The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition

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Overview

“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding
The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000 quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. Used by millions of birders from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide became the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The highly anticipated second edition builds on this foundation of ...

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Overview

“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding
The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000 quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. Used by millions of birders from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide became the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The highly anticipated second edition builds on this foundation of excellence, offering massively expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and a new, elegant design.

The second edition of this handsome, flexibound volume offers a wealth of improvements and updates:

• All illustrations reproduced 15 to 20 percent larger for better detail.
 
• Includes nearly 7,000 paintings digitally remastered from original art for enhanced print quality.
 
• Expanded text includes habitat information and voice description for every species and more tips on finding birds in the field.
 
• More than 600 new paintings, including illustrations of 115 rare species and additional paintings of common species and regional populations.
 
• More than 700 updated maps of ranges, showing winter, summer, year-round, migration, and rare ranges.
 
• 85 bird family pages now cross-referenced to species accounts.

• Revised taxonomic order and most current common names for every species.
The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition, brings the genius of David Allen Sibley to the world once again in a thoroughly updated and expanded volume that every birder must own.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

David Allen Sibley's illustrated guide to North American birds has been called an authoritative essential reference and The New York Times even praised its original edition as one of those rare natural history books that actually changes the way people look at the world; but even all those accolades fall short of the actual experience of perusing the new second edition. This 624-page treasure has undergone a thorough makeover: Dozens of species have been added; maps have been revised; most of Sibley's superb bird paintings have been revised; and hundreds of new paintings have been created. This is not just a ready reference; this is a birder's masterpiece.

Library Journal
★ 03/01/2014
Published to universal acclaim in 2000, Sibley expands the first edition of his guide by over 50 pages, with more than 100 species added—many rarities had not been included before, one of the few areas of criticism of the book. More than 600 paintings are new, the range maps revised, and information on habitat, behavior, and food preferences—largely lacking previously—enhance this superb guide. Sibley, a gifted artist, paints stylized birds, almost 7,000, capturing beautifully their general impression. He excels in depicting a species' variation, with 25 paintings of herring gull (e.g., "1st winter," "1st summer," etc.) and 41 of the red-tailed hawk. Most field guides are oversimplifications. Sibley's is not, but it avoids being overly detailed. The commonest exotic or nonnative species are given full due, too. This edition again offers detailed descriptions of birds' vocalizations, superior to other guides. Most birders will not want to carry this volume afield (it weighs three lbs.), one reason it is a "guide" rather than a "field guide." Sibley's Eastern North America and Western North America field guides, generated from the first edition, will still suffice for general use. VERDICT Sibley acknowledges 79 top consultants. Nevertheless his splendid guide is a virtuoso performance. Highly recommended for all birding collections.—Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307957900
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 29,619
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Allen Sibley

Artist, writer, and naturalist David Allen Sibley is the author and illustrator of a series of successful guides to nature, including the New York Times best-seller The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has traveled extensively throughout North America and abroad as a birding tour leader and lecturer. Sibley has contributed art and articles to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, and North American Birds, and he wrote and illustrated a syndicated column for The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and the Linnaean Society of New York’s Eisenmann Medal. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition. By David Allen Sib

    The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition. By David Allen Sibley

    The Sibley Field Guide to Birds has long been considered by many to be
    the standard-bearer among field guides to birds of North America.
    However, at thirteen years old, it was much in need of an update.
    Enter the Second Edition of Sibley's Field Guide to Birds, released
    March 11th. As good as the first edition was, the new second edition
    is significant update and much improved.

    Immediately apparent are some superficial changes: new fonts and maps
    for example, and much bolder drawings. Species are of course updated:
    Rock Dove is now Rock Pigeon for example; Orange Bishop and Nutmeg
    Mannikin now get their own profile pages. Importantly, Sibley now
    includes many more rarities like Blue Mockingbird. (One hundred and
    eleven total new species!) Still, more improvements beyond taxonomic updates are
    substantial and helpful, and sure to aid you in identification.
    Perhaps most noticeable are the bold colors in the drawings. Gone is
    the soft "watercolor" look that many birds had, while retaining the
    accuracy that Sibley is known for. When possible, the drawings have
    gotten gotten larger and more distinct without diminishing accuracy,
    making it easier to see distinguishing details. (Petrels and swifts
    now look more unique, for example, and Orange-crown Warbler now has
    that more "difficult to describe" drab color.) Range maps now zoom in
    when possible; (much less squinting for species that have small
    ranges) and are updated. (Brown Thrasher is now listed as rare (one to
    a few occurrences every year) throughout the west, for example.)

    One area that I've always found Sibley excelled at is the helpful
    behavior tips. Hummingbird shuttle displays, spinning Phalaropes,
    upside-down chickadees and road-post perching Red-tail Hawks (and all
    the others from the first edition) remain. But to these Sibley has
    added even more. For example, there are now nine hummingbird shuttle
    displays and there's a drawing of a large flock of European Starlings
    mobbing a bird of prey. Woodpecker drumming patterns are now
    visualized and compared.

    Finally, Sibley begins many sections with helpful tips for difficult
    cases, so Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawks are compared, as are
    dowitchers, sandpipers, cormorants, gnatcatcher undertails, and even
    downy young ducks. (And many more!) If you've never had a Sibley
    guide, now is the time to get one; if you already have the first
    edition, this new edition is certainly a worthy upgrade as well.

    (An interview with David Sibley at Birdwatching Daily (see their blog entry for 11/20/2013)
    nicely explains Sibley's thinking behind the updates; I recommend 
    reading it.)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    The second edition is larger than the first, making it less like

    The second edition is larger than the first, making it less likely to be used in the field. There is more information in this edition which had the unfortunate consequence of driving the font to a very, very small, difficult to read sans-serif. To add to the difficulty, the editor chose a medium gray ink to print the text rather than a black, reducing the contrast and making it all but impossible to read, except perhaps in very bright light. So, instead of being a valuable birding resource, as was the first edition, the second edition has diminished its own value through careless editing decisions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Highly recommended...too bad it is too big to fit in a large pocket.

    The book is very comprehensive, has terrific illustrations, and abundant information about each bird species. The only downside...it is too big to carry with you in the field. The size makes viewing the images easier, but it is too heavy to carry in the field.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    GREAT

    VARY HAPPY

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    I received my signed copy yesterday. I was disappointed that it

    I received my signed copy yesterday. I was disappointed that it is a vinyl cover, rather than a hardcover as described, and am considering returning it. The illustrations are quite a bit smaller than I had expected as well.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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