Bird Identification Resources

Birding books and field guides are numerous and available at your library or bookstore. Many are specific to New Mexico or the Southwest or West region, which is the most helpful. Some are based on bird photographs and others on detailed drawings. You should explore them and find one that is right for you.

There are also many websites and smart phone apps for bird identification. Most contain photos or drawings of birds, as well as bird sounds for identification. Most are offered free of charge and all have instruction and support pages to help you learn how to use them.

National Audubon Society On-line Bird Guide

Cornell Lab of Ornithology On-line Bird Guide

What’s This Bird Facebook group (American Birding Association)

Birding New Mexico Facebook group

Click the link for a PDF of the Bird Watching Guide for Albuquerque produced by the Albuquerque Urban Bird Coalition.

Note: Some smartphone apps are sponsored by organizations free of charge but require creating a free account, while other apps are sold through app stores for a fee. Individual smartphones may or may not have sufficient storage capacity for complex apps.

National Audubon Society birding app

Merlin bird ID app
Download from your phone’s app store

Sibley bird ID app
Download from your phone’s app store

Bird sounds

Birds can often be identified by their song or call. The birding apps and websites listed above contain recordings of bird sounds to help with identification. There are also other on-line resources:

Documenting your observations and viewing local sightings

There are several resources where you can note and document the birds you see. The sightings entered contribute to Citizen Science programs to help us understand how bird populations are changing over time. You can also use the tools just to learn what other birders are seeing in your area, without actually contributing your sightings. (Please see the note above regarding smartphone apps.)

National Audubon Society birding app

eBird website and smart phone app
Download the eBird app from your phone’s app store


Birding New Mexico Facebook page

Binocular Guide

Birding can be enjoyed with just your eyes and ears, but some enjoy zooming in with binoculars. The National Audubon Society has a helpful webpage about binoculars if you choose to purchase a pair.

National Audubon Society Binocular Guide

Free on-line lectures, seminars and articles

Several national organizations offer abundant on-line resources for birders to learn more about birds and birding and enhance their birding experience.

National Audubon Society

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

American Birding Association