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The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Sibley

2000; 544 pp. $35. Knopf

I've reviewed bird guides for thirty years and thought?after Peterson, the Golden Guide, and National Geo?that there was no room for another one. Here comes David Sibley (both illustrator and writer) with a book that replaces all of them. It's the first truly biological field guide to birds, emphasizing the variety of coloring, plumage patterns, ages, sexes, and songs within the same species. By accepting and exuberantly displaying diversity, it is thoroughly bioregional, with the best maps. Each page has pointers and commentary on what variations you might expect to spot and hear, and which birds might perplex you in figuring out their names.

It is too big and fat (6" X 9") to carry around easily, so you will want to keep your National Geo and scribble all of David's pointers in it. My edition printed gull grays too blue and some of the turkey russets too orange, so check out each copy. These are quibbles. The Sibley Guide elevates bird learning to a new intimacy and clarity. You will want/need just one more guide.

 

ISBN: 0679451226

Order it now from Amazon.com!