The new edition of the Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding has richly enhanced my knowledge and my approach to identifying birds.
The good folks at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt were kind enough to send me a review copy a few weeks ago. Before I posted a review, I wanted to make sure I had read the book. Well, I've read the first seven chapters, which comprises the first third of the book before it gets into the specific identification challenges of bird family groups. I will continue to study this fount of knowledge and reference it frequently.
If you are getting serious about birding, you seriously need to read this book! I've been an "avid" birder for a few years. Now, after reading Kenn Kaufman's philosophy of birding, I feel like a much more "wise" birder. I am confident that my enjoyment of birds will increase.
Kenn lays out for us, excellent principles and pitfalls of bird identification, discusses in detail bird terminology and topography, and I could pretty much go on and give you the whole table of contents. Now this isn't the typical field guide with a page dedicated to each species, but this is more of reference book, that you can and should take with you into the field.
Just think of any of the common bird identification challenges you face (gulls, sparrows, flycatchers, etc) and Kenn's got it covered. He has compiled i.d. tips learned by great field experience and lots of study and shares them in a way that is understandable to all.
With my recent challenge of identifying a female Rufous from a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Kenn's insights really helped me out. Now I will look at each hummingbird through a different and more powerful mental lens!