BOOK: The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition

David Allen Sibley, The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition (New York: Knopf, 2014), 624 pp.

The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000 quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. Used by millions of birders from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide became the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The highly anticipated second edition builds on this foundation of excellence, offering massively expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and a new, elegant design.

The second edition offers a wealth of improvements and updates:

• All illustrations reproduced 15 to 20 percent larger for better detail.

• Includes nearly 7,000 paintings digitally remastered from original art for enhanced print quality.

• Expanded text includes habitat information and voice description for every species and more tips on finding birds in the field.

• More than 600 new paintings, including illustrations of 115 rare species and additional paintings of common species and regional populations.

• More than 700 updated maps of ranges, showing winter, summer, year-round, migration, and rare ranges.

• 85 bird family pages now cross-referenced to species accounts.

• Revised taxonomic order and most current common names for every species.

The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition, brings the genius of David Allen Sibley to the world once again in a thoroughly updated and expanded volume that every birder must own.

I have a copy in my hand, but as some have remarked, and Sibley has acknowledged and is working to have it fixed in the next printing and so forth, some of the color in the book is off, making some birds, especially with red, appear darker than they should. Also, some text errors have been noted, which he said will be fixed. That said, this is a beautiful book, not one I’ll have in my backpack when hiking or nature exploring (too large/heavy), but a go-to guide on the shelf at home. Highly recommended!

Check out:
Birdwatching: First look: David Sibley describes changes to look for in his revised Guide to Birds
10,000 Birds: Ten Things About the New Sibley
Birdchick: So I Got A Second Edition Sibley

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