Updates and Corrections for the Sibley Western Guide

p 143 – Pacific Golden-Plover: on adult male breeding the labels pointing to undertail coverts and flanks are reversed.

p. 252 – White-throated Swift: name is incorrect, Whited-throated Swift

p. 279 – Greater Pewee: map is a duplicate of Buff-breasted Flycatcher map. The summer range of this species should extend slightly farther north in Arizona, with rare records scattered west to the central California coast and east to coastal Texas.

p. 388 – Canada Warbler: text is wrong. Replace all text. “Uncommon in shaded deciduous undergrowth within mature forests, often along streams or in low areas. A relatively small warbler, with long thin tail. Plain gray upperside unique. Also note neat white eye-ring, yellow supraloral, and “necklace” of streaks on breast. Voice: Song a sputtery descending jumble of high, clear, liquid notes mixed with sharp chips. Call a sharp dry tyup. Flight call a relatively low, liquid plik.”

Download a printable pdf of the replacement text here: Canada_Warbler_SibleyWest_correction

Quick Index – Grosbeaks should be listed as pages 399-401 (not 339-401)

On many species the opening sentence giving status can be unclear. For example,  Least Bittern (p. 55) begins with the sentence “Uncommon and local in marshes, where it hides among reeds” This could be read to mean that the species is uncommon specifically in those habitats (and may be more common in other habitats). It is meant to say that the species is “Uncommon and local; found in marshes, where it hides among reeds.”

11 thoughts on “Updates and Corrections for the Sibley Western Guide”

  1. Very useful to have corrections.

    Are there several variants of Western Guide? I have 5th printing, Sep 2006.
    Snowy Owl is on page 240. (227 is Eastern page).
    Greater Pewee map seems correct (not same as BB).
    If Townsend’s Warbler bill cut off in Eastern, isn’t it also in Western? seems like it.
    Canada Warbler – could you format the text such that it could be printed from this page and come out exactly right size to cut out and paste over existing text? Maybe better, a hi-res photo or pdf of the Eastern text that could be printed to achieve that end? I don’t know exactly what would be simplest for the user.

    1. Michael, Thanks for these comments and corrections. I’ve updated the page above. I guess the Greater Pewee map has been fixed in later printings. Now I’ll have to get the Canada Warbler text corrected, but in the meantime I’ve taken your suggestion and offer a pdf of the correct text that you can print and paste into your book.

  2. David, I have the 6th printing, October 2007, of the Sibley Western Guide and am very happy with it. I especially like the overview pages at the beginning of each section. However, I am confused about the drawings of the Common Merganser on p.92 and p.73 (the overview page). Is it possible the “Adult female breeding” and the “Adult male nonbreeding” drawings have been reversed?

    1. Good question. They are correct as shown, The two plumages are essentially identical but I can tell they are placed correctly because I left the paintings of nonbreeding males unfinished, without the tail ends.

  3. David; I have the Sibley Western Guide 2003, 8th printing April 2011. Awesome book. Thank you for all your hard work.
    Recently saw some American Golden Plovers but couldn’t find them in the expanded index in the back. However found that bird (along with the Pacific Golden Plover) on page 143. The index refers to all pages for plovers 141-147 but omits page 143’s birds. Just a heads up.

  4. Ninth printing; Nov. 2012
    Page 111 – “Uncommon”, the first word in the description, should be “Common” instead.

    This book certainly is the ideal guide to bird identification!
    The organization of the book is easy to use, the family pictorial indexes are superb, and the bird pictures with the different bird poses for each species are excellent.

  5. I have the March 2016 revised edition of Birds West and have noted 3 errors:
    -the American Redstart is not listed in either index (p. 377)
    -the range map for the wood duck is very incorrect (p. 17)
    -multiple typos on the introduction of p.328

  6. It seems to me a ‘mistake’ is to have both Brown and Long-billed Thrasher in the Eastern Guide and only the Brown in the Western book. Also, I think the text in the Western Guide probably applies to the Brown except for the opening statement of “Uncommon and local….”

  7. Hi there! I freaking love your guide. I wanted to reach out because I’ve found many spelling errors in the Sibley Birds West Second Edition. Most of the errors are benign, but it appears at least one Latin name is spelled incorrectly (Pioceidae, pg 442,) which tripped me up and led me down a rabbit hole. I’ve had your book for a week now, so I have not combed through it thoroughly.
    Please let me know how I can productively help out if help is desired. Thanks!

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