The New Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America by Bill Thompson is a comprehensive guide for new and young birders. It provides an introduction to the world of birding, as well as useful information for identification.
The book includes sections on bird identification and optics, as well as other topics such as gear and appropriate dress. It also includes tips on how to be a better birder, debunking some bird myths, and providing five outside-the-box tips for improving birding skills.
The accounts feature one or two photographs, a range map, text, and a black-and-white drawing. The photos show at most two variations of the bird, whether male/female, breeding/nonbreeding, etc.
The text includes sections on what the bird looks like, its song and call, tips for telling it apart from similar species, habitat, and a cool fact about the bird.
What I Liked
I love how systematic the book is and how it removes a lot of the information found in field guides to make the critical information more accessible.
What I Did Not Like
Not a whole lot – the book is pretty self-explanatory. I have found that I overestimate what can learn from books and underestimate what I can learn by sitting, watching, and punching stuff into my Merlin app.