Birding Resources

Online tools

I occasionally use Google Search for images, using either a text description of the bird I’ve seen, or pasting in a photo if I have one. If Merlin gives me too many similar ID choices, I sometimes find it helpful  to scroll through a bunch of images until something looks like a match, and then following that link.

Printed resources

Field guides: I like the Sibley guides, but as with anything, if you want a range of opinions, check the Internet. I use the flex-bound “Sibley’s Guide To Birds”, which seems a good balance of size and detail. Other folks like the regional versions and different sizes.

Sibley also has a lovely collection of images and information called “What It’s Like to Be A Bird.”  It is organized by themes rather than species, and it is big and heavy, so it’s not appropriate for the field, but it’s great for flipping pages and learning more about birds during gaps between outings.

I’ve also enjoyed books by Jennifer Ackerman; I’ve read “The Genius of Birds” and “The Bird Way.” In both she presents a good balance of research and anecdote, giving a good overall sense of what birds can be like.