The following review was written by our very own young birder, 12-year old Dakota. These are his thoughts on the new Peterson Field Guide to Birds of both Eastern/Central and Western North America. Both books were sent to us by the publisher to review.
Whether you live in the western or eastern part of North America, the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, Sixth Edition and Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, Fourth Edition are easy to use and understand. The guides can benefit birders from beginning birders to experienced expert birders.
For new birders I think that if they were to read the Introduction they have a good idea of what to look for when they find a bird in the field. If you were to see an immature Baltimore Oriole it says exactly what to look for in comparison to a female which looks a lot alike. This will make it easier for a newcomer into the bird world.
I personally like the setup of these books. They are easy to follow and to find a species by name or bird type. The descriptions of the birds detail its call, how it looks in the breeding season and non-breeding season. However, unique bird behaviors are not really described. For example, there is no mention of how Ruddy Turnstones flip stones over for food. Some of the descriptions are, in a way, almost boring.
Although these guides could do a better job with better descriptive text, they are both great for identifying birds. Whether you are an experienced birder or brand new, both Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, Sixth Edition and Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, Fourth Edition will increase your birding skills.
Check out our review of the “big” Peterson, Review of Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America which covers all North American birds.
Post written by Dakota and edited by The Birdfreak Team for spelling/clarity.