A Great Blue Heron wades in the shallows of the Potomac River, scanning for unsuspecting prey. Sunlight turns the water translucent as a small school of fish rises to the water's surface. The heron strikes and moments later is swallowing its quarry – predation in action! This handsome Great Blue Heron is but one of the more than 400 bird species found in Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. It shares the mid-Atlantic with kingfishers, eagles, mergansers, wood warblers, and many more.
Exploring backyard birds, birds of prey, and birds of the open ocean, Smithsonian ornithologist Bruce Beehler and premier nature photographer Middleton Evans have crafted a comprehensive volume unparalleled in its beauty and captivating storytelling. Birds of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia invites readers to experience the birds' lives as they live them: where they nest, how they forage, their various behaviours, and the natural environments they need to survive.
Beehler offers practical advice on bird-watching, including how to find, attract, and even garden for birds, as well as the best places to see them in season. He also discusses the best birding apps, websites, and gear; provides advice on planning a birding field trip; and recommends ornithological institutions that will help you cultivate a lifelong birding hobby. Finally, Beehler challenges the reader to think about conservation efforts to preserve local bird populations.
With striking colour photographs of more than 400 species, Birds of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia is a bonanza for nature lovers. A wealth of images immerse the reader in the world of these wonderful creatures. Marvel at the majesty of Ospreys, navigate the ocean with storm-petrels, and nest with Mourning Doves, all while learning about the richness of the birds' lives, the complexities of their habits, and how we can help keep their populations vibrant and aloft for generations to come.
Foreword, by Chandler S. Robbins
Terms, Abbreviations, and Acronyms
Part One - Introduction
1. Appreciating Our Birdlife and the Gentle Art of Birding
2. Natural Geography of the Region
3. The Birding Seasons
4. Birds in Urban, Suburban, and Agricultural Landscapes
5. The Gift of Wild Places
6. Landscaping for Birds and the Environment
7. Feeding the Birds
8. Conserving Birds and Their Habitats
Part Two - Bird Group Accounts
10. Marsh and Wading Birds
11. Coastal Waterbirds
13. Birds of the Open Ocean
14. Birds of Prey
15. Birds of Countryside, Farm, and Field
16. Aerial Feeders
17. Neighborhood, Feeder, and Backyard Birds
18. Sparrows and Their Terrestrial Allies
19. Warblers and Look-Alikes
20. Orioles, Blackbirds, and Colorful Seed-eaters
Part Three - Birding Tools
21. Best Birding Apps and Websites
22. Necessary Birding Gear
23. Planning Your Birding Field Trip
24. Important Institutions for Birds
25. Key Birding and Ornithological References
PART FOUR - Bird-finding Guide
26. Photographic Atlas and Finding Guide
27. Birds Rarely Recorded in the Region
28. Coded Regional Checklist and Seasonal Occurrence Chart
29. Best Birding Localities
Photography Credits and Notes
Ornithologist Bruce Beehler is a research associate in the Division of Birds of the National Museum of Natural History. He is the author of North on the Wing: Travels with the Songbird Migration of Spring.
Renowned photographer Middleton Evans is the author of Rhapsody in Blue: A Celebration of North American Waterbirds and The Miracle Pond: Baltimore's Patterson Park, Wild beyond Imagination.
"[...] The book is not only a comprehensive resource covering the birds of this mid-Atlantic region of the USA, but is also a beautiful coffee table book liberally illustrated with magnificent photographs by Middleton Evans and 20 other contributing photographers. Anyone interested in the birds of the region, from the amateur birder to the professional ornithologist, will find it a valuable resource."
– Ted R. Anderson, Ibis, August 2020