Best Bird Field Guides

Best Bird Field Guide: The Best Birds For Your Life

The Best Bird Field Guide is a comprehensive reference guide for all kinds of birds. It contains detailed descriptions of over 200 species, including those not yet described in any other source.

These are species that have been found in North America but were not previously known to science. Each species description includes photographs, illustrations, and key words so that readers will be able to identify each bird quickly and easily. The Best Bird Field Guide is divided into four sections: Common Birds; Specialist Birds; Rare or Endangered Species; and New World Birds.

The Best Bird Field Guide was first published in 1987 by the National Geographic Society (NGS). Since then it has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

The NGS has continued to update and improve the guide every two years since its initial publication.

Birds of North America

The BAFG provides a list of birds from across the continent, with descriptions, photographs, and maps. It covers all 50 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.

Birds are divided into 17 different groups based on their classification. The groups include aquatic birds, gallinaceous birds, pigeons and doves, owls, raptors (eagle, falcon, etc), songbirds (tits, finches, sparrows), waterfowl or ducks, and many more.

Each group is listed alphabetically in a colored box at the top of each page. This makes the layout simple to use and quick to reference.

In addition to photographs, the book features paintings and drawings highlighting each bird’s distinguishing features. Many of the photographs are taken in natural habitat, which adds to their realism and helps you picture the birds in their natural setting.

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Other features of the book include multiple indexes (alphabetical, by group, and by region), range maps for most of the species, and an introduction guiding you through the different sections.

Best Bird Field Guide Outline:

Part 1 – Common Birds

1. North American Falconiformes:

Falcons, Hawks, and Allies (pages 8-26)

2. North American Gruiformes:

Cranes and Relatives (pages 27-34)

3. North American Ciconiiformes:

Storks and Allies (pages 35-40)

4. North American Anseriformes:

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Ducks, Geese, and Swans (pages 41-52)

5. North American Galliformes:

Turkeys, Guineafowl, and Quail (pages 53-64)

6. North American Podicipediformes:

Grebes (pages 65-70)

7. North American Columbiformes:

Pigeons and Doves (pages 71-80)

8. North American Cursores:

Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons (pages 81-93)

9. North American Tubinares:

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Boobies and Gannets (pages 94-102)

Part 2 – Specialist Birds

10. Hummingbirds (pages 103-140)

11. North American Cuckooes (pages 141-148)

12. Nightjars and Nighthawks (pages 149-158)

13. North American Trogons (pages 159-166)

14. North American Barbets (pages 167-174)

15. Woodpeckers (pages 175-188)

16. Australian and New Guinean Birds (pages 189-200)

Part 3 – Rare or Endangered Species

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17. Northern and Antillean Birds (pages 201-210)

18. Pacific Island Birds (pages 211-220)

19. Middle American Birds (pages 221-230)

20. South American Land Birds (pages 231-240)

21. Caribbean Island Birds (pages 241-250)

Part 4 – New World Birds (back to Part 1 outline)

22. Rare or Endangered North American Land Birds (pages 251-260)

23. South American Water Birds (pages 261-270)

24. Australasian Water and Land Birds (pages 271-280)

25. Rare or Endangered Australasian and Oceanian Birds (pages 281-290)

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26. African Birds (pages 291-300)

27. Indian Ocean Islands Birds (pages 301-310)

28. Madagascar Land Birds (pages 311-320)

Part 5 – Rare or Endangered Species (back to Part 2 outline)

29. Caribbean and Guyana Land Birds (pages 321-330)

30. South American Sea and Water Birds (pages 331-340)

31. Southeast Asian, Mascarene, and Indian Ocean Islands Birds (pages 341-350)

Part 6 – Familiar but Unusual Species

32. North American Rare or Unusual Birds (pages 351-360)

33. South American Rare or Unusual Birds (pages 361-370)

34. African Rare or Unusual Birds (pages 371-380)

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35. Rare or Unusual Australasian and Oceanian Birds (pages 381-390)

36. Rare or Unusual Indian Ocean Island Birds (pages 391-400)

Part 7 – New Bird Families and Other Categories

37. Rare or Unusual Hummingbirds (pages 401-410)

38. Rare or Unusual Cuckooes (pages 411-420)

39. Rare or Unusual Nightjars and Nighthawks (pages 421-430)

40. Rare or Unusual Pigeons and Doves (pages 431-440)

41. Rare or Unusual Boobies and Gannets (pages 441-450)

42. Rare or Unusual Woodpeckers (pages 451-460)

43. Rare or Unusual Parrots (pages 461-470)

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44. Rare or Unusual Kingfishers, Goatsuckers, and related groups (pages 471-480)

45. Rare or Unusual Antbirds, Cowbirds, and related groups (pages 481-490)

46. Rare or Unusual Cotingas, Manakins, and related groups (pages 491-500)

47. Rare or Unusual Hummingbirds (pages 501-510)

48. Rare or Unusual Toucans and Allies (pages 511-520)

49. Rare or Unusual Tyrant Flycatchers (pages 521-530)

50. Other Rare or Unusual Birds (pages 531-540)

51. Rare or Unusual Gamebirds (pages 541-550)

52. Rare or Unusual Parrots (pages 551-560)

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53. Other Rare or Unusual Birds (pages 561-570)

54. Rare or Unusual Birds of the Sea and Shore (pages 571-580)

55. New Bird Families and Other Categories (back to Part 7 outline)

56. Rare or Unusual Herons and Allies (pages 581-590)

57. Rare or Unusual Vultures, Crows, and related groups (pages 591-600)

58. Rare or Unusual Swifts and Hummingbirds (pages 601-610)

59. Rare or Unusual Ground and Tree Creepers (pages 611-620)

60. Rare or Unusual Rails, Gallinules, and related groups (pages 621-630)

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61. New Bird Families and Other Categories (back to Part 1 outline)

