Yes, I have a field guide, it's called 'The Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds.' It's kind of old though (from 1977) but I love it and refer to it often.
I'm pretty new to birding but am trying to learn what I can.
Yes, I definitely wish to understand how to know the ID's are correct. After I receive an ID on this forum, I do an online search for the bird and read up on Wikipedia, Audobon or Allaboutbirds websites. I also read up in the field guide.
The way I've been trying to learn birds is just by being outside, finding them and observing them, taking photos and then reading about them when I get home. This forum and the people on this forum have been immeasurably helpful. :)