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BIRD BOOKS - NORTH AMERICA -  Including Mexico & Guatemala

Books on Hawaii
Books on Belize
Books on North American Butterflies, Mammals, Herps, Natural History & Conservation

Jesse Fagan & Oliver Komar. Illustrated by Robert Dean & Peter Burke. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Forthcoming November 2016). Covers Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador & Honduras. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
David Allen Sibley. The Sibley Guide to Birds - Second Edition. Knopf & Helm (March 2014). Overall, the best available field guide to North American birds, if you avoid the defective first printing. I prefer the National Geographic guide in some respects, including portability, but even the improved sixth edition contains color plates that ought to be repainted. Steve Howell is in the early stages of work on a North American field guide that he hopes will be comparable to the superb Collins Guide to the Birds of Europe, the world's best bird field guide. Details. Helm: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Knopf: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Jon L. Dunn & Jonathan Alderfer. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America - Sixth Edition. National Geographic Society (November 2011). A great leap forward over the fifth edition and still the book I carry in the field, although Sibley has better illustrations of some difficult plumages and more consistent illustrations overall. Both the top North America guides still lag behind the superb Collins Guide to the birds of Europe. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Steve N.G. Howell. Rare Birds of North America. Princeton University Press (February 2014). Details. Book: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Kindle: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Kenn Kaufman. Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 2011). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Steve N.G. Howell. Petrels, Albatrosses & Storm-Petrels of North America - A Photographic Guide. Details. Princeton University Press 2012. xxiii + 483 pages, 975 photos and figures, 66 maps. Book: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Kindle: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

This is the finest identification guide to pelagic birds published to date. For the first time, everything you need to prepare for tubenose ID on both east and west coast pelagic trips is accessible in one volume. It's also an authoritative and well-written text on tubenose biology. The book is extremely well-organized to help the user zero in on critical marks. Thus, for example, the section on Pacific gadfly petrels is introduced by five pages of photos and accompanying text showing and comparing the 10 species most likely to be encountered. Following are subsections on each species with comparative photos, including species not yet recorded but which may occur. For Cook's Petrel, there five pages of photos, with comparative shots of De Filippi's Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, and Pycroft's Petrel. Without question, a 2012 WorldTwitch Best Bird Book award winner.

Bob Flood & Ashley Fisher. Multimedia Identification Guide to North Atlantic Seabirds vol. 3: Albatrosses & Fulmarine Petrels. Scilly Pelagics (June 2016). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Richard Crossley. The Crossley ID Guide - Eastern Birds. Princeton University Press 2011. Details. 544 pages, 10,000+ color photos. The Crossley guide is a valuable resource and a bargain considering the number and quality of the photos. However, the fake photos of birds plugged into habitat backgrounds only diminish the attractiveness and utility of the book. Natural photos would have been a much better choice. Book: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Kindle: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Steve N.G. Howell. Molt of North American Birds - Peterson Reference Guide. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (May 2010). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Steve N.G. Howell & Jon Dunn. Gulls of the Americas - Peterson Reference Guide. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (June 2007). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Michael O'Brien, Richard Crossley & Kevin Karlson. The Shorebird Guide.Michael O'Brien, Richard Crossley & Kevin Karlson. The Shorebird Guide. Advanced field identification guide with 870 color photos of shorebirds (waders) occurring in North America. Sample page. 496 pages. Houghton Mifflin 2006. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
David A. Sibley. The Sibley Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Knopf, April 2003. 432 pages. Extracted from the continental guide with omissions, additions and corrections. US | UK
David A. Sibley. The Sibley Guide to Birds of Western North America. Knopf, April 2003. 496 pages. Extracted from the continental guide with omissions, additions and corrections. US | UK
Brian K. Wheeler. Raptors of Eastern North America: The Wheeler Guide. Princeton University Press & Poyser 2003. US | UK
Brian K. Wheeler. Raptors of Western North America: The Wheeler Guide. Princeton University Press & Poyser 2003. US | UK
Kenn Kaufman. Focus Guide to the Birds of North America. Houghton Mifflin, September 2000. Illustrated with enhanced photographs. No substitute for a real field guide, but a worthwhile supplement. US | UK

2/03: There now is a Kaufman Focus Guide to Butterflies.

