Birding Basics

Birding Resources for Beginners

Photo: Camilla Cerea / Audubon

About Birds and Birding

Get into birds! Audubon has a website that will help you get started.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology  and National Audubon Society both have bird species identification sites, with calls, distribution maps, andother facts about our birds.

Chicago Birds

Birds of the Windy City  is a great pamphlet about birds, birding, and the birding community in Chicago.  You can download it at the bottom of this page.

Going on birding field trips is the best way to learn more.  Birders are a welcoming group, and there are lots of them in the Chicago area.  Check out this calendar to find local field trips. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

In the daytime, there's birding - and in the nighttime, there's online quizzes!  Here's a link to a very comprehensive site – it  has different level quizzes and links to online practice quizzes, and it covers the birds of our region and not too many others.

Cornell's Celebrate Urban Birds encourages groups to get out and bird urban areas.  They distribute a kit which includes posters of the birds we are most likely to see.  

There are many excellent field guides in book and e-book or app form. Choose one that you like. To begin, many find it easier to choose one that has the birds of the East only.  

There are lots of great books about birds.  Humboldt Park birder Sam Burkhardt recommends The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and How They Live Paperback by Colin Tudge

We have a strong local birding community.  The Bird Conservation Network has information about local bird clubs (which all have programs and field trips), list serves, forums  and more.  Reach out.

Bird Note Podcasts

Bird Note is a series of daily two-minute podcasts about birds full of fascinating information.  

Downloadable Resources


Water Attracts Birds

Water Attracts Birds

Water features such as birdbaths, fountains or small ponds bring migrants down out of the trees so you can enjoy them.

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Birding Resources for Beginners
Birding Basics

Birding for Beginners

Love birds? Discover birding with this page of resources to get you started.

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