Resources for Young Birders

Two young birders study the Young Birder’s Guide by Bill Thompson, III.

Join a Bird Club!

Joining a club is one of the best ways to get plugged in to the world of birding! Birding clubs allow you to connect with other birders and get the inside scoop on your area’s birds (and where to find them). It’s also a great way to make friends your own age who share your interest in birds.

Many clubs even offer scholarships and other programs that can help you make a career out of birding! But besides all this, joining a birding club is just plain fun. So don’t just sit there, start checking out some of these clubs made just for kid and teen birders!

National Bird Clubs

Regional and State Bird Clubs

Field Guides: The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America

This is not the only field guide that you will ever need. In fact, we hope it’s the first of many bird books that you’ll want to have. The Young Birder’s Guide is aimed at giving new bird watchers an easy first step into the world of birds.

The 300 species contained in this book were chosen because they are birds that either are commonly seen or that every birder should get to see in his or her lifetime. They are organized in general taxonomic order and follow the species names and Latin names currently agreed upon by most ornithologists.

In order to make this book small enough to be easily carried and used, we’ve limited it to slightly more than 300 species. We guarantee that while out birding, you will encounter birds that are not in this book. This is the first clue that you need to get a more comprehensive field guide covering all of the birds of your region, or even all of the birds in North America.

Each bird’s page has these main parts:

  • A species profile
  • The species’ common name and Latin name, along with body length for size reference
  • One or two photo images of the typical plumage
  • One black-and-white drawing of the bird doing something interesting
  • Range map showing seasonal distribution

And each species profile has these sections:

  • Look For (field marks for identification)
  • Listen For (the bird’s song and other sounds)
  • Find It (it’s habitat preferences and seasonal occurrences)
  • Remember (an additional ID tip, often comparing it to similar species)
  • Wow! (an interesting extra fact about this bird)

To get the most out of this book, take it with you whenever you go birding. Flip through it when you are at home or when you can’t be outside watching birds. Though we’re all told never to write in a book, please write notes in this one. Record your bird sightings at the bottom of each bird’s page. Make it your own book. If we’ve done our work properly, you’ll soon outgrow The Young Birder’s Guide and will move on to larger, more complete field guides covering all the birds of North America.

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