National Audubon's Guide to North American Birds
Complete with vivid photos, colorful illustrations, taxonomy, distribution maps, and multiple examples of songs and calls for each species, the new online Audubon guide is a great place to find essential information about specific bird species. It's also available in Spanish!
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds"
Cornell's Lab of Ornithology is one of the world leaders in the study of birds, so it's no surprise that their online field guide for birds from around the world is many peoples go-to resource.
Backyard Bird ID - National Geographic
This online guide has you answer four questions to narrow down bird ID possibilities. It's not foolproof, but it's a great place to start!
LOCAL GROUPS & RESOURCES
Wisconsin has the second-highest number of birdwatchers in the nation, so it's only natural that there's a strong community of passionate folks willing to help with your birding questions in our state! Here are our go-to local resources.
- Wisconsin Birding and Birding Wisconsin Facebook groups
These are online communities of thousands of Wisconsin citizens who love to photograph, identify, and share their birding adventures. Have an ID question? This is a great place to ask a group of regional enthusiasts and experts! NOTE: There are two groups, both are a fantastic resource, and both have specific rules and guidelines for participation in the community.
- Wisconsin Naturalists and Badger State Naturalists Facebook groups
These groups function like the birding Facebook groups above, but for all organisms besides birds (including plants, insects, fish, mammals, and more)
- Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II Project
This is an ongoing research project documenting the breeding status of Wisconsin's bird species. To find out more, or to view the WBBAI results, visit the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology website. There's also an active Facebook Group for those working on (or following the progess of) the WBBAII project.
- Wisconsin Young Birders Club
A new organization aiming to connect Wisconsin's next generation of bird enthusiasts. Open to all experience levels, ages 10-18 across the entire state.
- The Sibley Guide to Birds
This comprehensive, clean, and simple bird guide is sure to become a quick favorite for new and veteran birders. Also available in Eastern and Western regional formats.
- Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America
This compact and portable guide offers photos of many species, which can aid in identification in the field.
- Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America
Roger Tory Peterson's guide, first introduced in 1934, is widely considered to be the first North American birding field guide (don't worry, it's been updated since then!)
- Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide
The definitive guide for Wisconsin birders, organized by bird color for easy identification.
- National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America
This compact guide is a favorite companion in the field, as it's noticeably smaller and lighter-weight than other guides.
For more information about specialized bird guides, visit Audubon.org.
Bird ID & BIRDSONG Apps
These cutting edge resources give you all of the information you need, at your fingertips on your mobile device.
Banner photo by Emily Meier