Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By Joanne Mengel 

It just amazes me how fast the seasons change in Wisconsin. Hard to believe today is the first day of Fall. In the blink of an eye summer is winding down and we are starting to see the subtle signs of the coming fall season. One of the first signs for me is the sights and sounds of migrating birds. First it was the sandhill cranes, and now the geese are honking and gathering in the fields in preparation for their long journey south. Look to the skies and chances are you will see (and hear) migrating birds. Ever wonder what triggers our feathered friends to begin their journey south? We have books and dvds that can help with that. I put together a few titles to get you started. 


Audubon videoguide to 505 birds of North America (598.097 Au29)

Two DVDs describe each of 505 species that reliably breed in North America north of Mexico. A narrated description provides detailed identification information and computer-drawn maps clearly communicate breeding and wintering ranges. 

Counting on birds : tales of migration (598.1568 C832)

Meet other people passionate about birds including a bird-song expert, an artist, a sanctuary guide, and a prison inmate. Meet people dedicated to saving  migratory birds.

Winged Migration (598.1568 Winged)

Three years of shooting were needed by five teams in order to follow bird migrations flying over the seven continents: from one pole to another.


How to know the birds : the art & adventure of birding (598.0723 Floyd 2019)

Author Ted Floyd guides us through a year of becoming a better birder, each species representing another useful lesson: from explaining scientific nomenclature to noting how plumage changes with age, from chronicling migration patterns to noting hatchling habits.

The homing instinct : meaning & mystery in animal migration (591.568 H364)

Heinrich explores the fascinating science chipping away at the mysteries of animal migration: how geese imprint true visual landscape memory; how scent trails are used by many creatures, from fish to insects to amphibians, to pinpoint their home if they are displaced from it; and how the tiniest of songbirds are equipped for solar and magnetic orienteering over vast distances. 

How birds migrate (598.1568 K457)

In this revised and updated edition, Paul Kerlinger unravels the intricacies of bird migration. Using case studies and illustrations, he explains the basics of flight, the effects of weather and geographical barriers, and flight strategy. Readers will learn how fast and how high birds fly, how far they go in a day, and how they navigate. This fascinating guide on bird migration makes the latest scientific findings available to birders and nature-lovers alike.

1001 secrets every birder should know : [tips and trivia for the backyard and beyond] (598.0723 St59 2013)

Offers facts about a variety of birds, including physical characteristics, habitats, and eating habits; and shares identification tips, migration patterns, and birding vacation spots.

The Sibley guide to birds (598.097 Si11g 2014)

Expanded text includes habitat information and voice description for every species and more tips on finding birds in the field. More than 600 new paintings, including illustrations of 115 rare species and additional paintings of common species and regional populations. More than 700 updated maps of ranges, showing winter, summer, year-round, migration, and rare ranges.

Peterson reference guide to bird behavior (598.15 Kricher 2020)

A fascinating look at what birds do and why they do it with sections on:  Learning to Watch Birds Behave -- On Being a Bird: Anatomy and Physiology -- A Perspective on Bird Behavior -- A Bird's Brain and Senses -- Understanding Bird Diversity -- The Annual Cycle of Birds -- Feathers and Flight, and Migratory Behavior.

A world on the wing : the global odyssey of migratory birds (New Nonfiction -  568.1568 Weidensaul 2021)

An exhilarating exploration of the science and wonder of global bird migration. In the past two decades, our understanding of bird migration-the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, to go weeks without sleep, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch.

Online resource

Another great resource for Wisconsin bird migration is the Department of Natural Resources page for Birding and Bird Conservation. You can even sign up for birding reports! Click on this link:

Joanne Mengel works in the FDL Public Library Reference department.