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Birdfinder: A Birder's Guide to Planning North American Trips

Birdfinder: A Birder's Guide to Planning North American Trips

Jerry A Cooper

Published November 1995. How to see almost all of North America's birds in just a year.

It's a rare birder whose desire to travel around to see new species of birds doesn't far outweigh their knowledge about how to do just that. We've all wound up at great-looking refuges and seashores which are completely quiet and empty. Did we go during the wrong time of day? the wrong time of month? the wrong season of the year??? We just don't know, and what's more, we don't know how to find the answers!

Fortunately, for birders, the birds themselves are creatures of habit. Their movements during migration and their location during breeding season and even winter is fairly predictable, given the vagaries of weather. We can find birds in satisfying concentrations if we have both the information about where they are likely to be and when to expect them to be there. Pulling together all that information is a big job, but publication of this book made it a whole lot easier!

Jerry Cooper gives every travelling birder a head-start by outlining 19 birding trips - several for each season of the year. If you have unlimited time, you can follow the whole itinerary, trip after trip. Most of us will pick and choose to suit the times we're free to travel. We'll purchase the local birding guides listed for each chapter and do our homework before we leave home - just to make sure that we don't miss any of the really great spots. We'll read about the specialities and the more common birds of the regions we'll be visiting - they're all listed in this guide. We'll consider the suggestions for best means of transportation, handy accommodation, and campgrounds. And those of us who are birding on a budget will appreciate Jerry's assessments of what each trip will cost. The planning guide is a companion to regular birdfinding guides.

Do the 19 trips cover all of the best birding spots in North America? No, so you'll find an additional Baker's Dozen in a special chapter. Take a look at the following lists to see if they don't make your feet start itching to get on the road!

The Birding Trips

Northern and Central California in Winter

Oklahoma in Winter

North-eastern Minnesota in Winter

Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas

South Florida in Winter

Early Spring in Colorado

Texas in Springtime

Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas

Coastal North Carolina

Late Spring in South-eastern Arizona


June in Minnesota and North Dakota

Summer in Colorado

West Texas

Western Washington and SW British Columbia

Late Summer in South-eastern Arizona

Central and Southern California

The Baker's Dozen

The Klamath Basin, California/Oregon

The Platte River, Nebraska

Point Pelee, Ontario

North-Central Michigan

St. Louis, Missouri

Churchill, Manitoba

North-western Wyoming

Grand Manan and Machias Seal Island

North-Central Utah

The Delaware Bayshore

Cape May, New Jersey

Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania

Coastal Massachusetts

Birdfinder has a very special chart, showing Key, Probable, Possible, and Remotely Possible species on each of the 19 birding trips. Each chapter has a map, which often has one or more inset maps to highlight certain areas.

From a review of Birdfinder: A Birder's Guide to Planning North American Trips

"A truly novel concept and admirable follow-through distinguish this practical companion to regular birdfinding guides. Cooper's hard work eliminates the guesswork. . ."

 - Bird Watcher's Digest

376 pages.

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