Birds of North America, by Robbins, Bruun, and Zim (Golden Press, NewYork, 1983; $7.95), is the handiest one to slip into a jacket pocket.
Arevision of the Golden field guide first published in 1966, this360-page edition now includes all 650 birds that nest in America northof Mexico, 60 that regularly migrate or wander into this region withoutnesting, and 100 “foreigners” that sometimes stray onto thecontinent. The book groups similar birds, so you can easily comparepossibilities. A typical two-page spread lists five birds. Most entries have arange map (many maps are new in this edition), a sonagram to picture thebird’s song, and a brief description of the bird, its habitat, andimportant mannerisms and field marks. Color illustrations by well-known bird artist Arthur Singer depict birds in their habitats, showing feather patterns and colors appropriateto each season, sex, or age. Bird silhouettes, flight patterns, andbirds in flight are usually shown separately.
This is a good workingguide, especially for beginners.