Photo © Al Tuttle

How can I identify what kinds of birds are in my backyard?

First, learn to identify the types of birds in your yard during the spring and summer. They may just be passing through to their breeding grounds, or they may actually nest in your yard. Purchase a bird identification book such as the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds for the Eastern and Western regions. These books include color photographs and descriptions of the birds you may find in your backyard. If you happen to find a nest and are unsure of the species that built it, get a copy of A Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds by Paul J. Baicich and Colin J. O. Harrison. The most frequent type of nest among North American songbirds is a simple cup usually lined with fine grass or other soft material.