Key to Icons in North America

A number of resources were used to identify the ranking of the various birding "hotspots" in Canada and the United States. These included: 

    Wildbirds Top 50 Birding Hotspots

    (not available on the WWW) - "The Best Birding Locations await you throughout North America", by Paul M. Konrad. (This article first appeared in Wildbird, September, 1996). The list used in this website was taken from the Joy of Birding section of Thayer's Birds of North America CD-ROM version 2.0.

    Top 100 North American Birding Hot Spots

    If you would like to see over 100 birds in just one day, you will have to visit many different habitats. Some of North America's most famous Birding Hot Spots include a variety of habitats within a small area. These Top 100 Hot Spots were selected with the help of the members of the American Birding Association at their most recent convention in Park City, Utah. How many have you visited? This list can be accessed at Thayer's Birding website. For an updated version with more than 200 birding hot spots, click here.

    Top 50 Hot Spots in US & Canada

    (As selected by ABA members at the 1994 Minot, ND convention). This list can be accessed at the website.

Icons assigned as a ranking in these web pages reflect the quality of the birding hotspot - NOT THE QUALITY OF THE WEBSITE!!!

Icons assigned to Birding Sites mentioned in either the Wildbird or ABA Minot "Top 50" list reflect the highest ranking assigned by either list. 

        Ranked in the "Top Ten" on either one of the lists 
        Ranked Eleven to Twenty on either one of the lists 
        Ranked Twenty-one to Thirty on either one of the lists 
        Ranked Thirty-one to Forty on either one of the lists 
        Ranked Forty-one to Fifty on either one of the lists
Birding Sites mentioned only on the Thayer "Top 100" list are identified by the following: 
        Ranked in the "Top 100" - no mention on either of the other two lists
    ....Ranked in Pete Thayer's "Top 200" list - no mention on either of the other lists
This method of ranking results in far more than 10 sites ranked as "Top Ten". In addition, some birding hot-spots are referenced on more than one website. So, don't worry about too much about the numbers... anything with an icon is a GREAT place to go birding! 

This web site entailed many, many hours of research on the WWW. In addition to the many excellent birding location sites of general interest that were found, at least one reference was uncovered for every site mentioned on any one of the three reference lists provided by either Wildbird, Thayer or the ABA Minot convention. But, many birding hotspots are referenced in many places on the WWW. In selecting which site (or sites) were used as the selected link, the following rules of thumb determined the priority order of selection: 

  • A site guide written for birders by birders (or birding organization)
  • A site guide written for birders by a tourist bureau or government organization
  • A site guide written for environmentalists or scientists by a government organization
  • A site guide written for general tourists which mentions the birding features
  • An informal trip report written by a birder for other birders
  • Any site which provided either directions or a map to the birding hotspot
  • A site guide or birding itinerary written by a commercial (for profit) company, selling a tour or other service to birders
In some cases, the websites were so good that one or two (or more) references for a specific birding location were used. Some judgement was used if the higher priority source was a significantly lower quality website (amount and quality of information, navigation features of the site, etc.) than a lower priority source. 

Please provide comments via the Add or change a URL button found throughout these pages if you disagree on the choice of website for a particular birding hotspot, or your favorite "hotspot" was omitted. If there is no good website on the WWW for your favorite birding location, take up the challenge and write one! Just remember to let me know where to find it to add it to these web pages. E-mail should be directed to

Don't miss the chance to see how many of the provincial/state/national birds you can identify. These pictures are located on the left hand side of the page, beside the country/state/province name. Pause your cursor on the picture to see the bird's identification. And... can you identify the gulls in the "Where do you want to go birding today?" logo at the top of this page???  Unfortunately, the only prize for getting it right is the satisfaction of knowing you're a very good birder (or at least, you know your gulls)! Highlight the following line with your cursor for the answer.... 

Glaucous-Winged Gulls  (winter plumage)
Good Birding!

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