Did you get a shiny new e-reader, tablet, or phone for Christmas this year? Then I’ve got a list for you of some of the best gardening and birding apps and e-books that you’ll want to check out right away!
Birds & Blooms
Did you know you can receive digital editions of Birds & Blooms and Birds & Blooms Extra? Have the latest issue on hand whether you’re home in your own garden or out and about. Click here for details.
- Sibley Birds of North America. Leave the bulky field guide at home and download this app instead. It includes all the photos and info you love from the guide, plus sound recordings and the ability to see if a bird is likely to be spotted in your area.
- Merlin Bird ID. Answer five simple questions and the Merlin app provides instant suggestions using the 400 most common birds of North America – and it’s free!
- eBird Mobile. Recording and reporting your field observations is easier than ever with the updated eBird app. Check the boxes and submit your report when you’re done – so simple.
- Audubon Wildflowers. Need help identifying a gorgeous wildflower growing along the side of the road? Wondering if that new volunteer plant that popped up in your garden is native or not? Check this app for help and info about hundreds of North American wildflower species.
- Audubon Butterflies. Get info on North American butterflies and check to see which ones you can expect to find in your own garden.
Tip: Check your local library to see if e-lending is available. If so, chances are good you’ll be able to find a lot of these e-books available to borrow for free, from home, while drinking tea in your comfy chair. (If you happen to live near me in the Tampa, Florida area, check out this list of great nature-related books available from the Hillsborough County Public Library system.)
- The Big, Bad Book of Botany, Michael Largo. Get interesting and little known-facts about plants you probably encounter on a regular basis, and learn about rare and unusual plants you may never have heard of before.
- A Gardener’s Latin, Richard Bird. Love to talk about plants with fellow gardeners, but intimidated by Latin names? This book will help you understand why it’s important to know and use them, and how to feel more comfortable with unfamiliar terms.
- Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Douglass W. Tallamy. Learn how to make your home garden an oasis for birds, butterflies, and more by incorporating native plants suited to your ecosystem.
- H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald. In this memoir, author Macdonald tells the story of how training a goshawk in the ancient art of falconry helped her deal with the overwhelming grief of her father’s death.
- A Siege of Bitterns, Steve Burrows. Love murder mysteries? This one jumbles together untimely local celebrity deaths with birders, life lists, and the quest to save endangered marshland in England. It’s the beginning of a series, so if you enjoy it, you can look for more by this author in the future.
- The Singing Life of Birds, Donald Kroodsma. This is the kind of e-book that really makes electronic editions come to life. Learn the stories of how and why birds’ songs exist, and then listen to them in the embedded audio files.