Peter Pyle. Identification Guide to North American Birds Part I: A Compendium of Information on Identifying, Aging, and Sexing Passerines in the Hand. Information on the molts, aging, and sexing of 395 species and 857 currently recognized subspecies that regularly breed or have bred at least once in North America. 730 pages. Slate Creek Press, 1997. Online errata page. "The most important book on identification of North American birds to be published in the last ten years. . . . It's not a pretty picture book; it's not easy to use; it's just packed with highly original info." Kenn Kaufmann. US
James Coe. Eastern Birds: A Guide to Field Identification. St. Martin's Press. Revised edition, April 2001. 160 pages. New edition of Jim Coe's excellent guide for beginners. More experienced birders may want a copy for the plates. US | UK
Birds of North America. Now available online for $40 per year. Improvements over the now out-of-print 18-volume hard copy set include updates, linked bibliographical references, sounds and video from the Macauley Library, and a library of digital images. Details. I have the original set and appreciate the convenience of having a hard copy, but I'm also going to subscribe to the online version. The original species accounts were of variable quality and contained obvious mistakes, which presumably will be corrected in the online version. Individual accounts can be difficult to find among the 18 slipcases but they can be referenced immediately online using site search.
Marcia T. Fowle & Paul Kerlinger. The New York City Audubon Society Guide to Finding Birds in the Metropolitan Area. Cornell U. Press. 256 pages. 2001. US | UK
Steve N.G. Howell, et al., Where to Watch Birds in Mexico (same as A Bird-finding Guide to Mexico). Cornell University Press, 1999. US | UK
Steve N.G. Howell & Sophie Webb. A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press, 1995. Excellent guide, but some dubious taxonomy. US | UK
Birds of Mexico and Central America (Collins Field Guide S.)Ber van Perlo. Birds of Mexico and Central America. HarperCollins & Princeton University Press 2006? US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Nigel Wheatley & David Brewer. Where to Watch Birds in Central America & the Caribbean. 432 pages. Helm & Princeton University Press. January 2002. US | UK
Peter Alden. Finding the Birds in Western Mexico: A guide to the states of Sonora, Sinaloa & Nayarit. Color plates by John P. O'Neill. U. of Arizona Press, 1969. US
Lawrence C. Binford. A Distributional Survey of the Birds of the Mexican State of Oaxaca. Ornithological Monographs No. 43. 418 pages. Folding habitat map. Black-and-white photos. Paperback. A.O.U., 1989. A landmark work on bird distribution of the south-central State of Oaxaca which includes both Pacific and Caribbean slope habitat at a complete range of elevations. Essential for anyone interested in the birds of Mexico. US
Stephen M. Russell & Gale Monson. Illustrations by Ray Harm. The Birds of Sonora (Mexico). [Excerpt] 490 pages. 534 maps. 43 b/w & 1 color illustration. U. of Arizona Press, 1998. US | UK
Richard A. Erikson & Steve N.G. Howell (eds.) Birds of the Baja Peninsula: Status, distribution & taxonomy. 264 pages. American Birding Association, 2001. US
Randell A. Beavers. The Birds of Tikal: An Annotated Checklist for Tikal National Park and Peten, Guatemala. 192 pages. Texas A & M University Press, 1992. US | UK
Don Roberson. Monterey Birds. Status and Distribution of Birds in Monterey County, California. Second edition 2002. Errata. Completely revised and expanded version of the 1985 book. 544 pages. Covers 482 species, 55 more than the first edition. 60 color photos on 16 plates and 60 b/w photos in the text. Details from Don's website.
Kevin J. Zimmer. Birding in the American West: A Handbook. Cornell University Press. 432 pages. 2000. US | UK
David B. Marshall, Matthew G. Hunter and Alan Contreras (eds.) Birds of Oregon: A General Reference. Oregon State University Press 2003. US | UK
John H. Rappole. Birds of the Southwest. Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California & Southern Nevada. Texas A & M University Press 2001. 688 pages. US | UK
Kenneth D. Seyffert. Birds of the Texas Panhandle: Their Status, Distribution & History. Illustrated by Carolyn Stallwitz. Texas A & M University Press 2001. US | UK
Robert A. Armstrong. Guide to the Birds of Alaska. Alaska Northwest Books. 323 pages. 4th edition, 1995. US | UK
Gerald M. McWilliams & Daniel W. Brauning. The Birds of Pennsylvania. Cornell University Press 2000. 688 pages. US | UK
Joel Greenberg. A Natural History of the Chicago Region. Review by Kenn Kaufman. University of Chicago Press 2002. US | UK
Mark Obmascik. The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession. 288 pages. Free Press & Doubleday 2004. US | UK
Kenn Kaufman. Kingbird Highway: The story of a natural obsession that got a little out of hand. 336 pages. 2000 (1997). US | UK
