Field Guides By

On Our Website: Video Podcasts!

Richly illustrated with paintings, photographs, and sound recordings of featured birds, these video podcasts are an entertaining and educational supplement to the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America. You may view and download three hours of podcasts from our web site. Choose from the cateogries below:

Family Overviews Species Profiles Biography Tutorials

Birding Resources

September, October, November

The falling temperatures of autumn lead to a large southbound push of birds. Starting with shorebirds and passerines, and followed by raptors and waterfowl, millions and millions of birds head south to warmer climes to spend the winter.

Eared Grebe concentrations on Mono Lake in California
In September, hundreds of thousands of Eared Grebes gather at Mono Lake before continuing their fall migration.

Tree Swallow migration in New England
Through the month of September, Tree Swallows can be found by the thousands in bayberry patches along the southern New England coast. Some spots to look for these concentrations include Block Island and Little Compton, Rhode Island, and Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts. The record regional concentration was the more than 300,000 seen in the Elizabeth Islands, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1994.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration through Rockport, Texas
By mid-September large numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be seen at patches of turk's cap and lantana, and perched on beach grasses and barbed-wire fences. The Rockport Hummer/Bird festival takes place during this period.

Broad-winged Hawk migration at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, Duluth, Minnesota
Most raptors avoid long passages over water. When migrating Broad-winged Hawks (and other species) reach the shore of Lake Superior they fly southwest in order to go around the lake. This means they fly right over Hawk Ridge and the town of Duluth, Minnesota. Hawk watching begins in mid-August and continues until sometime in November. The most abundant raptor is the Broad-winged Hawk; approximately 50,000 individuals pass through the area in mid-September. Also present in large numbers during September are Sharp-shinned Hawks; more than 15,000 of this small accipiter were counted during the fall of 1995.

Black-bellied Plovers in Massachusetts
From mid- to late September several thousand adult and juvenile Black-bellied Plovers can be seen passing through Monomoy, Massachusetts, and other sites along the state's coast.

Broad-winged Hawk migration through Corpus Christi, Texas
One of the best spots to watch fall Broad-winged Hawk migration is from Hazel Bazemore County Park near Corpus Christi, Texas. Between September 20 and 22 it may be possible to see 100,000 Broad-winged Hawks a day at this site.

Blue Jays migrating across Lake Ontario
In late September large numbers of Blue Jays pass over Holiday Beach in southern Ontario (near Windsor). In 1994, more than 65,000 Blue Jays were seen on one day.

Largest known concentration of Turkey Vultures during migration in the United States and Canada
Between 1,000 and 4,000 Turkey Vultures are sighted daily during the last week of September and the first week of October just south of Weldon, California. Up to thirteen species of raptors are also seen. The Kern Valley Vulture Festival is held to celebrate the migration of these birds.

Snow Goose migration near Quebec City, Quebec
The fall Snow Goose migration at Cap-Tourmente and Montmagny, Quebec, can be spectacular. Up to 100,000 birds can be seen at once and up to 500,000 are in the area.

Northern Flickers mass into large flocks before migrating south
In early October, Northern Flickers gather in flocks along the Northeastern coastline before heading south. Birders in Connecticut have seen as many as 6,000 in one day!

Tundra Swans in Saskatchewan
The mid-October Tundra Swan numbers can be truly impressive in Saskatchewan. More than 15,000 have been counted in one day at Luck Lake, and more than 2,000 have been counted at Eagle and Namaka Lakes.

Your best chance to see Emperor Goose
A few Emperor Geese are found along the West Coast of the United States each winter. To see large numbers of this species a mid-October trip to Izembek Lagoon in Alaska is in order. More than 5,000 Emperor Geese will stage in this lagoon before continuing their fall migration.

Flocks of Pine Siskins can be quite impressive
Do you like Pine Siskins? More than 18,000 Pine Siskins were counted at Tadoussac, Quebec, from October 25 to 27, 1994.

In early November check out Kiptopeke, Virginia, for large migrating flocks of songbirds
Like Cape May in New Jersey, Kiptopeke on the eastern shore of Virginia also acts as a migratory funnel. On November 6, 1994, more than 36,000 American Robins were counted passing overhead.

Congregating geese in Vermont
More than 10,000 Snow Geese congregate in the Champlain Valley in Vermont in early November. Careful study of the flocks might yield a Ross' Goose, rare in that area.

Passage of Bonaparte's Gulls from Quebec to the Atlantic
From early November through early December watch for Bonaparte's Gulls migrating along the Richelieu River in southern Quebec. Thousands of Bonaparte's Gulls may use the Richelieu River to migrate to Lake Champlain and then the ocean.

Impressive flocks of Tundra Swans in the Midwest and West
In mid-November, Tundra Swans build up along Long Point, Ontario, where 1,000–2,000 may be seen. Even more impressive is the migration near La Crosse, Wisconsin, where close to 5,000 may be seen. Farther west, large flocks of more than 16,000 may be seen at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah.

Canada Geese in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is also the place to go to see Canada Geese. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge has between 100,000 and 200,000 by mid-November.

Diving ducks gather on the northern Mississippi River
By mid-November, hundreds of thousands of Canvasback and other diving ducks gather along the Mississippi River at Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

One of the many good places to see migrating Sandhill Cranes
Large flocks of southbound Sandhill Cranes pass through Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas. High counts in mid-November of up to 70,000 in one day have been reported.

Oldsquaws in New Brunswick
Also in mid-November, look for flocks of Oldsquaws off of Pt. Escuminac, New Brunswick. In 1994, more than 11,000 Oldsquaws were seen there.

Red-Breasted Mergansers on Lake Erie
Thousands of Red-breasted Mergansers migrate along the Lake Erie shore at Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania. Over 100,000 have been found resting on the lake at this spot in late November.

Steller's Eiders can be common — in the right place . . .
From late November through early December more than 50,000 Steller's Eider have been seen staging in Izembek Lagoon, Alaska.

Ducks and geese in Missouri
In mid-November the Canada Goose numbers peak at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri, where up to 150,000 can be seen. At Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri, there might be 450,000 Snow Geese and 160,000 Mallards. These birds will stay around as long as there is open water.

Introducing the founder of our field guide series:
Roger Tory Peterson

Roger Tory Peterson, the artist, the photographer, the writer, the guide who turned the skies into a cathedral for the worship of living things ... [is] one of America's most talented men.

- PETER JENNINGS, ABC World News Tonight, recognizing Roger Tory Peterson as Person of the Week.

Learn More About Roger Tory Peterson