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I don't remember seeing anyone comment on these field guides.  I have both this weekend, checked out from SLPL, and I have been trying to compare them, first to the Sibley Guide to Birds and then to the National Geo, 3rd edition.  Obviously they don't illustrate all the plumages of the GuBi (Guide to Birds), and in particular, seem to leave out the juvenile plumages in preference to first winter.  But in looking at the towhees, for instance, I found that for Canyon Towhee there were more views and better angles than NaGe (National Geo).  Range maps were a criticism for the GuBI; these each contain a list of 2 or 3 local experts who have provided information for their home (for Missouri, these were Bob Fisher, Mark Robbins and Bill Rowe).

Since each does half the country, they cover fewer birds than the NaGe, and the info given per species seems to be more extensive.  Habitat, sometimes feed, and relative abundance are covered.  For example, for Painted Bunting:

Uncommon and local in brushy lowlands with some tall trees.  Habits similar to Indigo Bunting, but slightly more secretive.  Adult male unmistakable, with red rump and underparts.  Other plumages plain greenish; our only green finch-like bird.  Voice: Song a sweet continuous warble;quality similar to Indigo but without repeated phrases; unbroken singsong rhythm similar to Blue Grosbeak.  Calls average slightly softer than other buntings.

This takes up half a page with range map.  Illustrations are male and female flying wings up and wings down (so you can see underside or upper, belly and back), alult male, adult female and first year female.  In general, my impression is 2 species per page.

This is the only guide I'm aware of to attempt to include abundance.  I think there are more illustrations per species than NaGe, though he still doesn't include real rarities like smews.  I'm favorably impressed, but would like to see others opinions.

Dency Kahn
Olivette, MO
St. Louis County
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