81 81 BIRD WATCHER’S DIGEST • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER ’ 17 • birdwatchersdigest.com
handy in the car, however, and
you may find yourself appreciating it as a secondary reference.
Most experienced birders
seem to prefer the National
Geographic guide and the Sibley
guide. Both use artwork instead
of photos, and both offer a
tremendous amount of detail.
Sibley’s book is especially good
for birds in flight. I refer to both
of these field guides frequently.
There’s another category of
guide that’s ideal for those who
develop a strong passion for
learning about birds: detailed
guides to certain groups of birds.
Two of the best are the Shorebird
Guide, by O’Brien, Crossley, and
Karlson, and the Warbler Guide,
by Stephenson and Whittle.
There are a number of other
good field guides out there, and
also a number of excellent guides
that are now available as apps
for smartphones or tablets. I see
more and more birders leaving
the books at home and just referring to the guides that are on
their phones. I still carry a book
into the field most of the time,
however, especially when I’m
guiding. I like to open a book to
a page that has several related
species so I can discuss the differences. I was just doing this with
the thrushes a few days ago. But
some of the apps have capabilities that can’t be found in a book.
The companion app to Warbler
Guide, as an example, includes
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