The National Audubon Society has published a new Online Guide to North American Birds, and it’s worth a look.
At a glance, the guide contains similar content to what birders expect in field guides: images (photographs) of birds, descriptions of habitat and basic behaviors, and range maps. Like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds, this new Audubon guide also provide recordings of songs and calls for most species, as well as multiple ways to find the species you’re trying to identify. I’ll resist for now the temptation to compare the two resources.
At first, I was aghast that species within a family were sorted by common name! That’s truly senseless, unless you think it’s more important to have Greater Prairie-Chicken near Gunnison Sage-Grouse than it is to have it near Lesser Prairie-Chicken. Taxonomic order isn’t just something that we pointy-headed academics care about, it’s informative to people trying to learn their birds too. Thankfully, there is an option to sort species by scientific name, which at least puts species in the same genus in some kind of a sensible order.
The Audubon guide looks like this once you get into a species, in this case Canada Warbler:
Not bad. I think I like the range maps. Check it out; I will be.