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Sibley Birds West: Field Guide to Birds of Western North America Paperback – Illustrated, March 29, 2016
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Paperback : 504 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307957926
- Product Dimensions : 4.8 x 1.13 x 7.76 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307957924
- Publisher : Knopf; 2nd Edition (March 29, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Page 119 – Whimbrel is on page 132, not 133; Rock Sandpiper is on page 138, not 136.
Page 184 – South Polar Skua is on page 188, not 186.
Page 193 – Ancient Murrele should be Ancient Murrelet
Page 206 – Greater Roadrunner is on page 207, not 201
Page 210 – Flammulated Owl is on page 219, not 211
Page 254 – Aplomado Falcon is on page 257; Gyrfalcon 255; Prairie Falcon 257, Peregrine (not Pregrine) 256; American Kestrel 258; Merlin 259; Crested Caracara 254
Page 266 – Great Crested Flycatcher and Brown-crested Flycatcher are on page 279.
Page 267 – Scissor-tailed and Fork-tailed Flycatchers are on page 284.
Page 365 – Black-throated Gray Warbler is on page 386.
Page 420 – Western Tanager is on page 423.
I just hope that the illustrations are not misplaced!
The Nat Geo guide attempts to cram visual, behavioral, and habitat information into a small paragraph which allows maximal room for illustration. Sibley, on the other hand, has developed a format geared to maximize the recognition of diagnostic traits in the field. Each section is prefaced with a reference page showing each species, grouped into genus, side by side. This really helps you recognize the shared traits of a genus which can make all the difference when you're in a location with 6 wren species coming from 6 different genus. On the individual pages, Sibley gives more than adequate descriptions of the habitat you're likely to find each bird in and his comprehensive illustrations and sketches high light even the least expected diagnostic features. Thanks to this I was able to initially ID a Black-chinned Hummer from its display flight pattern alone.
The only short-coming of this regional field guide is a trivial one unique to the situation I find myself in. Surveying areas that fall right on the border that divides Sibley's Western guide from his Eastern, he has chosen to exclude some rarities, like the Great Kiskadee and Ringed Kingfisher, that would've been helpful. These are also excluded from my Nat Geo guide, however I have no doubt Sibley has included them in his comprehensive field guide. For the price, artwork, and the quality and breadth of information provided, this is definitely the book I'd recommend highest to any serious birder looking to gain familiarity with Western species.