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Birds of Wisconsin  

Wisconsin bird resources organized for a middle school language class.
Last Updated: May 8, 2012 URL: http://uwsslec.v1.libguides.com/birds6 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Welcome-Resources for Users Print Page

Using this Research Guide

This guide is intended to assist middle school language students in research native birds of Wisconsin.  The guide provides links and resources about birds and related subjects sorted into two separate category groupings.  The top row of page tabs has information and resources sorted by type of resource.  The bottom row of page tabs has the information and resources categorized into general bird groups.

Please click on the tabs across the top of this page to go to different collections of resources. Watch the videos, use the interactive sites, read the articles and see what books are available about birds.  The welcome page has a number of sections that can help simplify and improve your information seeking efforts.  Use the Google custom searches will search through only the sites that are part of the research guide to focus on sites that have already been determined to be useful for your research. 


Bird Search: Google Custom Search


This google custom search engine is designed to search websites and resources from this research guide for information you can use. It does not search the entire Internet, forcing you to many extra results.

Key Institutions That Are Essential Resources

  • National Geographic-Backyard Birding
    National Geographic has been a respected source for enthusiasts of the environment, the outdoors, and conservation for over one hundred years. This link connects to their searcheable resources on birds.
    BIRDNET offers access links to a dozen American and international institutions for bird enthusiasts and ornithologists.
  • Wisconsin Society for Ornithology
    This is one of top institutions within our state that is focused on birds and ornithology.
  • National Audubon Society
    The National Audubon Society's mission is to preserve and protect the diverse natural wonders of our nation. This link connects to a searchable list of bird species with background information about each.
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
    Cornell's Lab of Ornithology has created a large collection of resources on birds. Search for a bird by entering name, description, and keywords.

Additional Essential Resources

  • Birds of North America Online
    Birds of North America Online is another great resource created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that can be easily searched.
  • Bird Fieldguides-By eNature
    Very user-friendly fieldguide to search through for background information about numerous birds.
  • Badgerlink
    Essential database that provides access to numerous articles, magazines, journals, and other reference resources that cannot be accessed from web search engine searches like google.
  • all-birds.com
    Website effectively organized to provide basic background information about a variety of birds.
  • whatbird.com
    Searchable site that succeeds in offering basic background information about many species of birds.

National Geographic Interactive Bird Puzzles

Christmas Bird Count-Helping the Audubon Society Help Birds

Participants in the Christmas Bird Count

Used by permission of the National Audubon Society.  Copyright 2010 by National Audubon Society, Inc.


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Bird Identification Basics

Video used by permission of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "Lab of Ornithology Channel"  http://www.birds.cornell.edu/netcommunity/page.aspx?pid=1636

Share Good Bird Sites You've Found

Please click on the link below and share useful bird websites that you found during your research.


Effective Searching



Using useful searching methods is important for any research, whether you are gathering information from this research guide, through an Internet search, in a library catalog, or as part of a searcheable database such as Badgerlink.   Using the tips and techniques below when you search for information will help you find useful results and make good use of your time. 

1.     Form your research question.  Decide what your topic is and then question what about the topic you are searching for.

a-topic (the bird you are researching)

b-what you’re looking for (check the project instructions and your teacher to determine   what is expected of you)

c-combine the information from a and b into a question to guide your searches.


2.     Picking keywords to search: Break down your question to determine key terms to use as keywords or subjects for your searches.

a. example- What habitat and foods do mourning doves prefer?

b. Develop your keyword list by thinking of synonyms and alternate terms for the keywords in your research question.

 *habitat-environment, cover, vegetation, ecosystem, region

 *foods-diet, nutrition, food, plants, seeds, insects,

*mourning doves-mourning dove, dove, doves, dove family name-Columbidae, species name-Zenaida Macroura


       3. Beginning your search: Don’t limit yourself to the plan of “I’ll just google it.”  Checkout                  the variety of resources available by using this guide.  Listed below are just a few

            examples of resources to utilize:

Library Catalogs-Search the OPAC catalog for the school library on a computer workstation in the library and the MORE Online catalog that offers books from dozens of libraries that can all be picked up at Plum City’s Public Library.

Searcheable Resources on the Guide: encyclopedia.com, the Google Custom Search Engine, and a number of the websites (check the Key Resources List on this page) are excellent starting points to find background information to guide your research even further.

Databases:  Badgerlink, ipl2, EBSCO, and other databases offer access to many articles and resources that are not available through Internet search engines such as Google.


Keyword Searches

Picking keywords (see search tips above) is just one part of effective searching.    A Boolean search, where you use descriptor words such as: “and” or “or”… to narrow or combine search results 

“And”-Here are examples of keywords to combine with the bird you are researching by using the word “and”:

environment, vegetation, climate, diet, food, nutrition, size, color, range, nesting, predators, threats, flight, call,

            Example-Search:  robin and food

OR”- If you are not finding a lot of results with one keyword you may combine a search with two keywords using the word “or” to include any results for either one of the search terms.  See the example below:

            Example-Search:  pheasant or game bird


Library Subject Headings

Here are examples of subject headings to search in library catalogs, databases, and even search engines that may provide good results for your research.  As you search look at the other subjects that books and resources are organized under, write them down, and try searching under those subjects to find additional information.

Common names of birds- examples-loon, eagle, chickadee

Scientific names of birds/bird groups: examples-galliformes, falconiformes, piciformes

Common bird group names: examples-shore birds, birds of prey, songbirds

Subject strings: examples-

birds—North America







birds—field guide





US Fish & Wildlife Service Lists Birds of Concern

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