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It doesn't FEEL like that long ago where everyone was sibley sibley sibley... all the time... the end.
I had plans, for a while, to get Sibley's guide to the east... and who knows what else.
But I went looking today... did a search online(not google 😛  )  for best field guides 2022 or something along those lines. The first few results didn't even mention Sibley's. Peterson's was one of the top... On different sites, national geographic and something from the smithsonian were tops.
Audubon has a review of guides but it's OLD now... not current... it talks about Peterson's being old and out of date but now, Peterson's is actually the most recent guide.

Part of me still wants a Sibley's east, even though I've read things about maps being a little off, and they didn't bother fixing it. 

But I'm curious... anyone here keep up to date with what's NEW and good?
There have been name changes since Sibley's 2nd edition, I believe...  so, Peterson's should be more up to date.
I read some reviews and most of the complaints about the peterson's had to do with it not being like their OLD guides... some people liked the maps in the back instead of alongside each bird?  Hmmm...  One person complained about not enough info in some places or something, I don't remember, but overall it had really good reviews.

So... anyone have new guides? Anyone review any guides that have come out since Sibley's 2nd? I feel like National Geographic had an update since then too. 
And feel free to share ANY thoughts you have... pros and cons... your preferences as far as photos vs drawings... etc... 

I have an old Kauffman guide somewhere... and a Sibley's first edition, somewhere... I want something more up to date for sure...
I use my phone apps fairly often but I like having a book to open... I don't always like to grab the phone, put in my passcode, open the app, wait........  then search...  It's handy in the field or if I want to listen... but, when I'm sitting at home, I want a book. 🙂  

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I did just come across another topic in this section, with an interesting subject title... and it references Peterson's guide having the female's hidden behind the males. I think they did that to cram more birds on a page(space) but they show the most important ID points I think.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it or if the newer version would be the same so I looked at Amazon... the only pictures I found were of some of the waterfowl pages... and the females were not AS hidden behind but, still behind the males... but, arrows pointing to important features on the females.
Would be nice to be able to see in person the newest field guides side by side... or talk to someone that has experience with some of them.

Have I ever mentioned how much trouble I have with decisions?  HA

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Sibley's 2nd Edition is my guide for everything, then I have various others that do deep dives into species groups. I like the illustrations, as they draw attention to certain features, though photo guides can certainly be more helpful to others.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

Have you considered going to the local bookstore or library to compare books? 

I'll look online for our library but our town is like 16 or 17k people... I doubt we have anything new as far as bird books... and the nearest real book stores, Barnes and nobles, if it's still there, is about 30 minutes from here... Something to think about if I'm ever over that way though.

 

EDIT: checked the library... they have the 2000 Sibley and a 1986(I think) not full guide from Peterson... so, not much.

Edited by millipede
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1 hour ago, Connor Cochrane said:

In my opinion the top two guides are National Geographic and Sibley. Peterson's have always had bad maps and I've never particularly liked the illustrations. 

Agreed. I also like my Stokes field guide, but it’s from 2009. It has photographs, though.

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17 hours ago, Avery said:

Sibley's 2nd Edition is my guide for everything, then I have various others that do deep dives into species groups. I like the illustrations, as they draw attention to certain features, though photo guides can certainly be more helpful to others.

This.

I don’t think the name changes are any kind of show stopper for purchasing a guide.  You can always write the new name in.  If you want a Field Guide Sibley East should work.  NG is good, but not something I’d keep in truck.  I almost never pull it off shelf either.  

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I wanted to want the Peterson's mostly because it's the newest... More up to date species lists and such is a GOOD thing...
But, the book has the SAME design as always. I looked on Amazon where you can "look inside" and I scrolled and scrolled.
I like some aspects of it... I can even get over the female being partially out of view to cram more birds in... I mean, this keeps a book smaller right?

But... Then there are pages where the birds are all over and you have to figure out which birds are which... Most field guides have each species clearly separate on each page...
Well just look... I clipped and then drew a line on the snow goose page. Snow geese above, below, and left of the ross'.  Could be a little confusing when they do this.

image.thumb.png.0903720df3bcba59619a9d6915f23b71.png

 

I feel like I could get enough ID info with this guide but some of the illustrations look a little sloppy to me(bottom left geese) and then the ross's just put in the middle?
I want my eyes to find what I'm looking for quickly... The side by side head shot illustrating the bill is good but... still...
I think I'll skip the Peterson's.
I might look into whether or not Sibley has any plans for any updates any time soon(if I can find such info) and might just get Sibley's East like I've been planning on for a few years.
I kind of like how Peterson's says East and Central... let's you know what's included... with Sibley, east or west, I wonder where the line is drawn and if enough crossover is in there.

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39 minutes ago, millipede said:

I wonder where the line is drawn and if enough crossover is in there.

The Rocky Mountains / Great Plains transition is the usual line.  For most guides species that are common to both or overlap are included in both East and West.

Get Sibley.  A slightly out of date guide you can use is better than an up to date one you are uncomfortable with.  I wouldn't expect a new edition of Sib for a decade.

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I recommend Sibley guides: the big one as well as the smaller regional one. I like the illustrations of some groups in the 6th/7th editions of the National Geographic guide: Myiarchus flycatchers, kingbirds, orioles, and others, and I turn to them first for those particular groups.

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17 minutes ago, chipperatl said:

Don't forget part 1! Gotta have both! 😂 I have only gotten to handle one of them before, when I helped with banding in October. The books are enormous.

Related, although off topic to what millipede is asking about: Pyle is actually working on a new release of these. Pretty cool.

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People know I was joking about Gomer Pyle right?  Though we really do have that on the shelf...

I've heard of Pyle but have never seen those books. I'd like to some day know enough about the birds to make use of something like that but, ADHD and such make book learning a little difficult at times. If I was around people talking those little details all the time I'd pick up on more of it.
But who knows... maybe some day.

I did order Sibley's East...  That might be all I get for now.

 

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3 hours ago, millipede said:

I've heard of Pyle but have never seen those books. I'd like to some day know enough about the birds to make use of something like that but, ADHD and such make book learning a little difficult at times. If I was around people talking those little details all the time I'd pick up on more of it.
But who knows... maybe some day.

 

 

Oh, Pyle is. . .I don't want to say useless, but I'll say it anyway. . .useless outside of banding. Like, they might make great coffee table books, but unless you want to know which feathers to measure, and how long they should be for which empid. . .not exactly something you pick up to read.

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