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Books, Media & Apps

Here's a relatively short list of recommended books, media and smartphone apps related to birding and nature observation:

Birding Skills

The Complete Birder by Jack Connor

A Peterson Field Guide to Advanced Birding: Birding Challenges and How to Approach Them by Kenn Kaufman and Roger Tory Peterson

Good Birders Don't Wear White: 50 Tips From North America's Top Birders edited by Lisa White

Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges by Bill Thompson III, Julie Zickefoose, Kenn Kaufman

Hawks in Flight: The Flight Identification of North American Migrant Raptors by David Sibley, Clay Sutton and Pete Dunne

Pete Dunne on Bird Watching: The How-to, Where-to, and When-to of Birding by Pete Dunne

Sibley's Birding Basics by David Allen Sibley

The Young Birders Guide to Birds of North America by Bill Thompson III

Field Guides - Bird Families

Seabirds: An Identification Guide by Peter Harrison

The Shorebird Guide by Michael O'Brien, Richard Crossley, Kevin Karlson

A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors by Brian K. Wheeler, William S. Clark

Raptors of Eastern North America: The Wheeler Guides by Brian K. Wheeler

Raptors of Western North America: The Wheeler Guides by Brian K. Wheeler, John M. Economidy

Sparrows of the United States and Canada: The Photographic Guide by David Beadle, James D. Rising

A Field Guide to Warblers of North America by Kimball Garrett, Jon Dunn

The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson, Scott Whittle

Field Guides - General

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition by Jon L. Dunn, Jonathan Alderfer

The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by David Allen Sibley

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America by David Allen Sibley

Field Guides - Insects

Butterflies of the East Coast: An Observer's Guide by Rick Cech, Guy Tudor

Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East by Jeffrey Glassberg

Butterflies Through Binoculars: The West by Jeffrey Glassberg

Dragonflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America by Sidney W. Dunkle

Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America by David Beadle, Seabrooke Leckie

The Songs of Insects by Wil Hershberger, Lang Elliott

Field Guides - Plants

Newcomb's Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb

The Eyewitness Handbook of Trees by Allen J. Coombes

Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City by Leslie Day

New York City Trees: A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area by Edward S. Barnard

Non Fiction

101 Ways To Help Birds by Laura Erickson

Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul by Scott Weidensaul

Songbird Journeys: Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds by Miyoko Chu


The Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds by Paul Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, Darryl Wheye

Bull's Birds of New York State edited by Emanuel Levine

The Singing Life of Birds by Donald Kroodsma


Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central by Richard K. Walton, Robert W. Lawson

More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central by Richard K. Walton, Robert W. Lawson

Birding by Ear, Western North America by Richard K. Walton, Robert W. Lawson

Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs: Eastern Region by Donald Stokes, Lillian Stokes, Lang Elliot

Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs: Western Region by Donald Stokes, Lillian Stokes, Kevin Colver


The Large Gulls of North America

The Small Gulls of North America

Looking Skyward: A Passion for Hawkwatching

Kestrel's Eye

Pale Male

Watching Warblers: A Video Guide to the Warblers of Eastern North America

Smartphone Apps

Bird Field Guides

Audubon Birds
The award-winning Audubon Birds field guide with 820 species, gallery view for easy search, Find Birds powered by eBird, and NatureShare - a new community where birders can observe, identify, and share their observations and photos.

iBird Pro Guide to Birds
iBird Pro Guide to Birds is designed to satisfy the demanding needs of advanced birders and professional naturalists. It offers comprehensive identification, behavior, habitat and ecology information, twice as many search attributes as iBird Plus Guide to Birds, hand-drawn illustrations, professional photographs, range maps, and playable calls for 926 North American and Hawaiian bird species.

National Geographic Birds: Field Guide to North America
National Geographic presents an innovative, beautiful, and interactive field guide to the birds of North America with a new offering for iPhone/iPod touch. Whether you are new to bird-watching or already an expert, this completely updated and redesigned app makes spotting, identifying, and understanding birds easier than ever before. From its detailed illustrations to its easy-to-use interface, this is the one-stop resource you need to identify and track every bird you see.

Peterson Birds of North America
The official Peterson app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Peterson Birds gives you illustrations, birds songs, range maps, and nest photos for over 800 species of North American birds on your on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. More detail than any other mobile bird guide, with information from 8 Peterson Field Guide books, including the best-selling guide to birds in print, Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America.

Peterson Birds Pocket Edition - A Field Guide to Birds of North America
For nature lovers on a budget, Peterson Birds Pocket Edition packs in a lot of detail for a small price. With over 800 species of North American birds from the best-selling book, Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America, the app features Roger Tory Peterson's breathtakingly beautiful illustrations, range maps, species details, bird songs, and more. Now you can carry the full content of Peterson's field guide to birds of North America book in your pocket, wherever you go.

The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America
The most popular printed field guide to North American birds is now available in its entirety on the iPhone and iPad! We have taken the simplicity and ease-of-use that you have enjoyed on your iPhone/iPod Touch and expanded and redesigned the layout (not simply “stretching” it) to take full advantage of the larger screen area of the iPad while still being the same app that runs on the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Bird Songs

BirdTunes provides bird enthusiasts with rapid, uncluttered access to a comprehensive collection of North American bird songs and calls.

