Sibley’s Birding Basics

sib_birdingbasics_tn Information from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Info and sales at or your local independent bookstore

Spanish language edition available at the Corbidi website

Kindle ebook edition available at Amazon

Published 2002

Which bird book should I buy?

Updates and corrections


from a review by Steve Howell in Western Birds (pdf here)

Every once in a while a book comes along and you think, “how is it that this wasn’t done before?” Sibley’s Birding Basics … is one such book. Its audience is really anyone who looks at birds in the field, beginner or expert… A real gem in the world of bird books.

General info:

Birding Basics, published in October 2002, is meant to be the introduction to The Sibley Guide to Birds. It was clear when I was writing the Sibley Guide to Birds that the introduction in that book, kept short for very good reasons, would not be sufficient to cover all of the details that I thought it should. So I cut and condensed the info to make the intro, and two years later came up with the idea to create a whole new book.

This book introduces readers to the basic information that underlies the techniques of modern bird identification. It is a beginner’s guide to the concepts and tools of bird identification; topics such as molt, feather wear, shape, structure, and feather patterns, to name a few. Understanding the basis of the appearance and variation of birds will help any birder of any level advance to make quicker and more accurate identifications. This book will work with any field guide.

1 thought on “Sibley’s Birding Basics”

  1. I see there is now a poster of Backyard Birds. The poster I keep hoping for is one that I am afraid won’t sell quite as well, one showing the bird diagrams from Birding Basics – the nomenclature maps as it were.

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