17 December 2012


Among avid birders, there is always discussion about the best binoculars, spotting scopes, and field guides (click on image to enlarge) as these tools evolve.  The National Audubon Society has taken the field guide debate to the next level with their Online Guide to North American Birds.  The guide covers all of North America's regular breeding birds (about 580 species), as well as approximately 180 non-breeding species that regularly or occasionally visit north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The guide's resources include ~
  • how to bird
  • how to identify birds
  • plumage and molt
  • parts of a bird
  • classification of birds
  • bird families
  • natural history of birds
  • endangered and threatened birds
  • bird conservation
  • a glossary
While it would (to this birder) be awkward to try to access the website from the field, no matter how portable your e-device, this remains a useful reference at home for clarifying what you've seen in situ.  Just as having a local expert along on a birding trip is indispensable, so too is having more than one reference to verify that potentially rare sighting you think you made.

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