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Getting the Most From Your Guide
Recommended Birding Guides:
Audubonís Pocket Guides: These indispensable, portable pocket guides identify the creatures, plants, and natural phenomenon you are most likely to see. Each has more than 75 full-color, full-page photographs.
Kaufman: A wonderful field guide for beginners, Kenn Kaufmanís book uses digitally enhanced photographs, to emphasize the key features of each bird. The photos are arranged to help the reader sort through similar-looking birds and has excellent text.
National Geographic: Favored by many top birders, this book is especially good for highlighting local variations between populations of the same species in different parts of the continent (morphs and sub-species). It also has excellent illustrations and includes all the birds of the United States, so you won't need separate eastern and western guides.
Peterson (fifth edition): Still among the best! The illustrations are outstanding, and the birds are presented in an order that makes it easy to distinguish between birds with similar appearances. He has also published an excellent guide for beginner birders as well.
Sibley Guides: The compact "field-sized" The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern (or Western) North America, are rapidly becoming the most favored among serious birders. The illustrations and text are superb. These books show more views of birds than other guides, and contain the most up-to-date information.