Cornell University: New Regional Bird Guides Simplify Identification

There’s a brand-new series of seven field guides to help people learn about the birds found in their region of the United States and Canada. The All About Birds Regional Field-Guide Series is built upon information from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website, used by more than 20 million people each year.

“There are more than 700 species of birds in North America,” explained series editor Jill Leichter at the Cornell Lab. “That’s pretty daunting if you’re just getting started in birdwatching. But we’ve tailored the books to showcase about 200 species most likely to be found in each of 7 regions, making it easier to find the bird you’re trying to identify.”

Each guide also includes a comprehensive, 58-page section full of helpful tips and best practices for birdwatching, bird photography, gardening, feeding birds, building nest boxes, and more.

There is a guide for every region in the continental U.S. and bordering provinces of Canada. The seven regions include Northeast U.S. and Eastern Canada, Southeast, Midwest U.S. and Central Canada, Texas & Oklahoma, Northwest U.S. and Western Canada, Southwest, and California. Nearly all the photos in the guides come from everyday birdwatchers who participate in the Cornell Lab’s citizen-science projects. The photos are invaluable because not all birds look the same year-round.

“The guides show four beautiful photos of each bird,” Leichter said. “Depending on the species, we show male and female birds in breeding and nonbreeding plumage and photos of immature birds. Each species page also includes habitat and behavior information, as well as updated range maps to show where a bird may be found at any time of the year.”

The new guides are published by Princeton University Press and are now available on the publisher’s website, at the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, or through local bookstores. The guides typically sell for $17.95 each.

“Some North American migratory birds have already returned and the rest are on their way,” said Leichter. “These guides may make it easier to become acquainted with your feathery neighbors this spring!”