Kenn Kaufman is one of the most famous birders in North America so it is no surprise that his field guide is immensely popular. But the Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America is more than just a famous birder’s take on how to identify birds. It is perhaps the easiest, most useful field guide currently available.
Benefits to the Kaufman Guide
- Uses highly detailed photos to show real birds in action: this helps when trying to compare to a bird out in the field
- Organized by type of bird instead of taxonomically: this improves likelihood of finding an unfamiliar bird by putting similar yet unrelated birds together. The matching color-coded table of contents also improves searchability in the book.
- Follows a tradition started by Roger Tory Peterson in where a bird’s distinct markings are highlighted with pointers
- Side-by-side layout includes the bird photos on the right side and the descriptions and range maps on the left side
- Compact size and solid cover: this guide is a true field guide, fitting in a (big) pocket yet is durable enough to be shoved into any space
Perhaps the best benefit to the Kaufman series of field guides – which also includes Insects, Butterflies, and Mammals – is the ability for kids of all ages to pick up and use the book with great ease. Dakota, who met Mr. Kaufman last year, is able to find nearly any bird in under a minute in the guide.
While we own tons of field guides (and family specific books), the Kaufman is the one we turn to the most. But of course, using multiple guides is highly recommended.
Rating: 10 out of 10 feathers