Can you identify birds?

I'm really impressed with Firefly's birding abilities. I bought a book to help me recognize avian visitors to my backyard, but it hasn't panned out. I see birds that aren't in the book, and the birds that are in the book don't seem to come around here. Except for the blue jays, and possibly some finches.

So I was happy to see Anne Raver's column in the New York Times. She's really good at birds too. She references the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, and I want to say, "Why not just call it 'Cornell Ornithology Lab'?"

Well, they didn't ask me. Anyhoo, I've spent quite a lot of time at this dandy site, and it's much better than the book I bought. I want to alert you to it too in case you don't read the NYT. Because let's face it. Their Home and Garden section rarely has anything to do with actual gardening and that really bugs me.


anile said...

Speaking of NYT, did you see this? Very cool animation of the movement of our techtonic plates...

chuck b. said...

That is cool. If only we could live forever...we could see it all happen! Sometimes I think it would be interesting to live forever, but in fast forward so I can see everything happen in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe when we die we get to do that. :)

The County Clerk said...

The site you reference is great... but it is the (relatively) pared down version of a subscription site wich is UNBELIEVABLE and relatively cheap (I subscribe and find value in it):

Birds of North America

Anywway, the BIG site is from:

The Cornel Lab of Ornithology AND the American Ornithologists Union... which is affiliated.

Maybe they named it the "Cornel Lab of Ornithology" because it "sings" better with all thier other academic associations/affiliations.

Regardless, Birds of North America (BNO) is a remarkable web resource.

lisa said...

I love bird watching, too. Which book did you buy? I have the Audobon guides as well as the Sibley bird book, and I often find it will take both to ID some birds, depending on the sort of glimpse you got. Plus, many birds are fairly slutty, and cross-breed within subspecies, making ID even harder. Fun stuff!