Did you know that until the 1930s the instrument of choice for studying birds was a shotgun? Early naturalists would shoot wildlife in order to discern the characteristics of different species. Luckily for today's birds, naturalists now use binoculars and spotting scopes for close observation. Another valuable addition to any bird outing is a good field guide. Many choices are available, and the following list highlights noteworthy editions offered by Eagle Optics.
Renowned naturalist and bird author Kenn Kaufman delivers a comprehensive field guide that departs from traditional artwork by using actual photographs of birds. Considered by many to be one of the easiest field guides for identification, the stunning color photos of the Kaufmann Guide are sure to help birders of all skill levels.
The National Geographic guide is thorough and easy to navigate. It features beautiful color illustrations of birds in their natural habitat from a multitude of artists. Convenient tabs help you quickly find the correct section of the book. Compared to other guides, National Geographic offers the most comprehensive range map information and species accounts.
The beautiful artistry of David Allen Sibley's paintings highlights the most popular series of bird field guides on the market today. His wonderfully realistic illustrations diagnostically capture the color, pose, size, and shape of each bird. The Sibley guide is available in a large format that covers both Eastern and Western North America, as well as two separate, more portable Eastern North America and Western North America versions.
Bill Thompson III recently authored a wonderful guide geared towards young birders that covers 200 of the most common and interesting birds in Eastern North America. The latest in the Peterson Field Guides series, The Young Birder's Guide includes color photographs, range maps, and information tailored to kids eight years and older. The details in this guide come from the experts and go beyond just fun facts. With collaboration from the students in his 11-year old daughter's class, Bill included important bird habitat information and highlighted things each of us can do to help our feathered friends.