Check out these websites and resources to learn more about the world of birdwatching:
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology: An online guide to birds and birdwatching. Listen to calls, view images, see habitat and nesting information, and more.
- Merlin Bird ID: A free bird identification guide right on your phone! Browse popular birds in the area, use a step-by-step wizard to help you identify birds, or upload a photo, and the app will help you figure out what birds you are seeing.
Bird Count Events
- Great Backyard Bird Count: (February) This 4-day annual event is a chance to contribute to science by counting birds in your very own backyard, for a minimum of 15 minutes during the event period. Any experience level is welcome to join!
- May Species Count: (May) Every year, Nature Alberta conducts the May Species Count to get an idea of what species are around and where. You can join in too, check out the Nature Alberta website to find out more.
- Breeding Bird Survey: (May-July) This program is for those who have a little more birding experience. Between May and July each year, volunteers go out and survey along certain routes to count bird species. This program is a multi-year commitment.
- Christmas Bird Count: (December) Around Christmas each year, thousands of volunteers participate to conduct species counts and submit their results to help biologists better understand bird populations. You don't need to be an expert to join in, and kids are welcome as well! Watch for more details about Spruce Grove's Christmas Bird Count in November and December.
- eBird: Use eBird online or download the app to keep track of what birds you've spotted, to view migration maps, birding hotspots, and to discover what species have been seen recently near you. Your data also helps ornithologists better understand bird populations and distribution.
- iNaturalist: Very similar to eBird in that you can track your wildlife sightings, but not limited to just birds. You can track plants, animals, birds, insects, fungi, and more!
- NatureLynx: An app designed by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. You can upload photos to have species identified, you can help ABMI collect data on local ecosystems, and participate in BioBlitz events!
- Project FeederWatch: Between November-April, you can participate in surveying birds in your backyard! The schedule is flexible - you can count your birds for as long as you like on days of your choosing, then enter your counts online.
- Project NestWatch: Similar to Project FeederWatch, but for nests! You complete a training module to learn more about surveying nests, and then you enter your data online to contribute to conservation science in your local area.
- Alberta Birds Facebook Page: Join this group to see all things bird! There are some amazing photos on here, and great discussions about birds and birdwatching.
- Don Delaney Flickr Photo Gallery: Another local photographer with stunning shots of songbirds, waterfowl, and other creatures. Don also does wood carving and has done some beautiful pieces of wildlife. Learn more here!
Other Websites, Articles, Reading
- Bird Watcher's Digest: another excellent publication all about bird watching. They also have a blog, lots of online resources, and a podcast!
Click here to learn more about some local organizations that focus on birds, wildlife, and nature!