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Need some help identifying birds? Although the Merlin Bird App is free to use, many times, it is more helpful to flip through a field guide. Using a field guide can expand your knowledge of the species in question.  It also points out similar species and other interesting variations.


Here are my five favorite bird field guide recommendations:

1.  Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern & Central North America, Seventh Edition (Peterson Field Guides)

Having many old Peterson guides dating over 20+ years on birds, insects, butterflies, etc., the plates and notable parts of the birds make it especially helpful to quickly ID birds.

2.  The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Second Edition (Sibley Guides)

Amazing Illustrator, David Sibley, with the popular Sibley Field Guide

3.  National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition 

I keep this in my vehicle at all times. It’s on the bulky side, but the notches for each type of bird species provides quick access for bird identification.

4.  The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds (The Crossley ID Guides)

The coolest bird book – it is really fun to look at the composite images. Birds are depicted in their common habitat, in the water, in flight, and with other birds you may find with them.

This makes a great coffee-table book or gift to anyone getting into birding – it’s 10 years old and not the least expensive, but I love this book.

5.  The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America (Stokes Field Guides)

For Bird Songs, the Stokes Field Guide is a classic. Of course, I have the CD’s, but it’s available as an Audiobook too.  If you subscribe to Audible, it’s free.


What is your favorite way to identify birds?  Let us know in the comments below.

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