Start here: All About Birds
General Birding Web Sites:
New crowdsourced "social field guide," with excellent photos, observations, species information contributed by members. Content is edited before posting by birding experts. Covers the 976 species found in North America on the American Birding Association's checklist.
Also from Cornell, on the annual survey of birds visiting feeders in the winter. What to feed birds, how to identify them, maps, much more.
Shorebird Migration Animated Map
From Goldenrod Foundation at Plymouth Beach, Mass.
Click “Birds” field guide for information, songs, migration, more, about individual species. Also, online field guides for wildlife, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, seashells, spiders, insects, butterflies, wildflowers, trees.
Identify North American birds step-by-step by their attributes, choosing color, habitat, food, bill characteristics, more to narrow the possiblities; 900+ birds in database. Commercial site by Mitchell Waite; many ads also.
Bird of the Month
From Migratory Bird Center at Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
Sibley Guides: Bird Information
Birding basics, bird ID, species information by renowned artist and bird guide author David Sibley.
Backyard Birding by National Geographic
Bird identification links, photos, videos, more. Includes ads.
Internet Bird Collection
Videos, photos, sound clips, checklists, much more, for birds of the world, including North America.
ARKive: Images of Life on Earth: Birds
Videos, photographs and facts about birds around the world. Also includes information on mammals, reptiles, plants, and more.
American Bird Conservancy: Bird conservation group with Information about effects of cats, wind turbines, more; political action, conservation issues, international programs.
Boblinks are a grassland-nesting songbird under threat from reduced habitat as well as mowing practices. Run by University of Connecticut and UVM in Vermont, this group is making connections between the public and farmers. The group can advise farmers on best times to mow fields so fewer Bobolink chicks are killed.
New York's Watchable Wildlife - LIsts of willdlife species and where to watch them in N.Y. State. From N.Y.S. Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Also, see book version, New York Wildlife Viewing Guide, on library shelves.
Birder's Guide - From the American Birding Association; free online version of their colorful new quarterly magazine.
Tips for Beginning Birders
Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and other organizations offer webcams of birds on their nests. You can also Google terms like "osprey cam," "peregrine cam" or "owl cam." Nesting season is over for this year, so check these in the spring!:
Birding Sites for this Region:
Discussion group on Yahoo Groups; local birders post their sightings daily. Great way to see what birds are in the area.
"A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales." Offers maps, graphs, current sightings. New: Occurence Maps, with animated North American migration patterns.
Birding News from American Birding Association: Search by state for latest news posted to regional birding discussion lists.
Web Links and Discussion Groups: From NYS Ornithological Association; links to N.Y.S. bird news, postings, more.
Birdcast - Bird migration forecasts and maps, from Cornell Lab of Ornithology and others.
Spring arrival dates for migrating birds, from the N.Y.S. Ornithological Association Archives. For 2007. The Glens Falls area is in Region 8; see map.
New York State Breeding Bird Atlas - From NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Offers species lists and distribution maps from the first atlas (1980-1985) and second atlas projects (2000-2005).
Great Backyard Bird Count - People count species in their backyards during four days in February each year. See what was spotted in this area!
Barbolink’s World - Large, comprehensive birding site by a Saratoga County birder.
eNature: Birds & Birding - Database of North American wildlife. Click "Regional Birder" map to see information on birds of the Northeast for this month, including spring arrival dates.
Birding in the Adirondacks - From Adirondack Regional Tourism Council; with maps showing locations of bird sightings in the Adirondack Park.
New York Btate Birding Sites: Collection of NYS sites from Birding.com.
Bird Banding Laboratory: Researchers put bands on birds' legs to collect data on longevity, migration, more. If you can read the band on a bird's leg, you can report it to 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263). (Web site: http://www.reportband.gov/; was not working June 2013.)
Vermont Independence Birding Map - For birders with limited mobility; a Google map marked with these birding spots .
Local Birding Blogs:
- Times-Union Birding Blog - Birding blog in the Times-Union newspaper by renowned area birder Richard Guthrie of Greene County.
