Pete Dunne has taught birding to beginners for years, but he has never found the right book to help them get started. Now the popular birding author identifies the skills and tools available to people with any amount of interest, great or small, in bird watching. Beginning with backyard birding and moving through a quick but comprehensive survey of tools of the trade, Dunne outlines ten basic, simple steps in bird identification that can make a birder out of the most casual of observers. He goes on to show beginning birders how to use their skills to explore new horizons through birding by ear, birding by telescope, and finding and identifying rare or difficult birds. Written in the lively, authoritative style that has made Dunne one of the most popular writers in this field today, Pete Dunne on Bird Watching will inspire in readers both a growing passion for birding and a lifelong respect for the natural world and its inhabitants.
1. Back-yard Birding, Front-seat Adventure 1 Stefancik's Corollary 1 America's Fastest-Growing Outdoor Activity 3 Setting the Table for Birds 4 Landscaping for Birds 22 Bird-feeding Problems 27 Attracting Birds with Water 32 Nest Boxes 34 The Other Side of the Fence 39
2. The Tools of the Trade -- Binoculars and a Field Guide 41 Of Chimney Swifts and Larceny 41 Binoculars -- The Defining Tool of Birding 44 Field Guides -- The Rosetta Stone to Birds 68 Clothing 85 Other Things You'll Need 89
3. The Fundamentals of Birding 91 Like Grosbeaks for Purple Finch 91 Where, When, and How to Go Birding 93 Basic Bird Identification 100 Learning to See Critically 112 Keeping Records 115
4. Resources -- Dipping into the Pool of Knowledge 121 The Man of the Mountain 121 Clubs and Chums -- The Social Link 125 Hooking into the Publication and Communication Network 132 Birding Tours 136 Events, Functions, Festivals, and Other Birders 139
5. Expanding Horizons -- Finding and Facing New Challenges 141 That Story About the Harrier 141 Sight--Spotting Scopes and Tripods 145 Sound--Birding by Ear 154 Travel to New Birding Locations 164 Mastering Difficult Identifications 182
6. Applied Birding -- For Fun, Purpose . . . Even Profit! 189 October 4, 1977, Cape May Point, New Jersey 189 Bird Censusing 191 The Games Birders Play 199
7. Tips to Better Birding 206 At Birding's Horizon Line -- Standing with Will 206 Equipment Tips 207 Technique Tips 214
8. Ethics and Responsibilities 233 Looking for Baird's Sparrow, Walking on Eggs 233 Keeping Birding Safe for Birds 234 The Etiquette of Birding 237 Courtesy to Nonbirders 241 Conservation 242
1. American Birding Association Checklist 251
2. Name Changes to the American Ornithologists'Union (and ABA) Check-list 278
3. State Audubon Societies and Bird Observatories 289
4. American Birding Association Code of Birding Ethics 293
"[...] Pete Dunne on Bird Watching was incalculably helpful to me as a new birder. This updated edition should prove just as valuable to a new generation of birders. If you find this book enjoyable and informative, check out Dunne’s other books. Three, in particular, significantly expound on topics covered here: The Art of Bird Identification, The Art of Bird Finding, and The Art of Pishing.
– Grant McCreary (01-12-2015), read the full review at The Birder's Library
"Pete is arguably North America's best and best-known birder, and he's also a terrific writer. If you've never had a chance to bird with Pete, this is the next best thing. It's like picking his brain on the topics he knows best – optics, field guides, birding tours, birding etiquette, birding by ear, and much more."
– Scott Shalaway, syndicated nature columnist
– Audubon Naturalist News
"A superlative introduction to bird-watching [...] this excellent little guide is made to order for beginners, yet older birding hands will also find much in it that is useful. Highly recommended."
– Library Journal, Starred
"A literate and exhaustive beginner's manual [...] provides valuable information that would take years of in-the-field effort to obtain."
– Publishers Weekly
"If you want to expand your interest in birds, Dunne can help. His book makes all other birding books more useful."
– Minneapolis Star-Tribune