Birds of North America
Birds of North America is a comprehensive encyclopedia--save for the significant omission of Mexico, which is geographically part of North America--with substantial articles about each individual bird species.
It was first published as a series of 716 printed booklets, prepared by over 5000 individual researchers, and made available in no particular order from 1992 through 2003. Individual booklets were widely used by hobbyists, but presented obvious difficulties to libraries. The list of species was based on Checklist of Birds of North America, 7th ed., American Ornithologists' Union. 1998.
It is now available as an on-line resource, including sound and video content, produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University, the leading US research center in its subject, and the American Ornithologists' Union, the major US national professional society, as : Birds of North America online. Alan F.Poole is the Senior Managing Editor. Access is by subscription, available for institutional subscribers at a price depending on the nature and size of the institution, but fortunately also to individual subscribers at a much lower rate. In 2006 there were over 2000 individual birders and researchers subscribers, and over 100 academic and public libraries.
The material given includes "comprehensive scientific information for over 700 species of birds nesting in the USA and Canada. It includes image and video galleries showing behaviors, habitat, nests, eggs, and nestlings, as well as recordings of bird songs and calls selected from the collection in Cornell’s Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds." UCLA Biomedical Library
The information, in a consistent format, is sometimes fuller than any other available description and the material is being continually supplemented by additional media files. There is a freely available list of species.
(There are also a number of other unrelated field guides of the same title.)
- Birds Of North America (Usage Tool) by the US Geological Survey Library
- Fifth Annual Reader's Choice Awards, 2005
- Birds Online Is No Turkey from Library Journal
- Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, published by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, January 2006, "Outstanding academic title"