Four years ago, in partnership with the Highlands Center for Natural History, Jay’s Bird Barn produced a local bird identification guide titled ‘Sibley’s Birds of the Arizona Central Highlands.’ We have sold thousands of this folding guide since it was first introduced back in 2016.
We worked with a publisher in New Hampshire who has the licensing agreement to use the images and text of author and illustrator, David Sibley. Sibley is probably the foremost illustrator of field guides for identifying birds in North America. Over the years he has written and illustrated countless bird books.
With permission, we were able to hand-pick from his western field guide, images for the most common varieties of backyard birds that occur in the Arizona Central Highlands. This elevated landform where we live is sandwiched between the Sonoran Desert to the south, and the Colorado Plateau to the north, and is unique in its flora and fauna.
Our approach in creating the folding guide was intentionally very narrow. We chose to focus specifically on the most common varieties of bird species individuals would encounter in their backyard. The success of our first effort to create a bird identification guide that was specific to this region led us to embark on a new project.
Earlier this year we began to work on creating a second edition, or ‘volume II’ as we are referring to it. This second volume focuses specifically on the most common varieties of birds individuals encounter when they are out in nature—not necessarily in their yard.
For example, the first edition did not include some really common bird species that occur in the Arizona Central Highlands. Species such as a great blue heron, mallard, or coot are not birds that would typically occur in someone’s yard so we didn’t include them in the original folding guide.
I am excited to announce that our new ‘Volume II’ folding guide is now available. We just received our first shipment of 1,000 copies on Monday of this week! This edition contains 72 bird species — species you are most likely to encounter as you spend time in nature.
For example, maybe you like to hike the Prescott Circle Trail, or maybe you frequently visit some of our local lakes and walk the trails circumnavigating the lakes. Maybe you like to hike on some of the many incredible trails here in Prescott, such as the Constellation Trail, the Peavine Trail or the Centennial Trail.
This new, compact folding guide, is your perfect companion for bird identification of the species you will most likely encounter while you are out recreating away from your home.
Combining these two folding guides—one focused on backyard birds, and the other focused on the bird species you are most likely to encounter in nature—will provide you with the tools you need to identify the birds you see. As you combine these two folding guides, with a pair of binoculars, you will be all set in your quest to identify what you are seeing—at home or in the field.
Changing gears, now that we are into November you might consider taking down your hummingbird feeders if you are not seeing any activity at your feeders. This time of year you might consider replacing your hummingbird feeders with suet feeders.
On a different note, we have posted the winning pictures of the 2020 Wild Bird Photography Contest on the Jay’s Bird Barn website, as well as on the Jay’s Bird Barn FaceBook page. We congratulate our winners—their winning entries are now framed and on display until next years’ event.
Until next week, Happy Birding!
Eric Moore is the owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, with two locations in northern Arizona—Prescott and Flagstaff. Eric has been an avid birder for over 50 years. If you have questions about wild birds that you would like discussed in future articles, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.