01 December 2009


FIELD GUIDES and BOOKS. There are too many to mention here. Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds comes in both Eastern and Western editions and are now combined into a CD-ROM that I highly recommend. David Sibley has recently published the Sibley Guide to North American Birds, a book I often use in my classes. The National Geographic Society also has an excellent field guide. The Golden guide to Birds of North America is also excellent. Bent's Life Histories of North American Birds has been reprinted by Dover Publications and contains a wealth of natural history information. The AOU has recently completed a series of Life Histories of North American Birds--check your library for that one.

BINOCULARS.7x35 is a minimum, I prefer 10 x any number (past 10x is hard to hold; the bigger the better for the second number). New York is the place to buy optics--check out ads in the photography magazines. Local camera stores and the American Birding Association are also good places to shop, since they will let you try and compare brands.

SONGS. Records, tape recordings, and at least three CD-ROM disks are available with bird songs. The latter would seem to be an especially attractive was to learn calls since they come with photographs of the birds. With a parabolic reflector, you could make your own bird song recordings. Songs can also be transferred to MP3 players.

CAMERA. 50 mm = eye and each 50 mm = 1 power. 10 power then = 500 mm; 7 power then = 350 mm--so a 300 mm lens is really a bare minimum. Digital cameras have revolutionized bird photography and, as a result, many amateurs are taking professional-quality bird shots.

Green Jay

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