New: Binoculars available from Duluth Audubon Society!
To supplement the loaner binoculars in the Duluth Audubon Birding Trunks at the Great Lakes Aquarium (see below), the Duluth Audubon Society has purchased 40 new binoculars for education programs -10 Eagle Optics Denali 8 x 42 binoculars and 30 Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5 X 32 binoculars. These will be available for use with school groups, teacher workshops, field trips, bird classes, and DAS events. If you are interested in borrowing them for one of these uses, please contact Education Chair Cindy Edwardson. Bird books will be purchased soon to go with the binoculars.
We’d like you to be able to learn and see all the birds in the local environments that you can. Download our Duluth Audubon Society Birding Map.
New to Birding?
For starters, visit Bird Watcher’s Digest Get Started Birding page for tips on learning the arts of observation and listening. For a slightly more in-depth presentation, visit National Audubon’s How to Bird page.
For help with learning to identify bird species, visit National Audubon’s Online Guide to North American Birds which covers all of North America’s regular breeding birds-approximately 580 species – as well as an additional 180 or so non-breeding species that regularly or occasionally visit North America north of Mexico.
To see photographs (and hear calls of) bird species to which National Audubon is devoting special care in protecting, visit their Bird Profiles page. Species on this list include those on Audubon’s WatchList, the top 20 Common Birds in Decline, birds under threat from climate change, birds affected by the Gulf Oil Spill, the top 30 Birds to Help in your neighborhood and the Waterbird Conservation program.
And finally, for the basic courtesies observed by birders, visit National Audubon’s Birding Etiquette page
Birding is good for mind, body, and soul, which is why it is a hobby for nearly 50 million Americans. The idea of learning about the hundreds of North American birds may seem daunting, but if you only learn to recognize one new bird per month, in five years you’ll know sixty new birds!
Key websites & articles for birders
Visit the Audubon site for a vast amount of information. Here is a recent feature:
Woodpeckers don’t just drum on trees in search of food or nesting space. They also tap to hammer out their territorial claim – and advertise that they’re available to mate.
To reach competing birds that might be in range and ready to encroach, their sounds need to carry. So the louder, the better! Listen in on these determined drummers and learn their signature rhythms.
Audubon Minnesota believes that what is good for birds is good for people, too, including healthy habitats, clean water, and clean air. We deliver conservation results by focusing on programs supported by science, education, and advocacy.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit organization and a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Click on this site to read articles of interest to birders. Here’s one you may enjoy:
Sign up for Bird Cams eNews! Cornell’s Birdcam News
Coming up February 15-18, the Great Backyard Bird Count:
The Minnesota Ornithological Union (MOU) is a state organization and bird club. Lots of information here.
If you would like to share your observations plus check what other recreational and professional birders in your community and far beyond are seeing, visit this website. eBird was created in 2002 by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society and it is providing a massive collection of observations that is used by birders and scientists to learn about bird populations and distributions. A fascinating site!
ABC’s mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.
This is another valuable site featuring relevant avian topics. For instance, their feature “Bird of the Week”.
The BirdLife Partnership strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.
Climate Watch aims to document species’ responses to climate change by having volunteers in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models project they should be in the 2020s.
Great articles from the Nature Conservancy. Here’s one:
Natural Food and Shelter
There is much information in our Natural Food and Shelter guide.
If you are further interested in improving your habitat in your yard, here are few selected references to check out! Some of these books may be out of print, but your local bookstore or library may have a copy.
Woodworking for Wildlife: Homes for Birds and Animals by Carrol Henderson
Landscaping for Wildlife by Carrol Henderson
Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality by Carrol Henderson
Birds and Forests by Jan Green
101 ways to help birds by Laura Erickson
Non-fiction recommendations by Duluth Audubon Society members:
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century-Kirk Wallace Johnson Birds in a Cage – Derek Niemann (Warburg POW Camp, 1941. Four British bird watchers)
Borrow binoculars and bird books!
If you or your organization is interested in borrowing binoculars and/or bird books, check out the Duluth Audubon Birding Trunks housed at the Great Lake Aquarium. It’s free and easy to check them out depending on availability. There are two sets of 15 binoculars and a birding trunk with a classroom set of field guides. Use the links below to sign out either or both of these great resources.