Bird Field Guide Comparison: Finding the Right Fit for You

A Bird Watching Book Review

For those still new to birds and birding, this fun primer is the ideal starting point. Belleny, who also co-founded Black Birders Week, introduces avian biology, anatomy, and culture with clever jokes and uncommon perspective.

This pocket-sized folding guide features the 715 species found east of the Rocky Mountains, and includes plenty of space for on-site notes and building a life list.

The Peterson Guide to Birds of North America

The latest edition of the classic Peterson guide to birds in North America combines the previous Eastern and Western guides into one book. The layout and digitally enhanced photos are familiar to anyone who has used the most recent edition of the Eastern guide, and there is also much overlap with the new edition of National Geographic’s field guide. However, this book is larger and the thumbnail maps are readable – unlike the Eastern version which was often too small to be useful.

The text is updated and the bird silhouettes are enlarged to reveal more detail, and the classic Peterson system of arrows pointing to diagnostic features is retained. A useful front section on how to get started as a birder is included, and there are detailed family groupings at the back of the book. An online companion to the book is available with 35 entertaining and informative video podcasts, which can be downloaded to a MP3 player or computer desktop.

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of North America

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of North America is the most comprehensive and detailed field guide for this region. It features more illustrations per species than any other guide, a feature that is especially helpful for highly variable birds like gulls and Red-tailed Hawks. It also has detailed descriptions that include size approximations, behavior, habitat, breeding and migration, voice description, and comparisons with similar species. It also has excellent range maps.

This edition is updated with the most important information on the status and distribution of each species. It includes expanded text on critical field marks, a more intuitive layout of color photographs to make them easier to compare and more detail in the artwork. The underwing and dorsal drawings of Sooty Shearwaters now reflect the kaleidoscope of colors that these shearwaters exhibit when they are molting.

Unlike Kaufman’s guide, this one leaves the background of each photograph in place and adds notations over the photos to identify specific areas of interest. Having this information on hand in the field is invaluable.

The Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America

Despite its compact size, this guide includes a full color photograph of every bird. It is organized by type, rather than taxonomically, which makes it easier to find unfamiliar birds. It also has a color-coded table of contents and thumb indentations on each page to make it easy to open the right section quickly.

Ken Kaufman is one of America’s best known birders, and his guides are designed to be extremely user-friendly. He believes that learning bird identification is less about memorizing long lists of field marks than it is understanding what you’re seeing and hearing. To that end, his guides are more oriented toward helping you understand the environment in which a species will likely be found than most other field guides.

Jonathan Alderfer has served as the principal artist since the third edition, and he works closely with Dunn to improve the book’s usefulness in the field. The latest edition includes a new introduction, dozens of changes by the American Ornithologists’ Union in official names, and updated range maps.

The Birder’s Field Guide to Birds of North America

The Stokes’ new photographic guide to 853 North American birds sets the standard for how much birding bang you can get in a single field guide. The design is superbly thought out, such as the use of photos to illustrate how similar species look (the plate showing Cormorants in flight includes a Brown Creeper for comparison). The text follows a “holistic” approach to identification, stressing the importance of looking at habitat, behavior, and vocalizations in addition to field marks. The guide also features a CD of the calls and songs for the book’s 853 species.

The Stokes’ new guide is lighter and more compact than the previous edition, which was published in 2008. This update also incorporates changes to taxonomy following the radical shift instituted by the American Ornithological Society and standardized banding codes, a one-page quick-find index inside the front cover, and detailed maps for the 59 species with multiple subspecies. The book also contains a wealth of useful information on size approximations, behavior, vocalizations, food and feeding, seasonal and breeding ranges, and historical sightings.

Go back to the primary page

The Joy of Bird Watching in the UK

Bird Watching Month – May is Bird Watching Month in the UK

During mid-summer birding can be quiet as birds nest and raise young. However, there’s a lot to see in woodland parks and at wetland areas.

September is the best month to see a variety of songbird migrants, including warblers and flycatchers. Shorebird migration also peaks this month.

Spring Migration

One of nature’s most fascinating occurrences is spring migration, when songbirds travel to their breeding grounds. This mass movement occurs every year and has predictable timing, varying with latitude and elevation.

The peak of land bird migration is often in the first and second week of March, and is largely over by late April. Shorebirds hit their peak numbers at this time, as well as migratory waterfowl like Tundra Swan and Common Loon. Warbler diversity is at its best, including Palms and Cerulean warblers, and thrush migration is underway.

