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Attracting Birds to Your Landscape

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Many gardeners are also backyard birders. Here are links to information to help you learn to attract, identify, and enjoy your feathered neighbors.

Landscaping For Birds

Bird Identification

Photo by Ken Sentrawoods

Photo by Ken Sentrawoods

  • Audubon – 800 species, How to Bird and Identify Birds, Plumage and Molt, Photos and sound recordings, Parts of a Bird, Classification of Birds, Natural History of Birds
  • Birds of North Carolina from the Carolina Bird Club – All of the bird species recorded in North Carolina, with distribution – by regions and county maps
    relative abundance in each region, periods of occurrence, information about finding each species, photos uploaded by members, sortable by common or scientific name
  • Cornell – 589 species in the online guide, searchable, sound, and video. tutorials on identification, webcams, attracting birds
    • eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology – Explore birds and hotspots near you. Join the world’s largest birding community. eBird keeps track of your bird lists and archives your photos and sounds—all for free.
    • Merlin, By Cornell Lab or Ornithology –   Answer three simple questions about a bird you are trying to identify and Merlin will give you a list of possible matches. Sound ID listens to the birds around you and shows real-time suggestions for who’s singing.
  • Macaulay Library, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology – listen to or watch thousands of sound and video recordings, searchable by groups and taxonomic names (look up species name in a guide first)
  • VIREO (Visual Resources for Ornithology) from Drexel University Academy of Natural Sciences, worldwide bird photograph collection, 160,000 photographs representing over 7,000 species, searchable by common or scientific name

Educational Opportunities

Citizen Science

Photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

Photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

  • Great Backyard Bird Count
  • eBird – from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, an online database of reports from birders, recording, tracking, viewing, bird sightings all over the country, interactive maps of sightings, search by species and location
  • YardMap – A citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments.

On-Line Tools

  • NC Birding Trail   –  places to visit in NC, lists of species of interest, amenities, nearby non-bird (e.g. cultural) attractions, how difficult to hike, maps, etc. All in 1-2 pages/location. Like a trip-tik. Grouped by Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain regions.
  • Wake Audubon –  program calendar, open to public, most local and free; good for all ages.
  • NC Audubon–  state-level activities of Audubon, includes links to the 10 chapters operating in NC.
  • Audubon– wide array of information on birds

Field Guide Apps

Photo by Debra Breton

Photo by Debra Breton

Thanks to John Gerwin and Will Kimler for compiling these links.