Last post, I asked you what was more important – field guide, camera or notebook. The majority voted field guide, so that is what this post is on.
Field guides, or bird books, have detailed drawings of the birds that you are likely to find in your area, as well as information on habits, songs and range. The information on range is often shown in a map, but also mentioned in the text.
Songs are given words, such as this:
song is a loud “chippy-chuppy, chippy-chuppy, chippy-chuppy,” and the call is a curt “witch.” (Connecticut Warbler).
Now, though, there are also apps to put on small, handheld devices (Ipods, smartphones, etc.) which have both drawings and photos of the bird, but also the recorded song.
My personal favorite is Nat. Geo.’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America, edited by Jon L. Dunn and Jonathon Alderfer. I especially like the precise illustrations and the thumb tabs.
The next post in this series will be information on Cameras.
Here is the first post in the series: What Does a Birder Need?