Watching birds in their natural habitat is a rewarding activity, and there are plenty of places to do just that. Find a local hotspot on this map and visit it during migration to learn more about the amazing journey neotropical migrants make each spring.

After Dark

Birds tend to stick to a schedule, and many species will focus on only a few things whilst awake – feeding, drinking, and roosting. This is why most birds are most active at dawn and dusk – when you’re more likely to see them.

Songbirds will be singing their hearts out in the early light, while woodpeckers and the tit family will be up and about searching for food. This is also a great time to observe raptor migration, which runs from September through mid-November.

If you’re near a coastal area, watch for sandpipers and plovers on tidal flats. This is a great way to enjoy the sunset in the company of these beautiful birds. You’ll need to check the tides before heading out, however!

Bird Photography

Birders spend lots of time wandering fields, along shorelines and through woods, peering frequently through some sort of optical device. However, bird photographers go one step further and capture these moments with a camera lens instead of binoculars.

As with all photography, a strong image structure (composition) is key to creating a compelling photograph of a bird. Keep the ‘rule of thirds’ in mind but be sure to experiment with other compositional tools like the golden ratio and fibonacci spiral as well.

If you see a bird photographer lying on their stomach, close to the birds they’re photographing, please respect their efforts and do not walk up behind them or around them. This can flush the birds and ruin their photo opportunities in a matter of seconds.

Learn a New Species

Observing birds is a great way to learn about the ecosystems that they live in. Pick up a bird guide and spend a few minutes each day leisurely flipping through the pictures and reading about what you are seeing.

As you progress, start to focus on learning the songs of different species. Birds use their songs for many purposes, and advanced birders rely on their ears just as much as their eyes.

Take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, an online citizen-science project where participants observe and report on their sightings. Or, encourage your students to plant a garden with sunflowers, daisies, and other seeds that provide tasty snacks for birds during their migration journeys. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a fun Bird Song Hero game to help your students learn new calls and songs in a more structured way.

Find a Local Hotspot

Birds are drawn to locations that provide food, shelter and water. They tend to avoid areas that other birds are already flocking to (that’s why you won’t see a lot of ducks at ponds with decoys).

If you find yourself at a spot where a rare bird is being seen, use the hotspot feature on eBird to get more information about the location. It’s a good idea to also take a look at bar charts, high counts and recent checklists to gain additional insight.

Check out these Brooklyn birding hotspots that have a great mix of habitat types: Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park; Canarsie Park, a rich property of woodland and wetlands along Jamaica Bay; and Floyd Bennett Field and Shirley Chisholm Park in Flatbush.

Go Home

Winged Creatures of the Bible and Symbolism

The 6 Winged Birds of the Bible

In the Bible, Cherubim and Seraphim are described as spiritual creatures with six wings and four faces. But the text usually keeps them separate, except in Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1.

Terrestrial animals cope with perturbations through both active neurological control and passive stabilizing responses of their musculoskeletal systems called preflexes. The inertial gust rejection mechanism discussed here functions as a preflex.


Seraphs are a race that is universally feared for their viciousness. They are fanatical in their service to their god and will ruthlessly pursue their goals no matter the cost to others. They are incredibly well trained in both physical and magical combat with an unmatched focus on the perfection of their skills.

A Seraph’s lifespan is roughly equivalent to that of a human. They are taught from an early age to embrace death as a natural part of life so while they may mourn the loss of close kin they tend to have a detachment from it otherwise.

They have familial connections that are deep and close with all family members considered cousins/aunts/etc regardless of the fact they may not know each other on a personal level. Love is secondary to martial prowess within the clan as it only enhances their fighting ability. If a Seraph’s transformation fails they are usually killed but if they survive they will almost always suffer a crash (similar to a near death experience) that reverts them to their previous form with side effects such as extreme pain and delirium.

Bearers of the Throne

The Bearers of the Throne, or Hamalat al-Arsh, are four angels who carry God’s throne. They appear with body shapes resembling a man, a bull, an eagle and a lion. According to the Hadith, they are so tall that the highest heaven is below their feet and the universe cannot reach up to their navels.

Some scholars have argued that the bearers of the throne are actually carrying the Creator. When He becomes angry, the Throne gets heavier on their shoulders; when He is pleased, the Throne is lighter.

The Throne is a symbol of God’s sovereignty over the universe. It also represents the order and structure of the world. God created the Throne when He stabilised the young volatile universe and allowed the formation of the four fundamental forces and their particles. This order was then used to create everything else in the universe. The Throne is also associated with the angels Cherubim who are God’s throne bearers and attendants.

