Genre:Birds : Resources and References

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This page is a chapter in the book Birding Tutorials and Information Index.
Contributed by Richard Hall, Sarge, nouveau1 and others


Knowing where to find birds, identifying them and understanding bird behaviour all
play a big part in successful bird photography. With that in mind, I've created this article
dedicated to resources and references to assist the birder and bird photographer.

If you know of any resources or reference materials (websites, electronic materials, books etc)
that you think might be useful, please feel free to share it with everyone in this article.

Just to get the ball rolling, I'll post a few links that you may find useful.

[top]Online Resources

[top]Bird Data


BirdData is the portal for entering data into Birds Australia's, Atlas of Australian Birds. It's also a very handy reference as it can be used to create lists and maps of sightings and locations of birds for specific areas. It's also fun to become a volunteer Atlasser and submit your own sightings to be used as part of the Atlas.

The Atlas of Australian Birds seeks to document the distribution and relative abundance of Australia's birds across the continent. It is one of Birds Australia's most important projects and is one of the few long-term, broad scale biodiversity monitoring programs available for Australia. The Atlas relies on an army of volunteer birdwatchers that we call Atlassers.

[top]Shore Birds

Shorebirds 2020

The Shorebirds 2020 Learning Resource page has some fantastic resources for Shorebirds and Waders. There's flash-based (and PowerPoint) presentations on how to count large flocks of birds as well as presentations on how to ID Shorebirds. Don't miss the excellent (high resolution) Shorebird Identification Sheets, I've found them enormously useful.


BBC Wildlife Magazine - Photography Masterclass

The BBC Wildlife Magazine has a series of 'Photography Masterclass' articles with free, downloadable PDF documents for each article. Topics such as Birds in Flight, Bird Portraits along with other articles on wildlife photography such as plants, underwater and Reptiles. Worth a download and read as you may pick up some good tips from them.

If your stuck on ID'ing a bird birds in backyards finder is a good website and you'll most probably find the bird your after.

[nouveau1] Most of the ones I have used are already here above - unsurprising since I got most of them from Rich - BUT there is one that is a good start if you're looking for overseas species. It's called "the Birds of France", but is actually an enormous species list covering the entire globe. At the top one can click on the English flag, so it can be used by English speakers. Has links to photos, conservation status etc

[top]Field Guides

These are an essential bit of kit and every keen bird photographer should have at least one in their collection. The field guide will be the first port of call when you need to ID birds, along with providing information such as species behaviour, breeding, calls, abundance and distribution maps.

There's 4 or 5 on the market and everyone has their favourite. The two most popular amongst birders are:

Michael Morecombe's, Field Guide to Australian Birds
The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight

There's also, Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by Simpson and Day and The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds.

Personally, I prefer Michael Morecombe's as it's wonderfully easy to use with quick references at the back. I still use Pizzey and Knight's at times as well as my old copies of Simpson and Day and Slater's. If you can pick them up cheap second hand somewhere, grab them all!

An iPhone app version of Michael Morecombe's Field Guide has also been released. Some info and screenshots of the app can be found HERE and HERE.


[top]Birds Australia

Birds Australia

We are a national organisation working for the conservation and protection of Australia's native birds and their habitats.
Birds Australia is home to some excellent resources on birding and a worthwhile organisation to join. Take the time to explore the website and you'll uncover some excellent material.

When naming (and discussing) your bird photos it's best to refer to the most up-to-date checklist. Birds Australia's adopted checklist is The Christidis and Boles (2008) Checklist. Adhering to the checklist means everyone speaks the same 'language' and works to the same standard, thus eliminating confusion. Direct link HERE (.PDF 522KB).

[top]Birds SA

Birds SA

If you're in Adelaide or SA or planning a visit and want to do some birding, the Birds SA website is pretty handy. There's a nice list of birding sites close to Adelaide with lists of species for each location. It also describes each location briefly with a description of the site's habitat and vegetation association.

[top]Birds WA

Birding WA and Eremaea are both very good sites for those birders in W.A. The first is Frank O'Connors site which has great information on places and possible birds to be found there. The second has lots of lists. Frank O'Connors site is, even though a little old, particularly good.

[top]Birds Qld

Not sure what this one is like but it's been sitting in my favouite bar for awhile. Looks like bird lists for those in Queensland.

Hopefully, these few to start with will provide useful to you in some way or other. Happy Birding!
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