Our review of the new and completely awesome Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America would not be complete without a true field test. The guide spent several hours riding in a backpack, sandwiched between water bottles and power bars. The cover stood up well – with only a minor ding – and protected the glossy pages inside.
Peterson in the field
Photo courtesy of Houghton Mifflin
Being familiar with the birds of our area we seldom need a guide to identify birds, but for our field test we removed the book from the backpack several times. Finding the right family and right bird was quick and easy. The pages, color-coding, and strong, flexible binding make flipping simple.
Peterson’s gorgeous paintings make shorebirds stand out like you are on the cape of Massachusetts with them
Other tests conducted were the obligatory “flop on the ground” where we toss the book off a raised platform overlook. PASSED We also rolled the guide in the dry dirt and it brushed cleanly off. PASSED Like most books, it is recommended to not get it wet. The cover looks fine after having some moisture (from sweating water bottles), but a dunk in the lake is not part of the field test.
Despite its clean, classy look and larger size, the Peterson Guide to Birds of North America is worthy of going along any birding outing and will stand up to years of abuse (intentional or not).
Field Rating: easily 10 out of 10 feathers