best field guide birds north america

best field guide birds north america

best field guide birds: Identifying birds is much easier with the aid of a reliable field guide. In the past, field guides were published as books—often large. Bulky volumes—that were heavy or susceptible to becoming wet on rainy days. These days, bird ID is also available as some fantastic smartphone apps. That fit in your palm. A lot of people use books and apps to identify birds some of our best guides for North America are listed below.


best field guide birds: Since there are so many excellent field guides available, the “best” book for identifying birds is sometimes up for debate. Start by looking through field guides at a library or bookshop to select your favorite. Look up four or five familiar birds. Which guide best captures the appearance of these birds? Is it comfortable to use the book? Is it easy to locate the birds?

Instead of looking for photos, look for a field guide that has drawings. Artists use their knowledge and experience to paint birds in comparable poses so you can focus on the crucial field marks. Photographic factors such as lighting and posture variations can highlight or hide significant features.

Another consideration is size. If your book is too big, you won’t want to take it with you into the field, but if it’s too little. It could not have all the possible birds in your region. Take a look at a handbook that lists every bird in North America, or at least every bird in the East or West. For the majority of the birds you encounter, you may find that a state-level book (or other regional guide) is useful and handy nevertheless keep. A more comprehensive resource on hand for those uncommon encounters you’re likely to ultimately come across.

Here are a few of the guides that we suggest:

  • The Sibley Guide to Birds is incredibly thorough, with a concentration on plumage, and it has fantastic pictures of birds with various plumages. Its high level of detail means that fewer species are displayed per page, which complicates comparisons. They are significantly more portable and just as complete (for their respective locations                                                                                                                                 
  • Hawaii’s birdlife is included in the classic Peterson Guide to Birds of North America. The Peterson Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America. And The Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America are good options if you’re searching for something with a more specific regional focus.  These traditional guidelines, which only cover half of the continent. Assist you in focusing your search on the birds that are native to your area. The fact that the range maps are located at the back of the book is a small downside make sure to look through range maps before choosing an ID.                                        
  • The North American Kaufman Field Guide to Birds. This field guide was created with novice birders in mind. It makes use of bird photos, but the arrangement is more akin to that of field guides with paintings. Making it simple to compare species that are related.                                                                   
  • An innovative approach of illustrating is used in The Crossley ID Guide. Eastern Birds, where many photos are embedded into a single landscape image. To generate impressions of how birds are truly seen at different distances and with different plumages.
  • For novices, The Golden Guide’s Birds of North America is incredibly portable and easily readable.             
  • Although a bit large, the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America is widely used and easily accessible. Since different artists created the drawings, there isn’t just one style like in the Peterson, Sibley, or Golden guides.

All About Birds Regional Field-Guide Series

best field guide birds: The Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, California, Texas & Oklahoma. And seven other regions of North America are represented by the information and images found in these small, pocket-sized guides. Which feature information and photos from our All About Birds website for roughly 200 species each. They feature updated range maps, a visual index to help you find the information you need quickly. And four ID photographs per species, featuring male, female, breeding, and non-breeding plumages. Additionally, there’s a lengthy introduction on how to draw birds to your yard and how to become a novice birdwatcher.

Folding Guides

best field guide birds: Folding guides are laminated sheets with illustrations. And limited text that divide bird identification into regional categories. Though there aren’t many species highlighted. These compact, robust guides are weatherproof and portable.

  • The Waterford Press All About Birds Pocket Guides, which include three waterfowl ID guides and ten regional guides, address a variety of bird-focused themes.
  • The superb illustrations from The Sibley Guide to Birds are featured in 24 regional guides published by Sibley.

Digital Guides

With a wealth of information about over 630 species of birds from the United States. And Canada, including images, sounds, and videos, our All About Birds online bird guide is a terrific resource. Birds can be sorted by shape and family. Every account features a comparison section between the highlighted bird and other species, which aids in identification when species have similar appearances.

A subscription to Birds of the World is well worth the small price for extensive scientific information on all 10,900+ birds on Earth.


You can identify birds easily with apps that fit neatly in your pocket. When out birdwatching, a lot of people like to utilize an app and keep a good bird identification guide at home. In addition to drawings and images, several apps also provide bird cries and songs. Here are some apps that we enjoy using