At home a handy bird book sits on the breakfast room table along with a small pair of binoculars. When time permits, which seems scare, or when the occasional rare bird visits the yard, I’ll pick up the field guide to try and identify the new species.
This week however, unexpected travels took me to a hospital that sits across the street from the bay in South Jersey. On one of many breaks from the Intensive care Room, I walked down to the bay to watch the birds-mostly sea gulls. Living in Georgia for the past 25 years or so, I don’t get to see the shore birds anymore, except for the annual beach vacation after Labor Day. Bird Field Guides would have allowed me to identify the different species of shore birds I was witnessing this sunny day. It would have likely taken my mind off of the sad situation at hand as well.
Whether bird watching in the wild or in your backyard, it’s human nature and simple curiosity to know the species you’re actually viewing. So many wild birds look alike, with the tiniest markings which differentiate the species. Wing bars, eye lines, beak length and color, and tail length are just a few common identifiers. It’s easy to mistake a black capped chickadee for a nuthatch, and the same for so many of the warblers.
Bird Field Guides can easily answer any question as to which species you might be seeing. Indexed and well organized, they’re full of great photos and pertinent information on just about every wild bird species out there. So whether on a field trip, or watching from the breakfast room window, it’s really handy to keep a field guide close by for that special or new bird that you may glimpse and marvel at its beauty.
These books make excellent and lasting gifts for any birding enthusiast too!
Today after spotting a breath-taking, vibrant little blue bird in the yard, I thought: “cool, that’s an Indigo Bunting”. Then the second-guessing started, as this little bird did not have black wings. What was it? To answer my question, I fished out an old field guide that had been given to me as a gift many years ago. There was my answer…a Blue Grosbeak juvenile! I don’t think I’d ever seen one before in the yard.
Even for avid birders, bird books always come in handy. They’re an excellent reference when trying to identify unusual species that may visit bird feeders. They make excellent and lasting gifts that will be used over the years. Stokes and Petersons are just two of the better known authors of bird books. Filled with terrific photos, and useful information, you’re bound to find your questions answered here!