The "Peterson Field Guides" series have long served as the benchmark for field guides. Now come two new birding titles that certainly meet the Peterson standard of excellence, with such features as basic information, range maps, voice descriptions, comparisons with similar species, scientific and common name indexes, the specification of field marks, and the inclusion of exotics. Rather than using the typical drawings and paintings, birding expert and Audubon field editor Kaufman selected over 2000 digitally edited photographs, enhanced to improve contrast, color, and the like. The excellent result will appeal to beginning birders perhaps intimidated by illustrations. In order to make useful comparisons, Kaufman varies the organization a bit from the American Ornithological Union (AOU) standard. Helpful headers, color coded to groups (e.g., wading birds), break down further into categories such as huge waders and waders with odd bills. Kaufman's text is simple and uncluttered, a plus for novices. Noted avian artist Sibley provides more than 6000 detailed illustrations (including pictures of the flying bird from above and below, a first in a birding guide) that are as excellent as Kaufman's photos. His text is far more substantial in detail, including flight patterns, more plumage variations (young juvenile, juvenile, adult) for nearly all the birds, and more detail in range maps. Although it is larger and heavier that Kaufman's title, this guide will serve experienced birders extremely well, However, it might provide more information than a beginner needs. The bottom line: both guides are highly recommended for all collections, Kaufman to serve the novices and the unsure, Sibley to delight the more experienced as well. [Kaufman's book was previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/00; for more guidance on field guides, see Christina Peterson's "Tracking Nature Field Guides," LJ 6/1/00, p. 83-87.--Ed.]--Nancy Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.