Books: Not Only Fine Feathers...; January 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editors; 3 Page(s)
For birders who cut their teeth on Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds, that book seemed definitive, like the King James Bible or Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca. But it's a new millennium, and David Allen Sibley and the National Audubon Society have produced an impressive new Guide to Birds.
How does it differ from earlier guides? When Sibley himself was asked, he replied: "My book relies much more on illustrations.... I believe the average field guide user spends the vast majority of time looking at the pictures, and when I was developing this layout I based it on the premise that most of the text in current field guides is redundant.... I wanted a book that would condense a huge amount of information into a portable size, and at the same time make the information 'patterned,' logical, and accessible to any reader."