European Robin

European Robin

When designing for wildlife research into a specific animals life history is essential. Fortunately for many animals there are more and more resources all the time, especially online. Birds have long been focused on as a recreational hobby and that benefits everyone because we are able to learn more with so many people in tune and observing all the time. One of these fantastic resources is produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in partnership with American Ornithologists’ Union and is a thorough resource on the life history of birds. It’s called the Birds of North America Online and unfortunately it is a subscription site so you have to pay to access the full content. Luckily it’s a very reasonable price. Here in Seattle we can get free access to the website through the public library with our library account, so it’s worth checking out at your public library as well.

The Birds of North America has a life history for all North American birds including; markings, physical traits, distribution and range, migration, feeding habits, breeding, habitat, conservation, demography, behavior and more. Also beneficial are huge lists of references for further reading and study. Additionally, each bird contains a series of photographs, diagrams or graphs, audio of calls and range maps.

Also available from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the free and well designed, but less detailed All About Birds.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.
Kelly Brenner
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