The Backyard Birdsong Guide (Eastern and Central North America) A Guide to Listening

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-04-12
  • Publisher: Cornell Lab Publishing Group

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Supplemental Materials

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Back by popular demand with more than 300,000 copies sold, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is proud to re-release the widely acclaimed and bestselling bird audio field guide series, Backyard Birdsongs, from award-winning Ornithologist and Author, Donald Kroodsma.

Backyard Birdsongs is an interactive handbook of birds and their songs for beginning bird-watchers. With a touch-button electronic module housing common vocalizations of 75 species from across Eastern and Central North America, this volume offers a truly sensory way to identify and get to know local birds. Crisply detailed and scientifically accurate illustrations accompany each entry, and up-to-date range maps provide clear geographical reference points. Complete with an introduction to birdsongs that will inspire readers to look out their kitchen windows and venture out in the field, this unique book provides an exciting entryway into the subtle art of birding.

This second edition includes a much-requested new Sound Track Index (to help make watching and listening to birds easier), and a free download of the Cornell Lab's own MERLIN™ Bird ID App (on iTunes and Android stores).

And as with all Cornell Lab Publishing Group books, 35% of the net proceeds from the sale of Backyard Birdsongs supports projects at the Cornell Lab, such as children’s educational and community programs.

Author Biography

Donald Kroodsma is professor emeritus of ornithology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a world-renowned authority on birdsongs. He is the author of The Singing Life of Birds (winner of the 2006 John Burroughs Medal Award and the American Birding Association's Robert Ridgway Distinguished Service Award for excellence in publications pertaining to field ornithology), The Backyard Birdsong Guides, and Birdsong by the Seasons.

Donald's work on bird song is legendary. In 2003 the American Ornithologists' Union called him the "reigning authority on the biology of avian vocal behavior." Kroodsma received his Ph.D. at Oregon State University and has traveled all over North and South America researching bird song. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union and the Animal Behavior Society and has published hundreds of academic and popular articles. He lives in Hatfield, MA.

Table of Contents



Why Birds Sing 10
Where Each Bird Gets His Song 12
Songs and Calls 14
The Practice of Deep Listening 15
Where to Begin 21
How to Use the Audio Player 22

Ducks and Geese (Anatidae) 26 Canada Goose
Ducks and Geese (Anatidae) 28 Mallard
New World Quail (Odontophoridae) 30 Northern Bobwhite
Loons (Gaviidae) 32 Common Loon
Grebes (Podicipedidae) 34 Pied-billed Grebe
Hawks and Eagles (Accipitridae) 36 Red-tailed Hawk
Rails, Gallinules, and Coots (Rallidae) 38 Sora
Plovers (Charadriidae) 40 Killdeer
Sandpipers and Phalaropes (Scolopacidae) 42 American Woodcock
Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae) 44 Mourning Dove
Owls (Strigidae) 46 Great Horned Owl
Owls (Strigidae) 48 Barred Owl
Goatsuckers (Caprimulgidae) 50 Whip-poor-will
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) 52 Belted Kingfisher
Woodpeckers (Picidae) 54 Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers (Picidae) 56 Northern Flicker

Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae) 60 Eastern Wood-Pewee
Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae) 62 Willow Flycatcher
Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae) 64 Eastern Phoebe
Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae) 66 Great Crested Flycatcher
Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae) 68 Eastern Kingbird
Vireos (Vireonidae) 70 White-eyed Vireo
Vireos (Vireonidae) 72 Warbling Vireo
Vireos (Vireonidae) 74 Red-eyed Vireo
Jays and Crows (Corvidae) 76 Blue Jay
Jays and Crows (Corvidae) 78 American Crow
Swallows (Hirundinidae) 80 Purple Martin
Chickadees and Titmice (Paridae) 82 Black-capped Chickadee
Chickadees and Titmice (Paridae)84 Carolina Chickadee
Chickadees and Titmice (Paridae)86 Tufted Titmouse
Nuthatches (Sittidae) 88 White-breasted Nuthatch
Wrens (Troglodytidae) 90 Carolina Wren
Wrens (Troglodytidae) 92 House Wren
Wrens (Troglodytidae) 94 Winter Wren
Wrens (Troglodytidae) 96 Marsh Wren
Thrushes (Turdidae) 98 American Robin
Thrushes (Turdidae) 100 Eastern Bluebird
Thrushes (Turdidae) 102 Hermit Thrush
Thrushes (Turdidae) 104 Wood Thrush
Thrushes (Turdidae) 106 Veery
Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae) 108 Gray Catbird
Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)110 Northern Mockingbird
Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)112 Brown Thrasher
Starlings (Sturnidae) 114 European Starling
Waxwings (Bombycillidae) 116 Cedar Waxwing
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 118 Blue-winged Warbler
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 120 Northern Parula
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 122 Yellow Warbler
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 124 Chestnut-sided Warbler
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 126 Black-throated Green Warbler
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 128 Prairie Warbler
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 130 Black-and-white Warbler
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 132 American Redstart
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 134 Ovenbird
Wood-Warblers (Parulidae) 136 Common Yellowthroat
Tanagers (Thraupidae) 138 Scarlet Tanager
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 140 Eastern Towhee
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 142 Chipping Sparrow
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 144 Field Sparrow
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 146 Savannah Sparrow
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 148 Song Sparrow
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 150 White-throated Sparrow
Sparrows (Emberizidae) 152 Dark-eyed Junco
Cardinals, Grosbeaks, and Buntings (Cardinalidae) 154 Northern Cardinal
Cardinals, Grosbeaks, and Buntings (Cardinalidae)156 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Cardinals, Grosbeaks, and Buntings (Cardinalidae)158 Indigo Bunting
Blackbirds (Icteridae) 160 Bobolink
Blackbirds (Icteridae) 162 Red-winged Blackbird
Blackbirds (Icteridae) 164 Eastern Meadowlark
Blackbirds (Icteridae) 166 Common Grackle
Blackbirds (Icteridae) 168 Brown-headed Cowbird
Blackbirds (Icteridae) 170 Baltimore Oriole
Finches (Fringillidae) 172 House Finch
Finches (Fringillidae) 174 American Goldfinch
Old World Sparrows (Passeridae) 176 House Sparrow
More Fun with Birdsong 178
Additional Listening and Reading Sources 180
References 181
Illustration Credits 182
Recording Credits 182
About the Cornell Lab of Ornithology 183
About the Artists 184
About the Author 185
Index 186
Acknowledgments 192

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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