Bird Watchers

Bird Watching Journal PDF

Bird watching is a fun and educational activity that can be done by kids and adults. It can help build a love of nature and improve their attention spans.

Featuring specialized pages for recording bird sightings, weather, location, size/shape, color/markings, and voice. It also includes a birding checklist and blank pages for sketches and notes.

Sibley’s Birding Journal

The Sibley Birding Journal is a beautiful, spiral-bound book that provides ample space for writing and recording your sightings. It features a life list of 923 species and also has pages for listing individual birds you’ve seen. The book is designed to be a companion to the author’s bestselling guides.

Each page of the Sibley Birding Journal begins with a pencil outline sketch. Sibley’s goal is to capture the spirit of a bird, which requires an understanding of how the bird moves and looks. Then he uses his knowledge of anatomy to render the bird on the page.

Each bird is illustrated in many poses. Sibley believes this makes it easier to see the variation in appearance between different species. Sibley also tries to show the underside of each species, which is often difficult to detect. He prefers to show some wing under parts in shadow and other in light, for consistency. This is a useful feature for beginners who are trying to learn how to identify birds.


BirdNote is a non-profit that brings joy, inspiration and hope to millions of people through the power of birds. By telling vivid, sound-rich stories about the natural world, it inspires listeners to care about the environment and take steps to protect it.

Each brief essay illuminating the life, habits, songs, or idiosyncrasies of a bird is accompanied by a colorful illustration. From why geese fly in V formation to why a carrier pigeon received the French Croix de Guerre, each of these delightful entries will surprise and delight readers of all ages.

In addition to the daily podcasts, the website offers long-form episodes like Bring Birds Back and Threatened that explore a range of themes such as habitat loss, migration, conservation, avian science, and how we connect with nature. The program is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and over 200 public radio stations nationwide. It also reaches an estimated two million daily listeners via social media.

Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds is a hefty, beautiful soft-cover book. It contains 6600 illustrations, the most of any modern field guide to North American birds. Each bird appears in several poses, allowing the reader to see how appearance can vary from gender and season and by location. Sibley also provides close-ups of wing feathers and tail patterns, which show how posture and opening and closing of wings can affect the pattern seen.

In addition to illustrating the overall form of the bird, Sibley’s descriptions provide critical information such as measurements and range maps (including seasonal status and migratory routes) as well as comparative notes with similar species. A helpful feature retained from the 2000 guide is that each species account is accompanied by a brief discussion of its family.

While these updated Sibley guides cannot match the National Geographic regional guides for completeness, they do cover all the birds most birders will encounter. Plus, they are smaller and lighter than the original, so they are easier to carry in the field.

Cornell’s Birding Journal

Keeping a birding journal isn’t just for competitive birders who love to compile “Big Days”. This beautifully illustrated, flexibound birder’s notebook by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology includes open-ended pages for long entries and sketches. It also includes fill-in areas for listing birds seen, and it’s a great companion to Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of North America.

The Handbook of Bird Biology is a full-blown text book that serves as the required textbook for an online university course run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It’s so massive in scope and information that I decided to break my review up into two equal parts. Part one covers the first eleven fully-loaded chapters of bird biology, birding information, and conservation. This is a must-have for any birder’s library. The Cornell Lab is a member-supported research, education, and citizen science organization that studies birds and wildlife. Its mission is to interpret and conserve the world’s biological diversity through bird studies.

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