The BirdTunes sound collection offers:

•Encyclopedic coverage, including over 2400 tracks for 674 species—over 10 hours of high fidelity sound.

Unfortunately this app was just discontinued.

**If you use or any song playback in the field, please do so responsibly. We recommend the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics, particularly section 1(b), for guidance.

Botany Field Guides

Landscaper's Companion - Plant and Gardening Reference Guide
The most comprehensive plant guide on iPhone! Enjoyed by thousands of gardeners and landscape professionals world-wide, Landscaper's Companion is the #1 reference guide to all plants including trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials. Containing information on over 26,000 plants and 21,000 pictures, Landscaper's Companion makes an excellent resource for the casual gardener, professional landscaper, aspiring botanist, or anyone looking for a simple, easy to use plant guide.

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.

MyNature Trees of North America
MyNature Trees of North America is now available for the iPhone and iPod touch. We are pleased to offer one of the first comprehensive field guides to Tree identification available with smart-phone technology. You will be able to identify over 190 trees with leaves or needles from Maine to California as well the Canadian Provinces with a touch the screen all in the palm of your hand.


Audubon Butterflies - A Field Guide to North American Butterflies
Audubon Butterflies features 627 butterflies of the U.S. and Canada. This guide contains in-depth, authoritative information based on the National Audubon Society’s "Field Guides to Butterflies," with updates by Rick Cech, a natural history author and one of the world's leading butterfly experts.

Audubon Insects and Spiders – A Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders
The indispensable reference for over 500 insects and spiders. Featuring comprehensive photos and in-depth descriptions. Audubon Insects and Spiders is your introduction to the most common species of insects and spiders in North America. Created in affiliation with the National Audubon Society, this app features in-depth information on 509 species with high-quality photos.


birdJam HeadsUp Warblers
Truly designed as a “field tool” for identifying North American warblers, HeadsUp Warblers provides exactly what you need in the field:

1. What does the bird look like?
2. What does the bird sound like?
3. Should it be here at this time of year?

These key elements are cleverly organized to allow fast comparison of species by sight, sound or range map. You quickly select species by glancing at photographs arranged by similarity. Or select birds by tapping a sound characteristic such as “buzzy” or “ascending.”

birdJam HeadsUp Sparrows

Be a birder who can Identify birds by their songs. This app will teach you to recognize up to 371 species by their calls. It's an electronic flip card game with real calls and songs of North American birds. Includes 371 species of North American song birds each with high quality songs from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Larkwire Birdsong Basics: Land Birds of North America
A complete, game-based learning system for mastering bird sounds—designed for both beginners and advanced birders.


BirdsEye BirdLog -- North America
BirdLog is the first and only mobile data app for quickly and easily recording and submitting your sightings directly into eBird from the field! Forget about notebooks, pencils and sitting at your computer. Transform your bird sightings into eBird submissions to build your own lists while sharing your sightings and supporting conservation.

Birdwatcher's Diary
Birdwatcher's Diary™ is the perfect field companion for birders in any part of the world! In seconds you can record the birds you see or hear with time and exact location automatically recorded, and add additional field notes. From the field you can upload your sightings, complete with a map showing the location of each sighting, to eBird, Facebook, Twitter, a birding listserv, Dropbox, or email it to yourself or others. Birdwatcher's Diary is designed to be useful for your "big day" efforts, Christmas Bird Counts, and for your everyday birding outings alike. Fast and easy to use yet packed with advanced features, Birdwatcher's Diary will enrich your birding experience.


Bird Codes
Are you looking for a way to speed up your field notes so you can focus on actually looking at birds? Do you see birders using codes for birds on listservs and want to look them up? Do you want to enter your eBird checklists faster? Alpha codes are four letter abbreviations assigned to bird species as a quick way to refer to them...

Central Park Entire
Identify all of Central Park's 20,000 trees. Ken Chaya and Ned Barnard spent over 2 years carefully mapping out one of the world's richest, most majestic and diverse collection of trees.

Moon Phase
Moon is a perfect resource to help you learn about the moon. Moon constantly updates a panel of information that tells you everything you want to know about the moon.

Tide Table
'Tide Table' displays tide prediction information for your current location and for selected locations on your mobile device. Tide prediction information is obtained from the public Tides and Currents web site maintained by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Tide predictions are not to be used for navigation.


AccuWeather - Weather for Life
Voted “Best iPhone App” by the 2012 Mobie awards, AccuWeather for iPhone now has popular features from our AccuWeather for iPad app, current conditions that refresh every five minutes, and more! Users tell us it is their “Go-to weather app.” From what to wear to how to travel, they say they, “Can’t live without it,” and it is, “Better than any other.”

Weather Underground
"The bar, as far as weather related apps are concerned, has been raised." –, December 2011 The Internet's first ever weather site, Weather Underground has built a reputation for providing the most reliable and in-depth weather data for locations across the world. With our unique network of 30,000+ neighborhood weather stations our app provides the most localized weather information available.

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