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Old 09-07-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Manassas Park
66 posts, read 150,113 times
Reputation: 23
Default Bird, Animal and Insect Books for NOVA/VA

Hi all,

We moved here about a year ago and have noticed differences in the wildlife around here versus what we had in Indianapolis and before that in Tacoma.

Can someone recommend some guidebooks on birds, other animals and insects for NOVA or maybe just the mid-Atlantic region?

I'd like to have them sitting near our backyard window so that we can open them up quickly and identify our new neighbors.

My main criteria for the books is that they are local enough to be relevant and easy enough to use to get to pictures with short descriptions in them. The books do not need to be in-depth about each animal, just the basics.

Thanks to all for your ideas,

Dan
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Orange Hunt Estates, W. Springfield
628 posts, read 1,034,911 times
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Visit one of the county nature centers. I bet they can recommend references. They also have walking field trips in their environs to point out and discuss local nature. For example, near me in Springfield is the Hidden Pond nature center.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Manassas Park
66 posts, read 150,113 times
Reputation: 23
statecollege,

That's a great idea.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:11 PM
 
64 posts, read 96,043 times
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Our you can always peruse your local library's selection...That is what my wife and I did for birds when we put our feeders up so we could figure out what the local birds will dine on and what type of feeders to use for what we want.

Jim
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Manassas Park
66 posts, read 150,113 times
Reputation: 23
Jim,

That's where I started. My problem was that there was so much variety that I couldn't decide on one.

My hope was to get recommendations here. I've asked neighbors and co-workers, but they all are from somewhere else and don't know.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Manassas Park
66 posts, read 150,113 times
Reputation: 23
Jim,

BTW- What birdseed/feeders did you decide on? The birdseed I've used so far all have too much sunflower seed which no bird seems to want. So I have small sunflower farms under both of my feeders.

Dan
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
282 posts, read 527,868 times
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For birds, I've used Roger Tory Peterson's "Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America" for about 35 years and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Great reference tool for the backyard birder.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:36 PM
 
64 posts, read 96,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansuz1 View Post
Jim,

BTW- What birdseed/feeders did you decide on? The birdseed I've used so far all have too much sunflower seed which no bird seems to want. So I have small sunflower farms under both of my feeders.

Dan
Sunflower seeds are the major hit at our place...We have a tube feeder that is filled with mix seed (millet, corn, sunflower, milo) and I made a covered tray feeder with straight oily black sunflower.

Odd that nothing seems to like your sunflower seeds because they are a hit here (even with grackles and doves -- ). With the sunflower seeds we get american goldfinches, house finches, purple finches, cardinals, titmice, downy woodpeckers, chickadees,nuthatches, red bellied woodpecker, carolina wren, house sparrows, grackles, mourning doves, and squirrels. Less eat at the tube feeder but we keep it loaded because it is good for overflow of birds. We had a problem with the doves dive bombing the other birds so I built a tray feeder with a roof that is harder for the doves to get under which is sort of has mixed results.

It did take a couple of weeks for birds to start coming to the feeders but now they come in force and will go through approximately two 32 oz cups of sunflower seeds a day if we fill it (it's going to get expensive). Right now seems to be the time for the young birds to be venturing from their nests and we have started having young cardinals come with their father or mother and it is cute to watch them eat and chirp and sometimes have their parent feed them.

Also, check out these sites for birds:

Common Birds in Fairfax County*- Fairfax County, Virginia

http://anr.ext.wvu.edu/r/download/48157

http://www.pwconserve.org/wildlife/birds/index.html

Jim
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
258 posts, read 293,626 times
Reputation: 68
I've got a nice laminated foldout that I got at Wild Birds Unlimited. My local store has since closed, but there's one on Harrison Avenue in Lee Harrison center in Arlington.

I have a no-mess blend which includes sunflower seeds (cardinal favorites as well as others), a finch feeder w/thistle and whole peanuts for the bluejays (and chipmunk and squirrels in moderation). I wish I had sunflowers and have never seen our doves get aggressive, but I guess they're burb birds!

We also have a Cooper's hawk that occasionally visits, but I try not to encourage his feeding habits .. he's on his own.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 13,827,372 times
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Meadowlark Gardens has an excellent library of local garden books, and as I recall they have a few on local insects, too. The library is one of those resources few people notice. During Spring/Summer/Fall you have to pay park admission to get to it, but in the winter it's open for free. I sometimes like to go there on a winter's day and just enjoy perusing through the collection.
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