Birdwatching Resources

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Birdwatching is the fastest growing hobby in North America.  Here are some resources to help you get your students interested or continue in this family and planet friendly hobby, and help contribute to real science in the process.

Birdwatching is the fastest growning hobby in North America.

Thayer Birding Software: Electronic field guide and record keeping

Free Thayer Birding Software for Kids –  The Young Birder Program

Any young birders or students interested in birds and nature who are enrolled in pre-K, grade school, middle school or high school can download the new version 7.7 of Thayer’s Birds of North America – for FREE.

Just visit, select the Windows or the Mac download and enter our special code:AdventistYoungBirder. Then click the Apply button and Free Checkout.

This amazing birding software, for Windows or Mac computers, features the 1,007 birds that have been seen in the continental United States and Canada. The software includes 6,856 color photos, 1,506 songs and calls, 552 video clips of birds in action, 700 quizzes and much, much more. Use the ID Wizard to identify unknown birds in your yard. Keep track of the birds you see. Compare any two birds side-by-side. Read all about the bird’s nests, eggs, feeding habits and more.

Thayer Birding Software’s founder, Peter Thayer, decided that this would be the perfect way to celebrate his 70th birthday!

“It is time to give back something to the birding community and to the millions of young birders (and potential young birders) who just need a spark to get them started on a life-long quest for knowledge about our natural world and the importance of preserving the habitat we still have. What better way than this to celebrate the year of the bird? Our goal is to give away one million free copies of the birding program to kids everywhere.”

eBird:  Record sightings, explore species maps, photos, sounds, hotspots.

eBird is a citizen science project led and maintained by Cornell Lab or Ornithology.  It is a web based (with apps available) tool that allows you to record your sightings with species, numbers, location and notes.  From the eBird web site you can also explore worldwide data on any species, narrowed down by location and date, and displayed in several formats.  The feature that sets eBird apart though is that you are contributing to real live science, and helping to better scientific understanding of birds and their role in our environment, ultimately helping to save them.  And it also is completely free to access and use.

Merlin:  Aid for bird identification.

Also provided by the Cornell Lab or Ornithology, Merlin is aApp available for iOS or Android devices that helps with bird identification.  You use a wizard to enter features like bird size, colours, locations etc, and it will use these to narrow down the bird you are most likely seeing.  Or, provide a photo of a bird, and Merlin will use the extensive eBird database to provide you with an amazingly accurate short list of likely species.

BirdsEye:  App to aid in finding birds.

This App available for iOS and Android devices uses your location and eBird data to show what species have been recently sighted and where.  There is a small monthly subscription fee for various worldwide locations.

eBird Essentials:  A free course to get you started in birdwatching and keeping records.