Sibley's Birding Basics

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2008 - Nature - 168 pages
From the renowned author of the New York Times best seller The Sibley Guide to Birds, a comprehensive, beautifully illustrated guide to identifying birds in the field. Sibley's Birding Basics is an essential companion for birders of all skill and experience levels.

With Sibley as your guide, learn how to interpret what the feathers, the anatomical structure, the sounds of a bird tell you. When you know the clues that show you why there’s no such thing as, for example, “just a duck” birding will be more fun, and more meaningful. An essential addition to the Sibley shelf!

The Sibley Guide to Birds
 and The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior are both universally acclaimed as the new standard source of species information. And now David Sibley, America’s premier birder and best-known bird artist, turns his attention to the general characteristics that influence the appearance of all birds, unlocking the clues to their identity.

In 200 beautifully rendered illustrations and 16 essays, this scientifically precise volume distills the essence of Sibley’s own experience and skills, providing a solid introduction to “naming” the birds. Birding Basics reviews how one can get started as a birder—the equipment necessary, where and when to go birding, and perhaps most important, the essential things to look for when birds appear in the field—as well as the basic concepts of bird identification and the variations that can change the appearance of a bird over time or in different settings. Sibley also provides critical information on the aspects of avian life that differ from species to species: feathers (color, arrangement, shape, molt), behavior and habitat, and sounds.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rightantler - LibraryThing

I purchased this as an introduction to Sibley's work. The book is a very rich and compact resource for birders. For me it was almost too much but once I realized there was so much to learn I was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sandydog1 - LibraryThing

Ignore the title; this is NOT a basic book. It is a very concise, easily readable small book that is full of information. A must for any birder. Read full review


Getting Started
Finding Birds
The Challenges of Bird Identification
Identifying Rare Birds
Using Behavioral Clues
Understanding Feathers
Feather Arrangement and Color Patterns
Structure of Tail and Wings
Bare Parts
Feather Wear
Age Variation
Ethics and Conservation

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About the author (2008)

David Allen Sibley, who has been observing, drawing, and painting birds since the age of seven, lives with his family in Concord, Massachusetts. H

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