June Is for Bird Watching

In Missouri, May is a big month for birding as enthusiasts try to see migrants passing through in their spring plumage. But what’s a birder to do once May and spring migration are over?

While June may not be the time to add more species to your birding list, it is an excellent time to watch the birds around you. Bird watching mostly requires curiosity. Binoculars are helpful. The rewards are limitless.

How to Know the Birds by Ted Floyd book coverHow to Know the Birds,” by Ted Floyd is great place to start (or continue) your foray into bird watching. Floyd’s focus is on helping readers grow their birding habit. Through short vignettes he shares details about bird life and new ways to focus your birding inquiries. The essays are delightful, concise and crammed full rich details about the lives of birds.

St. Louis-based biologist,  Joan Strassmann, emphasizes the joys of birding wherever you are in, “Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard.” Her book is filled with colorful stories and insights about common North American birds. Slow Birding book cover

One of the best ways to enhance your observations or change how you see things is to draw them. “Drawing Birds,” by John Busby, provides tips and inspiration on how to capture birds on the page.

If you really start to look around you’re going to find eggshells, nests, feathers. Pick up a guide like “Bird Feathers” by David S. Scott or “Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds” for help identifying these tokens.

Birdgirl book coverFor those of us still craving the thrill of adding species to our lists, “Birdgirl” by Mya-Rose Craig, is the best of all worlds. In this memoir, Craig recounts her life so far (she’s still in her early 20s) as an international birder. Growing up with bird crazy parents, she had her first ‘big year’ at 5 years old. She has traveled the world racking up thousands of species to her life list. But what makes this book so special is the marriage between stories of birds and their lives with story of her life. It’s a book about family, environmental and social justice, growing up and loving birds — just to name a few.

A complete list of Bird Watching recommendations can be found here.

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