

We keep Stokes NA guide in the van, so it's always with us. Sibley's is still referenced, but is starting to gather a little dust because our favorite (for home use, because it is too big to take out in the field) is now Crossley's Eastern Guide. He is working on a Western guide. It took a little getting used to, but it really has grown on us. I really like his descriptions of the birds.

Life list (non ABA)- 233

Latest: Blackburnian Warbler
Coolest: Audubon's Warbler and the ABA will not take that away from me!  :)

2014 year list-180
Yard list- 128

Latest: Carolina Wren

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Latest: House Sparrow   :huh:





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