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American Bird Guide

Complete Information for Bird Watching Enthusiasts and Birding Beginners

When the love of backyard birds and wild birds first flutters into your heart, a whole new world opens. Suddenly, you realize that the birds have always been there but perhaps you never paused to observe or enjoy them. The fact that bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies enjoyed by Americans and people all over the world tells us that it truly enriches peoples' lives.
Birding information from American Bird Guide Happily, watching birds doesn't have to be an expensive pastime. Just keeping your eyes open on a walk around the block can reveal that dozens of species of birds call your neighborhood home. An inexpensive bird feeder hung in a tree can bring finches, chickadees, or sparrows right to your front door. You can even build your own bird feeder out of materials you probably have around the house. Our bird guide will help you to identify bird visitors if you are new to birding.

Apart from this, numerous excellent guides are available in publication. An important thing to understand when buying a bird guide is that they tend to be split up by region (western bird guide, eastern bird guide). Our long time favorite has always been the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. Clear photographs and thorough descriptions make this bird identification guide a good basic for birders.

- Read the Latest News from the Birding Sonoma County Blog -

Tomales Bay State Park Closure - One Upset Birder Tomales Bay State Park Closure - One Upset Birder
January 22, 2008, Point Reyes, CA
Governor Schwarzenegger is planning to close our beautiful, sacred Tomales Bay State Park in Marin County along with 42 other desperately-needed and exuberantly cherished state parks throughout California. Closing all of these wonderful parks would not even take us 1% in the direction of being back in the black. And think of what will have been lost. Read Article »

Bay Area Oil Spill A Disaster For Birds Bay Area Oil Spill A Disaster For Birds
November 11, 2007, Kenwood, CA
When the Cosco Busan crashed into the Bay Bridge, every birder I know immediately thought of what this disaster would mean for the birds. In addition to our beloved birds, whales will be swimming through the oil, as will seals, sea lions and other marine mammals. West Marin is one of my favorite places on earth, and to see it thus spoiled fills me with sorrow and anger. Read Article »

Bewick's Wren - A hidden Bay Area bird worth seeking! Bewick's Wren - A hidden Bay Area bird worth seeking!
October 7, 2007, Glen Ellen, CA
Today, we'll turn our gaze on Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii, one of the larger SF Bay Area Wrens. Bewick's Wren, like most wrens, will instantly strike you as being 'all-tail'. Identification clue number one for wrens is that they tend to hold their tails up-turned, as if in proud of their lovely plumes. Read Article »

The White-crowned Sparrow has returned! The White-crowned Sparrow has returned!
September 24, 2007, Kenwood, CA
This trusty little bird disappeared when the weather heated up, early in the year, heading north to cooler Canada. Just this afternoon, my husband called me to the window excitedly. There, at the foot of the photinia hedge, a lone White-crowned Sparrow was hopping humbly through the green grass. Read Article »

Birds at Home or Wherever You Roam!

As a general rule, the farther you go from home, the more birds you will be able to check off on your bird sighting list. If you're lucky enough to live near to the coast, a trip to the beach will introduce you to the graceful birds of sea and shore, such as sandpipers, pelicans, and terns.

A walk in the forest may allow you to catch a glimpse of a rare hawk, owl, or tiny tree clinging bird such as the nuthatch or brown creeper. Nothing is more helpful on bird watching hikes or tours than a good pair of binoculars.

The fact is, no matter how good your eyesight is, there's bound to be a time when you sight an intriguing bird that is just too far off or too high up to identify. That's when you're glad you've brought your bird watching binoculars or field glasses. Though birding binoculars can run well up into the thousands for exceptional pieces, even an inexpensive pair of binoculars will enable you to magnify what you can normally see. Don't forget, small children are some of the best bird watchers and they will be delighted to try out your binoculars!

Lifelong birders often come to feel genuine friendship for the backyard birds in their lives. It's a moment of bliss and irony when a birder first discovers that not only are they watching a bird, but that they have a bird watching them. A musician we know can make hummingbirds come when she plays the pennywhistle. Others so win the trust of birds that they will come to feed right out of their hands. Such delightful feats require patience and practice. At American Bird Guide, we're here to tell you that every moment lived in the company of birds is a moment well lived.

Share your birdwatching comments on our Birding Sonoma County Blog here!


From Birdwatcher to Birder - 10 Ominous Signs That You've Crossed that Birding Line

Birdwatching is a hobby...Birding is a way of life. The fellows who actually make a living looking at birds do scoff if you refer to what they are doing as 'birdwatching'. Stay on their good sides by calling them 'birders' or, possibly, 'birdmen'. But you don't have to be earning a paycheck from your involvement in the bird world to undergo that metamorphosis from birdwatcher to birder. Think this may be happening to you or someone you love? Look for the following 10 telltale signs:

1) You never leave home without your Sibley Bird Guide. Even if you're just going to the market. After all, a Eurasian Widgeon just might be swimming in that puddle in the parking lot.

2) You and your spouse often communicate via a series of bird calls that actually mean specific things to the two of you.

3) Your friends start chirping derisively when they see you coming.

4) You've gathered all the cats in your neighborhood together and given them a stern talking to.

5) In your sleep, you argue with people about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

6) Your 'good' shoes are hiking boots or waterproof boots. In point of fact, all of the shoes in your closet show traces of dried mud.

7) You named your son Jay and your daughter Phainopepla.

8) On your last birthday, everyone who loves you gave you birdfeeders.

9) Your favorite meal is now, officially, sunflower seeds.

10) You've begun to line the rooms of your home with grasses, twigs and down.

If you or a loved one is exhibiting at least 4 of these signs, chances are the line has already been crossed.

* Warning - reading American Bird Guide may turn you from a harmless birdwatcher into a full-fledged birder. So, come on, start reading!