Lucky for us Chicagoans, spring is a wonderful time to observe birds returning to the Midwest after being away all winter. With these resources, you don't have to be an expert to start identifying birds in your own backyard. Remember, every birder has to start somewhere!
Here are some articles to help you get started. They're available through CPL's Online Resources, but I've also indicated if they're available freely on the web.
"How to Start Birding in Any U.S City" by Georgia Silvera Seamans
Popular Science, March 18, 2020 (also available on the Popular Science website)
This is a good how-to guide for absolute beginner birders.
"You Have No Choice But to Become a Backyard Birder - A Guide for How to Start Engaging with the Most Accessible and Most Delightful Nature Out There" by Nicholas Lund
Slate, March 28, 2020 (also available on the Slate website)
Lund lists different strategies to work into your routine and for making your backyard more hospitable to birds.
"The Different Types of Birdfeeders"
Williston Daily Herald, April 3 2020
Thinking of attracting birds to your backyard? Here are some ideas about what types of birdfeeders work best for your lifestyle.
"'The Sandhills are Coming!': Big, Bugling Cranes are Returning to Local Skies, Sparking Spring Fever in Winter-Weary Chicagoans" by Nara Schoenburg
Chicago Tribune, March 21, 2020 (also available on the Chicago Tribune website)
Chicago residents are excited for the return of sandhill cranes to the region. This article mentions some specific Illinois resources to connect with other birders.
"Bird Watching Can Help Your Mental Health" by University of Exeter
News Letter, January 30, 2020
In a recent study by the University of Exeter, birdwatching was found to reduce stress and help mental health.
Interested in reading more? Check out our list of eBooks about birds.
There are many free birding apps, but my favorite is the Audubon app from the National Audubon Society. Use it to help with bird identification and track a digital "life list" of the birds you've seen. Now, go forth and bird!