- This Week in Birds - Capital District Edition - Birding blog by Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club member Tom Williams; started in March 2013.
- Migration Station Blog - Local birder Lindsey Duval's blog, covering Warren, Washington and Saratoga Counties and more.
Bird Longevity Web sites:
- Bird Longevity Database From Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany. Also lists Longevity Records: Life Spans of Mammals, Birds, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish.
Also see the tab listing local birding organizations.
A checklist of bird species for an area is helpful to record what you've seen. Here are a couple of sites to know about:
- Birding the Betar Byway with Checklist - From Southern Adirondack Audubon, for South Glens Falls park; lists species common in the Glens Falls region.
- Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club Field Checklist - From the Capital District bird club.
- eBird - Electronic checklist; track your own sightings while you contributing to a larger pool of data.
- Vermont Bird Checklist - From Vermont Bird Records Committee and Vermont Center for Ecostudeis.
- American Birding Association Checklist - Of birds of North America; 12 pages.
- Avibase: Bird Checklists of the World - Includes New York State.
The right binoculars are essential for birding. These links offer good advice on buying binoculars:
- Cornell's All About Birds: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/gear/binoculars/
- Cornell's All About Birds: Binoculars for 2013
- Better View Desired: http://betterviewdesired.com/
- Birding.com: http://www.birding.com/binoculars.asp
- Birding Binoculars Buying Guide: http://www.birding-binoculars.net/buying-guide.html
- Bird Watching Binoculars page from OpticsReviewer.com: http://www.opticsreviewer.com/bird-watching-binoculars.html
- Fatbirder's Optics Guide: http://www.fatbirder.com/links/commerce/optics.html
Robins Nest Video
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Photo: Joyce in Kenya with elephants
Find an Injured or Baby Bird?
If you've found an injured bird, contact wildlife rehabilitators Wildcare at the 24-hour hotline, (518) 964-6740 or http://www.northcountrywildcare.org.
If you find baby birds on the ground in the summer, see this link for more. They might not need "rescuing" if they're fledglings!
The N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation Web site also lists people who will rehabilitate injured birds:
Bird Window Strikes Information from http://www.flap.org/ - Non-profit group, Fatal Light Awarness Program, offers information to prevent birds from hitting windows: a major cause of bird mortality in the United States.
Bird Nest Boxes
See these sites for bird box plans, placement, and more. Bluebirds, Tree Swallows and many other insect-eating birds use nest boxes.
The American Birding Association declared the American Kestrel the 2011 Bird of the Year. The populations of this and other grassland bird species are declining.
- Peregrine Fund web site, with links to kestrel web cams.
- The Peregrine Fund offers links to this American Kestrel Partnership page, including this fact sheet.
- The Peregrine Fund also offers a timeline of kestrel chicks' growth: Photographic Atlas of American Kestrel Nestling Development.
- ARKive: Images of Life on Earth offers photos, videos, facts about the American Kestrel.
To learn more about migrating birds, play the Bird Migration Game from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
The NexRad weather radar system also detects mass migrations of birds in the spring and fall. See this page from the U.S. Geological Survey about NexRad. Click the link below for a condensed clip of an overnight bird migration from April, 2007.
More Bird Information:
Bird Vision: Good overview with more links, about how birds' eyes and vision work.
Feather Atlas: Flight Feathers of North American Birds: Compare a feather you found with their feather photos, to identify the bird it came from. From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Birds of North America: Excellent site from Cornell with in-depth information about North American species. By subscription; pages on a few species are free.
ScienceDaily Bird News: Daily updates on bird news.
10,000 Birds: Web site with news about birds of the world.
Home Study Course in Bird Biology: Introductory college level ornithology course from Cornell University, written by 12 leading ornithologists. Enrollment fee.
The State of the Birds 2011: Report on Public Lands and Waters - Site on conservation issues involving birds.
Bird-proofing Windows: From birder David Sibley; how to prevent birds from hitting your windows.