Best Id Book

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WheresMyBinos's picture
Best Id Book

Hi All,
This is my first post, and I am very new to this site. I have a quick question . . . My husband and I have just started getting into bird watching, and we are having a very hard time identifying birds as we dont have a bird book. We are looking to purchase some sort of feild guide, and have done a fair bit of research, but are just wondering which guide is the best. Can you please give us some help so that we get a book that is useful.

Thankyou all in advance.

phoebe's picture

My favourite id book is the Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds (second edition).
The illustrations are excellent and very detailed and the layout is simple and effective.
I also use Simpson and Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia 7th edition (it's always good to have more than one field guide).
This one has better maps and generally a little more info but I don't think the illustrations are as good as the Slater Field Guide.
Hope that helps :)

WheresMyBinos's picture

Thanks so much for the info Phoebe. . . . they were the two books we had been looking at, as well as the michael morcombe Feild Guide. Well . . . now all I have to do is get a copy.

GregL's picture

I use "A field guide to the birds of Australia" by Graham Pizzey. The information is accurate and informative, and it has good distribution maps. It is referenced a lot by the BIBY birdfinder, which is also a good reference if you have a bit of knowledge. For calls the BIBY has some excellent samples, but not for all birds. For photos, google images helps a lot if you know what birds it might be.

The old edition of pizzey I have has all the illustrations together in the middle, and all the maps together at the back, which I find an excellent format for going through quickly to get a basic idea. The new editions have the more popular format of a page for each bird, but this makes it a lot slower going if you are learning, having to look at each page rather than a lot of illustrations on a single page. I feel these newer field guides are more for selling to people who won't use them much, rather than people who will use them often. You might be able to find the old style on amazon, they are worth having if you want to get serious.

birdie's picture

I love my Simpson and day 7th Ed. I use it every day now and am getting more used to the layout and where to find stuff. I actually read the extra stuff in it the other day and it has heaps of helpful tips and basic lessons on bird watching. I went into an Angus & Robertson bookshop today to see if I could find a different one, and the stock of bird books was nothing short of pathetic I have to say. I think they had one Field Guide and that was it.

Sunshine Coast Queensland

QLDBird's picture

My first guide was the Slater Field Guide which I got in preschool. I would strongly recommend it.

sparrow's picture

Hi, i have 7 different books from pocket size to the enormous readers digest hard back but the one i always go to first is the simpson & day 7th edition "field guild to the birds of Australia"
cheers sparrow

sparrow's picture

try ebay that where i found most of mine
cheers sparrow

Raven's picture

Bird guide books can be quite a maze, some are good and compact, others cumbersome and not good for field work. Others are good for basic birding (Know Your Birds, Louise Egerton, 2004) to start off. Some are middle of the road (Australian Birds, A Concise Photographic Field Guide, Donald & Molly Trounson, 2004) suitable for both home and field work. Many are suitable for children with basic descriptions and nice pictures( Birds of Australia, Peter Rowland 2005)It's a matter of trawling the bookstores and see what you are comfortable with.

A good series (which I refer to often) is the pocket sized Birds of Victoria, Gould League of Victoria, 1975 & 1979, probably well out of print now with around seven booklets in the series. Good luck, there's plenty to chose from.

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