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The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition
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The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition

3.9 7
by David Allen Sibley

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“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding

The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds, First Edition 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


“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding

The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds, First Edition 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.

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

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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The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
ClarkeOReilly More than 1 year ago
(Why did Barnes and noble dump my review"? I already typed it?) grew up on Peterson's bird guides - when I went back to school to get into grad. school - I was skeptical - oops! Sibley is the "new" Peterson! and the 2nd edition is it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.