Jame Vardaman. Call Collect, Ask for Birdman. 247 pages. St. Martin's Press 1980. The first North American big year book. Be sure to get the hardcover edition, as the photos were omitted from the cheap paperback reprint. I went on an Ocean City, MD pelagic trip on an unseasonably warm and calm day in late December that year on which other participants included Jim Vardaman, looking to twitch Great Skua, and several of his guides. Not surprisingly, he was birded out by that time and scarcely looked at a bird until a Great Skua was located. US | UK
Steven G. Mlodinow & Michael O'Brien. America's 100 Most Wanted Birds : Finding the Rarest Regularly Occuring Birds in the Lower 48 States. Falcon Publishing 1996. 496 pages. US | UK
Jerry A. Cooper. A Birder's Guide to Planning North American Trips. ABA Sales. 1995. 376 pages. US
William J. Boyle, Jr. A Guide to Bird Finding in New Jersey. 496 pages. Rutgers University Press. Revised & updated edition. 2002. US | UK
Hal Opperman. A Birder's Guide to Washington. 650 pages. ABA Sales 2003.
George C. West. A Birder's Guide to Alaska. 592 pages. ABA Sales 2002. US | UK
Paul E. Lehman. A Birder's Guide to Metropolitan Areas. (of North America.) 480 pages. ABA Sales 2001.
Bob Morse. A Birder's Guide to Coastal Washington. 270 pages. R.W. Morse Company 2001. US
Mark Lockwood, William B. McKinney, James Paton & Barry R. Zimmer. A Birder's Guide to the Rio Grande Valley (Texas). ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1999. 280 pages. US
Harold R. Holt. A Birder's Guide to the Texas Coast. ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1993. 214 pages. US | UK
Richard C. Taylor. A Birder's Guide to Southeastern Arizona. ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1995, reprinted in 1999 with corrections & updates. 342 pages. US
Brad Schram. A Birder's Guide to Southern California. ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1998. 334 pages. US
Bill Pranty. A Birder's Guide to Florida. ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1996. 388 pages. US
Harold R. Holt. A Birder's Guide to Colorado. ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1997. 392 pages. US
Bird Observer of Eastern Massachusetts. A Birder's Guide to Eastern Massachusetts. ABA Sales. 1994. 292 pages. US
Bonnie Chartier. A Birder's Guide to Churchill, Manitoba. ABA Sales. Revised edition, 1994. 132 pages. US
J. Cam Finlay. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. McClelland & Stewart. Revised edition, February 2001. US | UK
Keith Taylor. The Birder's Guide to British Columbia. Steller Press. 2d ed. 1998. US
Keith Taylor. The Birder's Guide to Vancouver Island. Steller Press. 200 pages. 2d ed. 2000. US | UK
Steve N.G. Howell. Hummingbirds of North America: The Photographic Guide. 219 pages. Princeton University Press 2003 & Poyser 2001. WorldTwitch 2001 Best Bird Book - North America. More than 200 photos with illustrations of some little-known field marks. Emphasizes plumages that are difficult to identify. US | UK
Sheri L. Williamson. Hummingbirds of North America. Peterson Field Guide. 256 pages. Houghton Mifflin Co. 2002. US | UK
William S. Clark & Brian K. Wheeler. Hawks of North America. Peterson Field Guide. 304 pages. Houghton Mifflin Co. 2d edition, November 2001. US | UK
Per Alström & Krister Mild. Illustrated by Per Alstöm & Bill Zetterström. Pipits and Wagtails (of Europe, Asia & North America). 496 pages, 30 superb color plates, 240 color photographs, 298 sonograms, 36 maps, 89 text figures. One of the best of the bird families books. Includes color illustrations and photographs of the newly-described Mekong Wagtail. Christopher Helm & Princeton University Press. 2003. US | UK
James D. Rising, David Beadle (illustrator). A Guide to the Identification and Natural History of the Sparrows [Buntings] of the United States and Canada. Poyser and Princeton University Press. 1996. 365 pages. US | UK
David Beadle & James Rising. Sparrows [Buntings] of the United States and Canada: The Photographic Guide. 320 pages. Poyser and Princeton University Press. 2001. US | UK
Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett. Warblers of North America. A large guide full of useful information, and a great bargain. Peterson Field Guide. 666 pages. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1997. US | UK
Paul J. Baichich and Colin J.O. Harrison. A Guide to the Nests, Eggs & Nestlings of North American Birds. Poyser and Princeton University Press. 2d edition, 1997. 350 pages. UK | US
Richard Conner, D. Craig Randolph & Jeffrey R. Walters. The Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Surviving in a Fire-maintained Ecosystem. WorldTwitch 2001 Best North America Bird Book. University of Texas Press 2001. Details. 432 pages. US | UK
Steve N.G. Howell & Jon Dunn. Gulls of the Americas. 516 pages. Illustrated with color photographs. Covers 36 species: 22 in North America, 10 in South America, and 4 Old World visitors. Houghton Mifflin (Peterson Reference Guides) 2007. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Kevin Zimmer. Field Guide to the Ocean Birds of North America. Princeton University Press. Forthcoming. US | UK
2006 Mexico Road Atlas. Guia Roji. 150 pages. US

Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall