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The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle. Published 2013. As reviewed and pictured: Flexibound, 560 pages.
I used to read travel guides cover to cover. They aren't really meant to be read that way, but I enjoyed planning future holidays so much that I couldn't help myself.
When I started birding, I began to accumulate books on birding. Unlike the travel guides, I never read a field guide all the way through. With even my favorites, only the introductory sections got my full attention, while the species accounts were browsed through at leisure or certain sections studied only when I needed them.
New this year, The Warbler Guide turned out to be a genuine page-turner for this birder.
Before the species accounts begin, the authors delve into identification tricks and tips, first covering "What to notice on a warbler". This goes deeper than the typical topographical bird maps found in most guides. A lot of pages are devoted to learning warbler songs, calls, and chip notes, including in-depth instruction on reading and understanding sonograms.
Before getting to the species accounts, there are some great "quick-finder" keys. In the book and as separate print-outs they are an effective way to quickly scan for a bird, with several view choices available depending on how much of the bird's body you managed to observe.