62. Rare or Unusual Waders and Related Waterbirds (pages 631-640)

63. Rare or Unusual West African Birds (pages 641-650)

64. Rare or Unusual California and South American Birds (pages 651-660)

Part 8 – Recent Additions to the Lists and Removals from Them (back to Part 3 outline)

65. Hawaiian Birds (pages 661-670)

66. Galapagos Islands Birds (pages 671-680)

67. Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea Islands and coastal birds (pages 681-690)

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68. Seychelles, Comoros, and other Indian Ocean island birds (pages 691-700)

69. Macquarie Island bird (page 701)

70. Other Oceanic Islands and Island Groups (pages 702-710)

71. New Bird Families and Other Categories (back to Part 8 outline)

72. Rare or Unusual Birds of South America (pages 711-720)

73. Rare or Unusual Birds of Australia, New Zealand, and nearby Islands (pages 721-730)

74. Rare or Unusual Arabian Peninsula, Middle East, and African Birds (pages 731-740)

75. Rare or Unusual Southeast Asian and Eastern Indonesian Birds (pages 741-750)

76. New Bird Families and Other Categories (back to Part 4 outline)

77. Rare or Unusual Birds of Europe (pages 751-760)

Part 9 – The Future of Ornithology (back to Part 5 outline)

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78. New Bird Families and Other Categories (back to Part 9 outline)

79. New Subspecies and Miscellaneous Categories (pages 771-780)

80. Far Future Categories (pages 781-790)

Acknowledgements (back to Part 1 outline)

APPENDIX I. How to Use This Book (back to Part 1 outline)

II. Acronyms and Abbreviations (back to Part 1 outline)

III. Common Names of Birds (back to Part 1 outline)

IV. Names of Ornithologists and Others Whose Work Has Been Important (back to Part 1 outline)

V. Places to Go Birding (back to Part 1 outline)

VI. A Sampling of Ornithologists and their Most Important Contributions (back to Part 1 outline)

VII. An Overview of Migration (back to Part 1 outline)

VIII. An Overview of Important Ornithological Journals (back to Part 1 outline)

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IX. A List of Selected Ornithological Organizations and their Addresses (back to Part 1 outline)

APPENDIX II. A Brief History of Ornithology (back to Part 1 outline)

I. ANCIENT EGYPT AND THE GREEKS

1. The earliest beginnings of ornithology: what the ancient Egyptians knew about birds.

2. What the ancient Greeks knew about birds.

3. Other early advances in ornithology.

4. Other ancient peoples and their understanding of birds.

5. Summary of the ancient understanding of birds.

II. THE AGE OF COLONIZATION (1492-1800)

6. The discovery of the New World and its effect on ornithology.

7. Early ornithologists explore the New World and the Pacific Ocean.

8. The spread of colonization and its effect on ornithology.

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9. Early ornithologists of the Age of Colonization.

10. Last remnants of the Age of Colonization and the dawning of a new era.

11. Summary of the discoveries in the Age of Colonization.

12. Other important events and people in history (not necessarily ornithological).

13. Summary of the Age of Colonization.

III. THE AGE OF ORNITHOLOGY (1800-PRESENT)

A. EUROPE: THE BIRDS OF EUROPE AND THEIR OCCUPATION OF THE ISLAND CONTINENT (1800-PRESENT)

1. The exploration and mapping of the various ecological regions in Europe.

2. The discovery of new bird species in Europe and the mapping of their ranges.

3. The discovery of extinct species in Europe and the reasons for their extinctions.

4. The changes in range and numbers of bird species in Europe.

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5. Changes in the human population of Europe and their effects on birds.

6. The effects of agriculture, forestry, pollution, and other human activities on bird populations in Europe.

7. The changing status of rare and endangered bird species in Europe.

8. Changes, advances, retreats, and new directions in ornithology in Europe.

9. Summary of the birds of Europe and their occupation of the island continent.

B. ASIA AND AFRICA

1. The exploration and mapping of the various ecological regions in the Old World.

2. The discovery of new bird species in the Old World and the mapping of their ranges.

3. The discovery of extinct species in the Old World and the reasons for their extinctions.

4. The changes in range and numbers of bird species in the Old World.

5. Changes in the human population of the Old World and their effects on birds.

6. The effects of agriculture, forestry, pollution, and other human activities on bird populations in the Old World.

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7. The changing status of rare and endangered bird species in the Old World.

8. Changes, advances, retreats, and new directions in ornithology in the Old World.

9. Summary of the birds of the Old World and their occupation of the island continent.

C. AFRICA

1. The exploration and mapping of the various ecological regions in Africa.

2. The discovery of new bird species in Africa and the mapping of their ranges.

3. The discovery of extinct species in Africa and the reasons for their extinctions.

4. The changes in range and numbers of bird species in Africa.

5. Changes in the human population of Africa and their effects on birds.

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6. The effects of agriculture, forestry, pollution, and other human activities on bird populations in Africa.

7. The changing status of rare and endangered bird species in Africa.

8. Changes, advances, retreats, and new directions in ornithology in Africa.

9. Summary of the birds of Africa and their occupation of the continent.

D. THE PACIFIC ISLANDS AND OCEANIA

1. The exploration and mapping of the various ecological regions of the Pacific Islands and Oceania.

2. The discovery of new bird species in the Pacific Islands and Oceania and the mapping of their ranges.

3.

Sources & references used in this article:

A field guide to the birds of Australia by G Pizzey, R Doyle – 1980 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org

Collins bird guide by JL Dunn – 2017 – National Geographic Books

Bird migration by L Svensson, PJ Grant, K Mullarney, D Zetterström – British birds, 1999 – aueo.org

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