A Field Guide to Advanced Birding by Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.
This is a smaller format short book about more advanced topics that don’t appear in the other Peterson field guides. Many species can be difficult to tell apart. This book explains ways to identify some of these species. The illustrations are black and white, and specific to the detail being described. Very useful book.
- A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America (The Peterson Field Guide Series) by Roger Tory Peterson & Virginia Marie Peterson. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.
This book is largely a subset of Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America, covering only eastern and central North America. This edition if a smaller format book than the former and is hardcover. I don’t use it much now that I have the larger book.
- A Field Guide to Hawks of North America (The Peterson Field Guide Series) by William S. Clark & Brian K. Wheeler. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.
This is a smaller format book specific to hawks and similar species. It contains a section of identification plates, as do most Peterson guides. But the majority of the book is full of detailed descriptions of the species, along with some photos and range maps.
- A Field Guide to Warblers of North America (The Peterson Field Guide Series) by Jon Dunn & Kimball Garrett. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997.
This is a smaller format book specific to the various species of warbler. It is similar in layout to A Field Guide to Hawks of North America, but is significantly longer. It contains a great amount of descriptive detail about warblers.
- Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
This is my second favorite bird field guide. It’s a smaller format book with soft cover, making it easier to carry in the field. It uses photos to identify birds instead of illustrations. There are pros and cons to both approaches, which is why I enjoy having field guides that use both.
- Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America by Roger Tory Peterson. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.
This is my favorite of my bird field guides. It’s a larger format book than most of the others with good sized illustrations, which help in seeing the details. It does a great job of pointing out field markers used to identify species. The end of the book contains larger format range maps with more details than most of the other guides.
- The Shorebird Guide by Michael O’Brien, Richard Crossley & Kevin Karlson. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.
The Shorebird Guide is a nice resource for identifying and learning about shorebirds. It’s a larger format book, full of a range of photos of the various shorebirds in different poses. It also contains a nice amount of description of each species.
- Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America by Jim P. Brock & Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.
This is a nice companion to the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. It is of the same size but dedicated to butterflies, so it’s able to go into more detail than the other field guide. As with the other Kaufman field guides it contains photos of the various species, but in this book there is a better description than in the Insects guide.
- Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America by Eric R. Eaton & Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.
Typical of the Kaufman field guides, this one contains photos of many insect species and some descriptive text. There are so many species of insects out there the descriptive text can be very limited at times. But the book is good for helping identify a species. Further research on the species can be done elsewhere.
- Kaufman Field Guide to Mammals of North America by Nora Bowers, Rick Bowers, & Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
As with the other Kaufman field guides, this one is full of high quality photos for identification, along with associated descriptive text on each species of mammal. Very good field guide series.
Reptiles & Amphibians
- The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians by John L. Behler & F. Wayne King. Alfred A. Knopf, 1979.
This tall narrow Audubon Society field guide is a nice resource with a section of typically good quality photo plates followed by a section of description of each species along with small black and white range maps.
- A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America by Roger Conant & Joseph T. Collins. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.
This is a smaller format book, but long, similar in length to A Field Guide to Warblers of North America. As with some of the other Peterson field guides, it starts off with a section of identification illustration plates, followed by a long section of descriptions of the various species, including photos and range maps.
- Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird by Tim Birkhead. Walker & Company, 2012. (e-book edition)
Bird Sense is a fascinating book. Tim Birkhead describes how birds use all of their various senses, devoting a chapter to each sense: seeing, hearing, touch, taste, smell, magnetic sense, and emotions. It’s very detailed with interesting stories along the way.
- The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong by Donald Kroodsma. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.
I’ve only recently purchased this book and haven’t read much, so I can’t give a good description of it yet. The book comes with a CD full of recorded songs of a number of species. This is very handy for learning their songs, easier than trying to imagine the song from the descriptions typically given in field guides.
- Wildlife of Virginia and Maryland and Washington, D.C. by Charles Fergus. Stackpole Books, 2003.
Charles Fergus has written a great book about all of the species of wildlife in the Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. area. It does not have illustrations for every species, and the illustrations it does have are black and white, so it shouldn’t be thought of as a field guide. Fergus provides a nice level of description of each species, broken down into sections on biology, habitat, and population. This is a good book to learn more about the species identified from field guides.