[CT Birds] Peterson's First Field Guide

Dave Provencher hikerbirder at gmail.com
Mon Jul 29 08:08:35 EDT 2013

Which field guide technique works for a new birder depends on the
individual. There is no perfect choice. To me, photographic guides work
better for more experienced birders, artwork based field guides can range
from too soft to too harsh in how they represent the species, and text
based guides are going to overwhelm the beginner. It should be noted that
not every bird seen in the field is going to look exactly like the
representation of it in a given field guide.

No beginner is going to get it right each time. Indeed, even very
experienced birders get IDs wrong, though some might try not to admit
that. We learn best from our mistakes. True in life, true in birding. I
think the best way to begin is simply. A regional guide eliminates many
species from the process. That combined with the Peterson guide system
are in my opinion the reasons to recommend the Peterson guide. It's not
perfect, but it is still an excellent choice for most beginners.

Dave Provencher

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