Birding is a wonderful way to spend time outdoors and reap the health benefits of nature. Presently, over 47 million people in the United States consider themselves birders. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned birder, and whether you stay in your own yard or you adventure out, be sure to check out these helpful birding resources. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the health benefits of being in nature and birding, please contact Laura Stanton, our Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator (and self-identified bird nerd). She has written the following articles and resources on this topic:

Children's Books About Birds and Birding Image 

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Field Guides

The Division of Wildlife is pleased to provide quality teaching aids about Ohio’s wildlife and backyard wildlife. Here are ODNR educational resources specifically about birds in Ohio. 

National Birding Organizations

Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
Dedicated to advancing the understanding and protection of the natural world, the Cornell Lab joins with people from all walks of life to make new scientific discoveries, share insights, and galvanize conservation action.

National Audubon Society
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.

Birdability
Through education, outreach, and advocacy, Birdability works to ensure the birding community and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, safe, and accessible for everybody. We focus on people with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, chronic illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, and those who are neurodivergent, deaf or hard of hearing, or who have other health concerns. In addition to current birders, we strive to introduce birding to people with disabilities and other health concerns who are not yet birders so they too can experience the joys of birding.

Birding Citizen Science Projects

  • Great Backyard Bird Count
    Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.
  • Project Feeder Watch
    Project FeederWatch turns your love of feeding birds into scientific discoveries. FeederWatch is a November-April survey of birds that visit backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. You don’t even need a feeder! Count your birds for as long as you like on days of your choosing, then enter your counts online. Your counts allow you to track what is happening to birds around your home and contribute to a continental data-set of bird distribution and abundance.
  • Christmas Bird Count
    Audubon's Christmas Bird Count occurs from December 14 to January 5 every year and is the nation's longest-running community science bird project. This is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada (where Audubon partners with Birds Canada), and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds. 
  • Celebrate Urban Birds
    Celebrate Urban Birds strives to co-create bilingual inclusive, equity-based community science projects that serve communities that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from birding, conservation, and citizen science. 
  • NestWatch
    NestWatch is a nationwide nest-monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds. Participating in NestWatch is easy and anyone can do it.

Free Birding Apps

Merlin Bird ID
Merlin Bird ID helps you identify birds with ease. You’ll get personalized results of birds to expect based on the time of year and your location or your choice of regions around the world, including a digital field guide with more than 80,000 photos and sounds, plus maps, and ID tips!

Audubon Bird Guide App
The Audubon Bird Guide is a complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you’ve seen, and get outside to find new birds near you.

eBird
eBird began with a simple idea—that every birdwatcher has unique knowledge and experience. Our goal is to gather this information in the form of checklists of birds, archive it, and freely share it to power new data-driven approaches to science, conservation, and education.