Posted by: atowhee | July 8, 2013


THE WARBLER GUIDE. By Tom Stpehenson and Scott Whittle. Princeton University Press. 560 pages. Flexibound. $29.95.
warbler guide cover

Once you own this book you will never need another reference on the North American wood warblers. This colorful family of birds is NOT closely related to those “warblers” in the Old World with their rich songs and drab plumage. Here the whole spectrum of our warblers is on display and wisely compared and contrasted in ways that will make field identification less of a trial for beginners or those seeing a warbler in new territory. In May I saw over 30 species in two weeks at Magee Marsh, Ohio. This book would have certainly helped me sort out what I was seeing, and what I probably missed.
Take a look at these two pages where the warbler faces are place one alongside the others:
warbler faces
There are similar comparisons to be found for wide views, views of tail feathers only, views of birds from directly beneath (all too common among the many treetop species in this family). Then there are over 20 pages of song graphs and comparison of similar songs. The book, of course, shows both spring and fall plumage for each species as these birds show distinct seasonal changes in many cases. In some cases there are separate range maps for spring and fall migration if there’s significant variation.
The book further includes detailed charts of: measurements of each species, habitat and foraging habits of each species, photos of birds in flight and range maps on varios sub-species for widely distributed birds like Yellow Warbler.
The book includes a complete description and numerous photos of each individual species. Many of these photos are close-ups of visible details like wing bars, eyebrow or eye-ring, open wing from beneath and more.
The book is a little too heavy for carrying into the field unless you’re spending all day on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. You will NOT want to go into warbler country without having this book in your car or wherever you are staying overnight for post-birding reference.


  1. […] You can now download (for a fee) all the calls and songs and chip notes of all of North America’s warblers. To do that you click on this like the Warbler Guider website. Earlier I had posted my review of the guide. You can read that by clicking here. […]

  2. […] Toheeblog […]

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