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In My Library: Birding Books

May 16th, 2013

Many of you are avid readers, like me, you are probably interested in what other people have on their bookshelves. While I was looking for a book the other day, the thought hit me that you might be interested in seeing what books I have gracing the shelves in my home. This will be a series, every now and then I’ll feature a few of the books on my shelf and tell you about them, where I got them, if I love them, etc.
bird books 1
Growing up, my parents were interested in birds. We had a bird book in the house and I can see where sightings of different birds were jotted down in the back. My parents gave us the book, but it was old and the photos were fairly faded. Proper identification was difficult at times. As a result, Mr Chiots and I have purchased a few new bird books to help up identify the feathered friends we see.
bird books 2
bird books 3
bird books 4
These books go with us as we travel, just in case we spy a new and interesting bird. They certainly come in handy. We love them both for different reasons. Stokes Birds is full of vibrant photos making it easy to identify birds. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America is filled with detailed drawing that note the differences between birds of of the same family groups. We also have a bird ap for our iPad, we use it often when searching to identify birds we can only hear.

Do you have any good identification books?

The Series:
In My Library – part 1
In My Library – part 2
In My Library – Part 3
In My Library – Birding Books
In My Library: the Edible Garden Edition

If you do want to purchase any of these books or anything else from Amazon, use my Amazon Link, I’ll earn a few pennies to help pay for my now outrageous hosting bill for this blog!

15 Comments to “In My Library: Birding Books”
  1. Mich on May 16, 2013 at 5:46 am

    We have on our shelves a copy of ‘Birds of the British isles’ which is good, also a moth/butterfly id book which covers the caterpillar and adult stages.
    Another good book we have is British Wildlife which covers all the common species we have.
    I like the idea of the bird song app for the iPad.

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  2. kathi Cook on May 16, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I have the Peterson Guide also. When children were young I had a set of National Audubon First field guides. They are an easy to use resource for children. I still use them as well.

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  3. Jennifer Fisk on May 16, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I have my childhood “Golden Nature Guide” series. I also have a few Audubon Society guides including New England which makes finding a reference easy. To round out the collection, along with Peterson I also have Sibley.

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  4. KimH on May 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Yep.. loads.. for birds, wild foods, flowers, weeds, planets & stars and probably a few more Im not thinking of at the moment.

    We always had these sorts of books in my mom’s home when I was a kid..and they were well used. One of my favorites was a sea shell ID book since we lived on the Gulf of Mexico & went to the beach every other week. Lots of sand found its way into that book. ;)

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  5. Deb on May 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I have all the Audubonne Society books for the different species for North America. Very good books, like spiders and insects, and birds, etc. Also have some other very old books, 3, for looking up. I go between about 3 different books looking up new insects, birds, etc. Very good to have. Love the paper version of books. Like hard copies of all my books.

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  6. kristin @ going country on May 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

    More to the point, does my son have any good identification books? DOES HE EVER. Insects, animal tracks, lots of fish ones, and a few bird ones. The best bird book for him is the one from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that has corresponding audio for all the birds, so you can hear their various calls. So now we’re playing outside and he says, “I hear a red-eyed vireo.” Oh yeah? I’ll take your word for it, son, because I suck at bird call identification.

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    • kathi Cook on May 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm


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  7. Joan on May 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I hate to admit it, but I have three full shelves of identification and natural history books! I have even more of these than I do gardening books. Everything from amphibians, to insects, to flowers, to trees and shrubs, to birds, to animals of the eastern U.S. Ferns, geology, medicinal plants, bogs, you name it… And then there are the natural history books – Winter World or anything else by Bernd Heinrich, Nature at Sundown, Bogs of the Northeast… I love learning about the natural world.

    My favorite ID books are probably either Peterson or Sibley for birds, Newcombs Wildflower Guide, Flora of Maine (which is something most people would NOT want to tackle), and Caterpillars of Eastern North America. These are all really well done and useful books.

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  8. Lizzie on May 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Book recommendation posts are my favorite kind of blog post . . . thank you for sharing!

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  9. Lemongrass on May 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Reading the comments of other book lovers, remind me of my mother sitting at her sewing machine and we each had 20 minutes of reading to her every weekend. I continue my love of reading……paper books mostly. My interest in land, sea, sky and everything in between. I am in the process of collecting books about sea, sky, and land creatures of the Caribbean, now that I have returned to live there. Yesterday morning I heard to mockingbirds in a call and response display. Reminded me of a jazz session. My husband wanted to pull out his clarinet and join them.
    I am now reading. “Rasta and Resistance………from Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney. by HORACE CAMPBELL

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  10. Colleen on May 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Our go-to bird identification book is, The Sibley Guide to Birds.

    I appreciate you sharing book recommendations, I have bought a variety of books you have suggested. Thanks for helping to fill the bookshelves.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  11. Kaytee on May 18, 2013 at 4:34 am

    I can remember spending hours watching my grandma’s bird feeders with an old field guide open on the table. I’m so thankful to her for that, because it has now turned into my career. And because of that, I have field guides of everything, with birds still topping the list. For the “serious” birders out there, the best field guide is Sibley’s Guide. I have a copy of the eastern book that lives in my work backpack and goes out with me everyday. It has gotten so beat up that I bought a second copy to keep in the house!

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  12. Jeff on May 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    In the southwest, most serious birders I meet like Sibley’s Guide. I use Peterson’s for the detailed drawings, but will probably get a Sibley Guide soon!

    Reply to Jeff's comment

  13. EL on May 19, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I have the American Bird Conservancy fieldguide for birds and the Audubon books for wildflowers (although I have a lot of native plant gardening books as well). I also have a guide I’ve never used: the Peterson medicinal plants and herbs fieldguide. I guess I should dust it off and try it.

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  14. Beth K on May 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Growing up my parents had several bird feeders and we spent time watching the birds come and go and learning what they were called. Identification books were a requirement in our house. :-) Over the years my mom collected ID books for everything it seemed. I’ve been working on building my collection. My most used book in my current collection would probably be my Weeds of the Northeast book that I actually purchased for a class in college. I have used it at home and on the job. I get to share it this week at work – we’re having a forage and wedd ID session at our pasture walk Thursday. :-)

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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