My bird-identification skills are weak. There is the Boston park hierarchy:
seagulls > rock pigeons > Old World sparrows
(and now after looking up the pigeon & sparrow situation, I can recognize American sparrows) and I'm pretty sure the three or four different kinds of birds what I call "crows" are all corvids and the most common ones are actual proper American crows. There is a bird that, if you called it a "cardinal", I would believe you, but it doesn't really fit my mental picture of a cardinal so well that I would teach it to a child, being too orangey.
Anyway, I figure it's worth getting a book so I can identify at least the 5-10 species I can see on a given day just sitting in my house. I know some of you are birdy folk. Any recommendations?
Left to my own devices, I would get the The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region because I've had a few of their guides in the past (trees, mushrooms) and found them useful and pleasing to hold, but the indexing leaves something to be desired: I'd like at least a decision tree for quick identification.