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Bird Watching and Attracting Birds to your Garden

See also: Wildlife and Gardens for Wildlife

Selected Books

Birds of North America. Eastern Region
QL681.B62653 2011x
American Museum of Natural History's new paperback edition (408 pages), now in two volumes (eastern and western) and also downloadable.
Burton, Robert
Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher: Birdfeeders & Bird Gardens
QL676.5.B87 2011x
The National Audubon Society gives advice on creating a bird-friendly backyard using gardens, food, water, and nesting sites to entice birds to visit. It also profiles the 100 most familiar garden birds.
Dunn, Jon L.
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
QL681.F53 2011
Written for beginners and experienced birdwatchers, this field guide identifies 990 species of birds in North America. Dunn and Alderfer detail the physical characteristics, voice, range and geographic area for each species by group, with maps and color illustrations on the facing page.
Floyd, Ted
Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America
QL681.F56 2008
This Smithsonian field guide, written by Birding magazine editor Floyd, is ideal for beginners, but also has formidable resources for experienced birders. Includes a DVD with birdsongs for 138 major species.
Ford, Paula
Birder's Guide to Pennsylvania
QL684.P4 F67 1995
This book takes the reader to almost 200 parks, refuges, and hot spots for migratory and resident birds throughout Pennsylvania. Details on 7 geographical regions include 34 maps make this the most comprehensive statewide guide available to Pennsylvania birding sites.
Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges
QL681.I35 2005
Designed for birders at all levels by Bill Thompson, the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest and the author of Bird Watching for Dummies, this guide offers detailed descriptions of North American birds that look very similar to each other with advice on how to tell them apart.
Kaufman, Kenn
City Birding: True Tales of Birds and Birdwatching in Unexpected Places
QL677.5.C548 2003
Over a dozen first-rank birding writers and ornithologists, including Paul A. Johnsgard and James Gorman, contribute a quirky piece of material each to build this prose nest. They take a sidelong view of themselves as well as their subjects in the "unexpected places," which are mostly urban-many in the New York City area.
McWilliams, Gerald M.
The Birds of Pennsylvania
QL684.P4 M36 2000
A larger book for reference
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America
QL683.E27 N38 2008
Formatted for users east of the Rocky Mountains, this guide details 619 species and contains 560 new range maps.
Peterson, Roger Tory
A Field Guide to Feeder Birds, Eastern and Central North America
q QL681.P45 2000
This easy-to-use, at-a-glance guide simplifies identification by including only the birds that frequent feeders with the most commonly seen birds first, followed by those that are harder to identify or that rarely visit feeders.
Roth, Sally
Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard
QL676.5.R66827 2012
Sally Roth draws on the latest science and 50 years of observation to give you the best ways to attract melodic birds by offering treats that songbirds like best and planting perennials and shrubs that provide cover and nesting. See also her Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Backyard.
Roth, Sally
The Backyard Bird Lovers Ultimate How-To Guide
QL676.5.R66834 2010
Roth urges the 46 million backyard bird watchers to make their backyards bird sanctuaries with an A to Z list of things to do. For instance, B is for Briar Patch and Brush, great nesting sites for birds; D is for Dead Wood, providing insects and shelter; F is for Fall Leaves, a living feast.
Tekiela, Stan
Birds of Pennsylvania: Field Guide
QL684.P4 T45 2000x
A small handy book to take on hikes. Some come with an audio CD.


Adventures in Birdwatching
(DVD) QL676.A2484 2004x
Ornithologist and bird enthusiast Ken Dial travels to locations in the United States and Costa Rica to observe a variety of bird species. Originally produced as episodes of the television series: All Bird TV in 1997-1998.
Audubon Videoguide to 505 Birds of North America
(DVD) QL681.A9865 2004x
Two DVDs describe each of 505 species that reliably breed in North America north of Mexico. Provides a voice or sound from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology for each species that makes a sound of any consequence. The bird calls are combined with close-up moving footage and still photographs showing the birds in their natural habitats. Narrated descriptions provide detailed identification information and computer-drawn maps of breeding and wintering ranges.
The Life of Birds
In this 3-DVD collection, originally released in 1998 as a television series of ten episodes, David Attenborough journeys across seven continents filming thousands of species of birds, revealing their patterns of behavior. Also available as a book.

Pittsburgh Resources




Nearby States

Since birds don't know about political boundaries, information from West Virginia and Ohio are usually applicable to Western Pennsylvania.


United States and International

  • American Birding Association
    An organization that specifically caters to recreational birders and that promotes birding skills, ornithological knowledge and the development of a conservation ethic.
  • Audubon Society
    Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.
  • BirdLife International
    BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity.
  • Bird Watching Magazine
    Formerly Birder's World.
  • Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology
    This is probably the premier bird laboratory in the United States. Includes an "All About Birds" section: "The Ultimate Resource for Birds and Birding on the Web" with information about feeding, attracting, and watching birds.
  • eBird
    A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

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