Black Winged Angels

While angels are typically depicted with white wings, it is not uncommon to see black angels. Black angels often represent fallen angels, or those who have strayed from their divine path. However, they can also symbolize darkness and mystery.

In Western esoteric traditions, the number six is associated with harmony and balance, which can be achieved by uniting opposing forces such as light and dark. This is symbolized by the black angels, who are known for their power and protection.

Dreaming of an angel with black wings may suggest that you are going through a difficult or challenging time. Alternatively, the black angels may symbolize your own personal darkness or negative emotions that you are trying to overcome. It is important to pay attention to the context and details of your dream when interpreting it, as it can provide additional insights and deeper meaning. You can also journal about your dream to gain a better understanding of its meaning.

White Winged Angels

White wings indicate purity and holiness, while black is associated with devils. If a character’s morality changes, they will often change the color of their wings.

Angels are usually depicted with feathered wings that attach to the back. They are not very wide, like a songbird, and they fit together smoothly with no gaps. This suggests that the wings are based on gliding bird species, such as shearwaters, terns, or gulls.

They also have long, straight horns and teal eyes. Angels are shown to have a rich culture with music being an important part of their society, along with worship of Mother Gaia.

They are able to reproduce, though it is not clear how they do it. Like Demons, when an Angel dies they are returned to Gaia in order to be remade into another Angel. They can also choose to have cluster wings (multicolored unconnected wings floating around) to communicate their mixed heritage or dual nature.

Go Home

Exploring the Phenomenon of Toto Sites: A Digital Path to Excitement, Profit, and Security

In today’s ever-connected world, the exploration of online platforms takes center stage, particularly in entertainment and gaming spheres. Amidst the bustling virtual landscape, 토토사이트, or Toto sites, emerge as a phenomenon worth pondering. These specialized websites offer a sanctuary for sports betting aficionados, thrilling gamers with a blend of excitement and the potential for profit. Forging a path through the maze of online betting platforms, it becomes evident that Toto sites in Korea stand out with their unique offerings and commitment to user security.

When diving into the depths of 토토사이트, one might wonder why these platforms have risen to prominence. The answer lies within their foundation – a blend of comprehensive betting options, user-centered design, and stringent safety protocols. Korean Toto sites prioritize the user experience, providing a seamless interface where even those new to the betting realm can navigate with ease. Equipped with intuitive layouts, these sites cater to both seasoned bettors and newcomers alike, ensuring everyone finds their footing in the digital betting landscape.

Perhaps the most significant draw of Korean Toto sites is their unwavering dedication to security. In a digital era where personal information can be compromised, Toto sites stand as bulwarks, protecting user data with robust encryption methods. This commitment to safety doesn’t end at data protection; it stretches into the realm of fair play, with Toto sites rigorously vetting games and betting options to ensure a level playing field.

The allure of Toto sites doesn’t end with security. They offer a gateway to a myriad of sports and events, casting a wide net that captures the interest of diverse betting enthusiasts. Whether your fervor lies in the heart-pumping action of soccer, the strategic prowess displayed in baseball, or the swift decisions sketched out on the basketball court, Toto sites cater to all.

While these sites offer abundant opportunities for entertainment and profit, they also harbor an element of unpredictability. The thrill of betting is often accompanied by the chaotic dance of chance, where outcomes teeter on the cliff edge of probability. This marriage of order and entropy is not for the faint-hearted; it is for those who revel in the adrenaline surge of uncertainty, those who dare to risk in the hopes of reward.

Addressing the natural queries that may arise in the inquisitive mind, we pivot to an elucidation through FAQs:


1. **What exactly are 토토사이트?**
토토사이트, or Toto sites, are online betting platforms in Korea that specialize in a variety of sports and gaming wagers. They are known for their commitment to user security and fair play.

2. **Why are safety features so important for 토토사이트?**
Safety is a top priority to protect users against data theft, fraud, and to ensure fair betting practices. Toto sites use advanced security measures to maintain a trustworthy environment.

3. **Can beginners easily navigate 토토사이트?**
Yes, most Toto sites are designed with user-friendly interfaces, making it accessible for beginners to understand and participate in betting activities.

4. **What types of sports can I bet on at 토토사이트?**
You can bet on a wide range of sports, including soccer, baseball, basketball, and many others. These sites cater to a variety of interests and preferences.

