Principles of Birding Ethics
For new birders and old alike, it is important to remember that we don't want to negatively impact the birds we enjoy watching. The American Birding Association has prepared a great guide on the ethics of birding available here.
GEAS has created a free '15 Common Birds of the Boise River' Guide. You are welcome to download and use this guide or pick up a free hardcopy at the next community event.
The Idaho Birding Trail is a great resource to the when, where, and what species for birding in Idaho. The website provides much of the information but there are both digital and hardcopies available for purchase here.
'Idaho Birding' is wonderful Facebook group that brings birders together from all over the state. People often post special bird sightings, share their bird photos, and ask for identification help on this page.
National Audubon's online bird guide.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's 'All About Birds'. A great source of information on bird species; behavior, habitat, full range maps, and more.
There are many digital and hardcopy birding field guides available today. Most birders develop a preference for one guide or another, and they all have slightly different aspects, but we recommend you use whats best for you! We have listed just a few options below:
Digital: Digital guides offer the convince of not carrying anything other then your smartphone, the ability to listen to bird calls & songs in the field, and an easy 'species list' keeper.
'Merlin' App by the Cornell Lab. A free application that helps identify birds based on a few characteristics.
'The Sibley eGuide to Birds' App by David Sibley. Popular guide available in a digital format. Great pictures drawn by the author, no photographs.
'Audubon Bird Guide' App. Connects with eBird to allow finding 'birding hotspots' in the field in addition to being a field guide that uses photographs.
Hardcopy: Still the preference of many birders, field guides such as those listed below offer continent wide or regional versions.
The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Sibley
Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufmann
Western Birds (Peterson Field Guides®) by Roger Tory Peterson
Birds of Idaho Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
The collective power of birders reporting what species they encounter is incredible. We encourage birders to use online portals, such as eBird, to not only keep their own bird list, but to also make their observations count in this citizen science platform. It is free to sign up and enjoy a wealth of bird information at your fingertips.
Of note is that the power of estimating the number of individuals of an observed species is much higher then simply denoting that the species was present. Please click here for more information on estimating numbers.
Binoculars for Birding
GEAS Member, Harold Ward, was kind enough to create and share a guide of 'Binoculars for Beginning Birders'. This is a great resource on how to choose binoculars that will be right for you.