www.flickr.com
items in Illinois Birder's Forum Photos More in Illinois Birder's Forum Photos pool

: Sibley's Birding Basics  ( 10557 )

Greg Neise

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • : 4439
  • IBF Owner/Administrator
    • In Plain Sight Communication
Sibley's Birding Basics
« : February 09, 2008, 07:27:58 AM »

Sibley's best work to date - best book for building ID skill
By    "jjjones-wp" (Woodland Park, CO USA)
I just finished reading SIBLEY'S Birding Basics. I was impressed enough with it that I thought I would write a short review.

In the past, when friends/acquaintances have asked what books I would recommend in order to improve their birding skills - not a field guide - I would recommend either Birding for Beginners; Sheila Buff or The Complete Birder; Jack Connor. In addition, I would always recommend getting The Basics of Bird Identification (Bird Topography) - A Birders Journal Publication. This is because neither of the two previous texts dedicated sufficient, if any, time on understanding bird topography. Reading the latter text was a big breakthrough for me in bird identification. I believe it is absolutely essential if you want to start nailing the tough field identifications. It gives you an understanding and takes you to another level of bird identification that you are just not going to get outside of bird-in-hand, detailed examination experience.

I have both of Sibley's previously published texts - he has been quite voluminous lately - The SIBLEY GUIDE to Bird Life & Behavior and The SIBLEY Guide to Birds. While I have mixed emotions about the goals of each of these texts and Sibley's success in accomplishing them, I can argue that they are very worthwhile books and any avid birder should probably count them among their personal library.

This brings us to Sibley's latest text, the topic of this CoBirds post. I have been birding all my life; more seriously for about the past 10 years or so - thanks to Walt and Alan V.

So you might say, "why read a 'birding basics' book?" There are two answers:
1) I am an incurable book hound, and digest most all books I can get my hands on in my areas of interest, and
2) I believe there is always more to learn.

Now some books fall short on the promise of #2. I will start reading it, then just skim it, and then finally just put it on my shelf after it has sat on my nightstand without being touched for the requisite amount of time. This latest book from Sibley was not one of those. I believe this is his best work yet. And compared to those large tomes of his two previous publications, it comes in a small paperback book only 155 pages long.

I believe this book has something to offer for beginner to expert. I picked up at least one new piece of information in every section, and sometimes, many more. In addition, he devotes a great deal of time to bird topography. So this new book has everything that I used to recommend two books for, rolled into one. It is extremely readable; has a natural progression of topics; and many illustrations that help to drive home advanced topics.

If you are considering a book to enhance your birding identification skills, all of the books that I mentioned in the second paragraph above are very worthwhile, but I believe that Sibley's new book has just taken first place in my recommendation list.
« : July 21, 2008, 09:00:14 AM Greg Neise »
"Only the impossible always happens"
- - R. Buckminster Fuller

Tucker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • : 317
    • Birding with Tucker
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #1 : February 13, 2008, 04:57:06 PM »
Although I haven't read the whole book I am quite impressed. It seems to be very helpful.

Madelyn

  • Fledgeling
  • *
  • : 2
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #2 : February 13, 2008, 07:55:24 PM »
I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and picked up the Sibley book. I can't stop looking at it.  Thanks for the good tips..Madelyn

Greg Neise

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • : 4439
  • IBF Owner/Administrator
    • In Plain Sight Communication
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #3 : February 20, 2008, 11:49:43 AM »
I am in the process of re-reading this book...I have to say, every birder should own, have read and revisit this wonderful book.
"Only the impossible always happens"
- - R. Buckminster Fuller

steviegee

  • Fledgeling
  • *
  • : 12
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #4 : November 12, 2009, 02:49:37 PM »
I agree with the comments made, it is indeed an excellent publication.


Slickchik

  • Fledgeling
  • *
  • : 7
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #5 : May 27, 2010, 08:45:40 PM »
After your recommendation I bought this book. I'm really excited! As a new birder, this book helps me take my birding to the next level. I'm all on my own, so having this info in one place has been really beneficial. Thanks for the recommendation!

Steve Gent

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • : 610
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #6 : June 10, 2010, 12:52:07 PM »
I thoroughly agree with the above comments, it is always getting a different slant on things, which is why i recommend getting hold of older publications, they have some gems of information particularly on breeding habitat preference etc

Steve Gent
Winnebago Co

Bosco001

  • Fledgeling
  • *
  • : 3
Sibley's Birding Basics
« #7 : March 20, 2012, 06:09:48 PM »
Just got my Sibleys East Field Guide in the mail. My Jack Russell ate it.  Is this a bad omen?  LOL

AggieBirder

  • Fledgeling
  • *
  • : 1
Re: Sibley's Birding Basics
« #8 : August 24, 2015, 11:17:55 AM »
Greg, I'm new to birding (just realized my interest the first week of August) and as it's over seven years since your original post, I'm curious to know whether you still put Sibley's Birding Basics as #1 on your list. I took my first trip to North Pond this past Saturday and needless to say, I need all the education I can get for identification purposes!  Looking forward to interacting with this great group.

 

Join the ABA



ABA Bird of the Year

Help the Illinois Birders' Forum remain one of the best birding forums on the net. A small donation of any amount goes a long way.





Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Hunting Optics from Eagle Optics affiliate_link