5. **Is there an element of risk when betting on 토토사이트?**
As with all forms of betting, there is an element of risk as outcomes are contingent on variables that are often unpredictable. It’s crucial to bet responsibly and within one’s means.

In conclusion, the digital odyssey through 토토사이트 offers an amalgamation of thrills, wins, and challenges, underpinned by a fabric of safety and fairness. Whether you’re venturing into this digital betting domain for kicks, prospects of wealth, or the sheer love of sports, it’s a world that commands respect and astute navigation. Embark on your journey with eyes wide open, embracing the order and chaos that coexist within the realms of Toto.

For a deep dive into the heart of Toto sites in Korea, click 토토사이트 to unravel the layers that compose this intriguing digital domain.…

Birding Hotspots in Chicago

Birdwatching in Chicago

Birdwatchers—or birders, as they’re called—love to follow the calls and sightings of feathered friends around Chicago. Here are some of their favorite spots to see a variety of species year-round.

Morning is best for watching birds because they’re more active then and usually the most vocal. Bring a field guide to help with identification.

Northerly Island

Located south of the Adler Planetarium, 12th Street Beach and Huntington Bank Pavilion on Chicago’s lakefront, Northerly Island is a 91-acre man-made peninsula. It was envisioned in 1909 by famed architect Daniel Burnham as the northernmost point in his lakefront plan, which called for lagoons, harbors, beaches and playfields.

But construction was stalled by the Great Depression and World War II. In 1946, Merrill C. Meigs Field Airport won out over a proposal to host the United Nations, and the Works Progress Administration connected the peninsula to the Campus mainland with a causeway. A 40-acre park opened on the southern half of the island in 2015, with strolling paths, casual play areas and views of the City skyline and Lake Michigan. In 2010, the Park District enlisted Studio Gang and SmithGroupJJR to design a more ambitious master plan, which includes an array of paths, wetlands, barrier islands, and landscaped biomes featuring different flora. The work will reclaim the land to resemble Burnham’s original vision and provide habitat for local bird species.

Lakefront Trail

The Lakefront Trail is one of the city’s best birding spots. It stretches for 18.5 miles and offers beautiful views of the lake on one side and green areas on the other. It’s a great place to walk, run or ride your bike. Just remember that it’s a shared path, so be courteous to other users. This means slowing down in some sections, dismounting as directed at certain underpasses and obeying the laws when crossing traffic at the entrance to some parks.

This trail is positioned in the heart of one of North America’s main migratory flyways. Many birds use it to rest and refuel on their way to their winter homes. It’s also a popular destination for locals who enjoy scenic walks, exercise or simply taking in the breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline and the sparkling blue water of Lake Michigan. The best time to visit is in the early morning when the light stirs up the bugs and makes resting birds active.

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Magic Hedge, is a 15-acre expanse of fields, hedgerows, scattered trees and thickets that attract more than 300 different species of birds. It’s a birding destination that’s a great place to watch for elusive treetop dwellers like groove-billed ani and Say’s phoebe, as well as for raptors soaring overhead.

The habitat is mostly made up of invasive shrubs like bush honeysuckle and serviceberry, but since the site was used for military purposes in the mid-20th century, the Army planted these plants to screen its barracks from the public. After the land was reclaimed by the Chicago Park District, volunteers planted native species to make the spot more natural.

Located along the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways, the Great Lakes region is important for migratory birds. The Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, Jackson Park, Humboldt Park and Lake Calumet are all good places to observe birds during spring migration. The city’s wetlands and other grasslands provide shelter, while forests and lakes offer rest stops on the long journey between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Loyola Park

Birds aren’t just fun to watch, they’re a key indicator of a healthy ecosystem. That’s why the Forest Preserves is working to promote the activity with #BirdThePreserves, a community-supported initiative.

Birding has become so popular that the Forest Preserves now hosts dozens of Ecological Stewardship Days, where people help out by performing hands-on restoration work. And the community’s interest in birds isn’t slowing down, with eBird users logging sightings across the globe at record rates during the 2021 Global Big Day.

Antonio Flores, a program and communications manager at the Chicago Audubon Society, says he’s seeing more and more people get into the hobby. He recommends starting out by visiting the city’s birding hot spots. For example, he suggests going to Big Marsh Park in the South Side, where WBEZ Curious City listeners have reported seeing sandpipers and green herons. The park is also home to a wetland and wooded habitats that attract migrants. And it’s easy to get there by transit.

Travel back to the main page