Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


general birding book

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 shortbread13


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 154
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Los Angeles County, CA

Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:04 PM

I am finding myself more interested in birds lately. I have a couple of books, Birds of Los Angeles and Birds of California.

Is there a really good book on birdwatching along the lines of The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer? That book has been indispensable to me since I started stargazing. I'd love to find something similar in the birdwatching world. Thanks!

#2 weezy



  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004
  • Loc: East of the sun-west of the moon

Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:24 AM

If you have an Android phone (possibly an Iphone, too) Ibird has an app like that, and Sibley lets you select your area and just shows the most common birds.

#3 Boot


    wildly diverse musical tastes

  • *****
  • Posts: 8141
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Outstanding in Left Field

Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:12 AM

+1 on the Sibley app. They also have great "real" field guides, if you want something wherein you can actually turn pages; like this.

#4 snorkler


    Aperture Aficionado

  • *****
  • Posts: 11303
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2004
  • Loc: Bay Area, California

Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:39 AM

I don't think such a book exists, but each of the major field guides has a section on bird identification. Visit your local library, and figure out whose system works best for you.

I use the Sibley Birds and iBird Apps for Android, and the Sibley and National Geographic field guides (books) in the field. I find myself using the Android tablet more and more, and the physical books less and less.

For your purposes, I'd look at the Peterson field guides first.

#5 desertstars



  • *****
  • Posts: 43742
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:45 PM

If you are completely new to bird watching, I'd suggest these two, to start:

Bird Watching for Dummies

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

#6 Pinewood



  • -----
  • Posts: 1258
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2004
  • Loc: 40.77638º N 73.982652 W

Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:51 PM

Hello shortbread13,

I like using Peterson's guide. I am certain that there is a guide for western America. I have not found iPhone birding apps to be very useful. I like looking at a well printed page.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood

#7 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs


  • *****
  • Posts: 59373
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:36 PM

I have owned most of the birdwatching guides. Like most books, different people have different favorites. For me, Sibley is very good and the illustrations cover stages and variations. But somehow I found Stokes worked best for me.

But I have Ibird Pro on my Android phone and tablet and what with the calls and songs and the various features, it's what I use these days and I parted with most of my library.


#8 kozmik frakture

kozmik frakture

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 380
  • Joined: 03 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Covers Corner MD USA

Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:01 PM

I have a range of bird guide/ID books. One of my favorites is the Roger Tory Peterson book.

There is also a nifty iphone app thru Cornell University that's been pretty useful so far.

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics