Birding

We love to travel to find new birds and participate in a lot of bird counts. We also created a Guide to Birding Field Guides and host a collection of over 200 birding links from all over the globe.

Conservation

While our main focus continues to be birds, we promote other areas of conservation as well. Conserving land not only benefits wildlife, but is hugely beneficial to people as well.

Year of the Young Birder

2013 is officially The Year of the Young Birder! We plan on spending the whole year promoting young birder clubs and sharing ideas on how to help student naturalists become lifelong conservationists.

Ohio | Illinois | Iowa | Michigan | Indiana
Minnesota | New York

Check out the Book Review Library!

Article in: Book Reviews
June 25, 2013

Review of The Warbler Guide

the_warbler_guideWarbler identification has often been a bane to new and experienced birders, albeit a colorful one. Many brightly colored males are easy enough to identify when provided a nice look.

But good views are often not the norm and in the fall many warblers plumage becomes a much duller version of their spring counterparts. Mix in young birds and identification can become downright frustrating.

The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle is the most comprehensive guide to becoming an expert on warbler identification.

There are so many wonderful features in The Warbler Guide it is best to start with the section called “What to Notice on a Warbler” which covers the various parts of warblers and what you should observe.

Color photographs show details of eye-lines, wing-bars, bill size, contrast, color, cap, rump, breast, etc.

A rather large section covers “how to listen to warbler songs” and has sonograms for all the warbler songs. The song finder chart organizes warbler songs into categories such as “trilled”, “buzzy”, “clear, etc. with descriptions and comparisons to similar songs.

The “visual finder guides” provides several views of the warblers: face, side, 45 degree, underneath, east, west, and fall plus all the undertails. These provide a great tool to narrow down identification quickly and to use as a study aide.

20130625_124037

How did I use this book?

I started with a warbler I am fairly knowledgeable about, the Yellow Warbler, and studied the entire section. Then I chose a warbler I have never seen but want to, the Worm-eating Warbler.

Yellow Warbler
20130625_124132

Each species has numerous photos including distinctive views and similar species. Maps and graphs show distribution and timing of migration as well as where subspecies are located. Lastly, several sonograms show the species various songs as well as similar bird songs.

Example of sonograms
20130625_124106

If you just end up paging through all the species, you may get overwhelmed. But if there are species you want to learn more about or one you recently saw, I’d start there. The more at-home learning you do, the easier field identification gets.

And this book isn’t really made for the field but as a before or after identification study guide.

The Warbler Guide is a must-have book for every birder. It is comprehensive, easy-to-use, and absolutely gorgeous.

Disclaimer: we received a copy of this book from the publisher to review on Birdfreak.com. The links are to our Amazon affiliate account.

1 Comment or Trackback   ↓ Jump to add comment ↓

Trackbacks

  1. Review Roundup: June, 2013

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment