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March 10th, 2010

Mar. 10th, 2010

Got maru_mari some basic field glasses a while back. We've been eating breakfast on the porch since the weather warmed up this weekend, and we've been staring at birds with them until the birds get spooked and fly away.

My bird-identification skills are weak. There is the Boston park hierarchy:

seagulls > rock pigeons > Old World sparrows

(and now after looking up the pigeon & sparrow situation, I can recognize American sparrows) and I'm pretty sure the three or four different kinds of birds what I call "crows" are all corvids and the most common ones are actual proper American crows. There is a bird that, if you called it a "cardinal", I would believe you, but it doesn't really fit my mental picture of a cardinal so well that I would teach it to a child, being too orangey.

Anyway, I figure it's worth getting a book so I can identify at least the 5-10 species I can see on a given day just sitting in my house. I know some of you are birdy folk. Any recommendations?

Left to my own devices, I would get the The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region because I've had a few of their guides in the past (trees, mushrooms) and found them useful and pleasing to hold, but the indexing leaves something to be desired: I'd like at least a decision tree for quick identification.