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

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With more than 300,000 copies already sold, Backyard Birdsongs is back by popular demand. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is proud to rerelease this widely acclaimed bird audio field guide series, from award-winning ornithologist and author Donald Kroodsma.

Suitable for beginning bird watchers, Backyard Birdsongs is an interactive handbook of birds and their songs. With a touch-button electronic module that contains common vocalizations of seventy-five 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, scientifically accurate illustrations accompany each entry, and up-to-date range maps provide clear geographical reference points. With an introduction that will inspire readers to look out their windows and venture into the field, this unique book gives people of all ages an exciting entryway into the subtle art of using birdsong to identify birds.

This second edition includes a much-requested new Sound Track Index (to help make watching and listening to birds easier), and access to a free download of the Cornell Lab's own MERLIN(R) Bird ID App (in iTunes and Android stores). As with all Cornell Lab Publishing Group books, a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of Backyard Birdsongs supports projects at the Cornell Lab, including children's educational and community programs.

Larry McQueen painted the popular Project FeederWatch eastern and western Common Feeder Birds posters. Bird images from those posters and from other sources, including three original watercolor paintings done for BirdSource's Warbler Watch site, are used throughout both the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's web site and the BirdSource web site. Larry's work is widely known and respected, having appeared widely in calendars, catalogs, and magazines, including the Lab's own Living Bird. He has illustrated for many books, such as The Audubon Master Guide to Birding, and you'll find his images in a number of field guides.

Jon Janosik was born in Connecticut in 1941. Living with his grandparents on their Trumbull farm in his formative years, he became enchanted with wild birds, nature and Biology. He became acquainted with Roger Tory Peterson and gained many early skills in the field while attending Peterson's local bird walks.  Jon's work has been featured in such books as Field Guide to North American Birds (National Geographic Society), Birds of the Ligonier Valley (Carnegie Museum), The Audubon Society Master Guide to BirdingAn Audubon Handbook, Western/Eastern Birds, and Book of North American Birds (Readers Digest Books). 

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


Princeton University Press/Cornell Lab Publishing Group

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

0.8" H x 8.2" L x 7.1" W

192 pages