The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior by David Allen Sibley, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior

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by David Allen Sibley

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“Once in a great while, a natural history book changes the way people look at the world. In 1838, John ames Audubon’s Birds of America was one...In 1934, Roger Tory Peterson produced Field Guide to the Birds...Now comes The Sibley Guide to Birds.”

Thus did The New York Times, in 1999, greet David Allen Sibley’s


“Once in a great while, a natural history book changes the way people look at the world. In 1838, John ames Audubon’s Birds of America was one...In 1934, Roger Tory Peterson produced Field Guide to the Birds...Now comes The Sibley Guide to Birds.”

Thus did The New York Times, in 1999, greet David Allen Sibley’s monumental book, which has quickly been established nationwide as the peerless, standard bird identification guide.

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior is the new landmark book from David Allen Sibley. Designed to enhance the birding experience and to enrich the popular study of North American birds, the book combines more than 795 of his full-color illustrations with authoritative text by 48 expert birders and biologists. In this new guide Sibley takes us beyond identification, to show us how birds live and what they do.

Introductory essays outline the principles of avian evolution, life cycle, body structure, flight dynamics, and more. The 80 family-by-family chapters describe the amazing range of behavior dictated by birds’ biology and environment. Among the subjects covered and illustrated are:

—molts and plumages
—food and foraging
—vocalizations and displays
—courtship and breeding
—rearing of young
—migration and movements
—scientific groupings
—introduced species
—accidental species
—flight patterns
—nests and eggs
—global distribution

Accessibly written, superbly designed and organized, and brilliantly illustrated, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior is an indispensable source of information on the avian life around us.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Regardless of one's reasons for watching birds, learning about their lives can greatly enhance the pleasure of watching their behavior—as well as markedly improve one's ability to identify them in the field. The new "Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior" will help with both. Like Sibley's popular field guide, it will undoubtedly become a principal source to answer questions on avian taxonomy, habitat, behavior, and distribution. Sibley's numerous colored illustrations are alone, sufficient reason to purchase this guide, but in addition, it summarizes an impressive amount of useful information. The text is beautifully written and the chapters are consistently well organized. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the life and behavior of birds.”
—Dr. Wm. James Davis, editor of the Interpretive Birding Bulletin.
This must-have companion to the bestselling The Sibley Guide to Birds provides birders -- both beginner and experienced -- with a detailed yet accessible guide to the natural history of the birds of North America. Almost 800 paintings by David Sibley illustrate the expert text contributed by ornithologists and top birders, making this book the definitive source of information about birds for birders. Part I gives an overview of bird biology, including their evolution, behavior, and habitats. Part II focuses in on each of 80 bird families with a special emphasis on conservation.
Publishers Weekly
Not to be confused with standard field guides to birds, this far-reaching companion to last year's The Sibley Guide to Birds complements the best of those avian catalogues that birders take along on their quests for more species to add to their "life lists." Here, the editors have compiled essays from leading ornithologists on bird anatomy, ethology and behavior to round out bird-watchers' knowledge. This National Audubon Society publication details the 80 families of birds found in North America, with hundreds of Sibley's acclaimed full-color paintings, maps, charts and illustrations. Topics range from the familiar migration, feeding, mating, nesting to the esoteric, including feather structure, eye configuration, DNA classification, evolution, hybridization and much more. Readers will learn about bird respiration, metabolism, excretion, vocalizations, senses and intelligence, among other subjects. Although the information is as detailed as a textbook, the writing is jargon-free, light and accessible. Well conceived in structure and conducive to easy reference, the volume ends with a detailed glossary, professional biographies of its dozens of scholarly contributors and a convenient species checklist, based upon the American Ornithologists' Union guidelines. Whether one is a serious expeditionary birder or a casual backyard observer of avian life, this book is a must-have reference. 796 full-color paintings. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Birdwatchers flocked to Sibley's extraordinary field guide and surprise best seller, The Sibley Guide to Birds. Sibley and associates now present this prodigious companion volume, providing information about birds' lives and behavior the logical next step after identification. Part 1 ("The World of Birds") discusses basic avian biology, including form, distribution, population, and conservation, in about 100 pages. Part 2 ("Bird Families of North America"), to which over 40 ornithologists contributed, uses a standard format to describe taxonomy, foraging, breeding, range, nests, eggs, longevity, conservation, and more. Enough information is presented to satisfy readers' curiosity but not overwhelm them with scientific detail. The 796 Sibley color illustrations throughout the text are outstanding (seen only in black and white in the review galley). Posture, aspect, feet, feathers, flight, nests, habitat, courtship, and much more are captured in small but elegant paintings. An understandable, accessible, and informative next step to field identification, this is a required addition for every collection. (Index not seen.) [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/00.] Nancy Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.68(d)

Meet the Author

David Allen Sibley began seriously watching and drawing birds in 1969, at age seven. Author and illustrator of the nationally acclaimed National Audubon Society: The Sibley Guide to Birds, he lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Chris Elphick, editor and contributing author, holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is currently a research scientist at the University of Connecticut, where he focuses on the conservation of waterbirds, especially shorebirds. He lives in Storrs, Connecticut.
John B. Dunning, Jr., editor and contributing author, earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Arizona. He is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Purdue University and lives in Lafayette, Indiana.

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The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JayMichaels More than 1 year ago
Great book, but beware: this book is listed as hardcover, yet it is actually softcover (but not paperback). The hardcover has a different ISBN.
maryelena More than 1 year ago
I am developing a strong interest in wildlife conservation and especially avian conservation and identification. Found this a good reference book. Also bought the first volume. use them all the time. Good illustrations.