by Don Roberson
For the Monterey Bay area: First, there is a lot of stuff on THIS site if you've not seen it: start  HERE
    For Monterey Bay Pelagic Trips
    • Monterey Bay Whalewatch offers excellent Monterey Seabirds trips seasonally. There are often many choice trips in late summer and fall, going to various offshore destinations, and assorted trips at other times of year. All trips led by local seabird experts, and you can make on-line reservations. Leaves from Monterey's fisherman's wharf; best value in the business.
    • In addition, Monterey Bay Whalewatch offers daily 6-hour trips on Monterey Bay for whales (in summer-fall, sev. times a week in winter-spring); these can be very good for birds (inform them you're a birder). Leaves from Monterey harbor , usually with skipper Richard Ternullo, the best local boat captain. Full information and on-line reservations are accessed through their web site; there are also good pages there on cetacean research projects in Monterey Bay.
    • Shearwater Journeys offers full-day pelagic bird trips, some from Monterey, on some weekends in fall (and occasionally at other seasons).

    For Elkhorn Slough pontoon trips & private tours  

    Important local organizations:

For California:
the fundamental starting point is Joe Morlan's California birding site [information on birding each California county, a monthly photo quiz, lots of rarity photos and descriptions, a gallery of other interesting photos, identification bibliography, and more! Highly recommended.]
    For California bird photos:
    • California rarity photos on the CBRC site [a collection of State rarities from a wide variety of photographers]
    • Bill Hill's site [a local Carmel photographer with some fine photos taken around Carmel, and sometimes elsewhere in Monterey County]
    • Jeff Poklen's site [Santa Cruz photographer with many outstanding shots from Monterey Bay]
    • John Sorensen's site [outstanding birds and mammals, mostly California, but also Wyoming, Texas, and east Africa; local Monterey Co. photographer]
    • Peter LaTourrette's site [outstanding photos of many common California birds, esp. in Bay Area, but also a fine collection of Hawaiian specialties]
    • Tom Grey's site [nice set of digiscoped and other images from S.F. Bay Area and elsewhere in western U.S.]
    • Dave Furseth's site [some fine shots from southern California]
    • Monte & Christopher Taylor's site [high quality shots of North American and Japanese birds]

For the World:
up-to-date, interactive, and constantly evolving distributional information for all birds worldwide is available on eBird, where you can also enter your own data to add to the world's most important bird database.

Another favorite site is It is jointly operated by a group of birders in England and California; it emphasizes i.d. issues of interest to Europeans and North Americans, and has a lot more (interesting sketchbook, photo essays, trip reports. I particularly like the interactive Listing pages — you can keep all your lists there and compare with others in a wide variety of categories, from World list to your local patch!

An old favorite is the Worldtwitch site [new information about rare and endangered birds around the world, trip summaries to exotic locales, and a great set of links]. It was inactive for a couple of years, but seems to be up and running again with world updates, bird news, and book reviews

For photos of world birds: Two sites are currently attempting to collect at least photo of every bird species in the world. Both sites use different family arrangements than I do on my pages but both are easy to navigate. Each has hundreds of photos so far.
  • Tina MacDonald's World Bird Index has thousands of contributed photos (including some of mine) with links to the photographer's web site or to collected sets on her own site. This is the most complete set available, and can accessed taxonomically or alphabetically or by photographer.
  • William Hull's World Bird Guide is collecting not only photos but bird sounds as well; may have more sounds than photos so far, but photos include many from Hans & Judy Beste's collection.
For photos of Asian birds:
  • The Oriental Bird Images site has an unsurpassed collection of photos from Asia; it's maintained by Krys Kazmierczak for the Oriental Bird Club
  • Paul Huang's Naturestops site is also filled with fabulous shots of Malaysia (including much of Borneo) & Singapore birds
For trip reports:

The "Travelling Birding" site has an extensive list of Internet trip reports arranged by country and sorted chronologically from the newest to the oldest. Americans should not be put off by the old "Eurobirding" name -- the site has links to trip reports around the world (including all of mine... ahem) and an easy-to-use "search" engine. They've now changed their name to fit their site.

The following personal sites also have fine trip reports for independent world birders:

In addition, many of the sites with collections of links (see bottom of this page) have extensive links to trip reports
For local guide service at prime world birding locales:
In northeast Australia, Hans & Judy Beste — well-known photographers and prior owners of Ptiloris, a birders' bed & breakfast — are available to act as guides to difficult birds for serious single birders or couples: email them here.

In Uganda, we booked our entire trip with Hassan Mutebi, and he proved to be a great guide/driver with his own tour company: Access Uganda Tours.

In India, we booked our entire trip through Raj Singh and his company Exotic Journeys; we had a perfect trip. email Raj Singh here.

In Malaysia, we booked our entire trip through Kingfisher Tours and the whole trip was flawless: email them here.

For the U.S., try the Virtual Birder [fun on-line "virtual tours" of famous birding site  allow you to test your skills]

Other personal web sites that I especially admire for their photos and content are:

Greg Lasley's bird site [a great collection of outstanding photos from around the world, including Africa, Caribbean, Antarctica; also lots of information on Texas rarities with a good collection of Texas rarity photos. One of my favorites!]

Vladimir Dinets' site [fabulous pages on searching out wildlife (including birds) around the world. Born in Russia, Vladimir has visited more of Siberia, Mongolia, and China than anyone could imagine, and all with very little money. This is the most adventurous personal site I have ever seen -- just incredible stories! I am extremely impressed with his Wild cats of the world; he has seen 28 species so far, and photographed many of them! ]

Arthur Grosset's site [outstanding set of photos, many of rarely photographed species from the Neotropics]

Cagan Sekercioglu's site [another great collection of outstanding photos from around the world; Cagan is from Turkey but is now a Stanford grad student who has done research in Uganda & Costa Rica. He has also seen all but nine of the world's families of birds, and has photographed some really great birds & mammals]

For mammals:

Jon Hall's Mammal Watching web site is the world's premier web resource for finding mammals around the world

And for herps:

John Sullivan's site Wild Herps is a personal life list with loads of photos and tips on finding herps around the world; superb!

An essential site for California is Gary Nafis's "California Herps" with photos, maps, and information on all the reptiles & amphibians of the Golden State

Eitan Grunwald "Herp Trips" is full of photos and stories from across the United States and sometimes elsewhere; he has an excellent set of links to other herp sites

Search for amphibian data around the world at U.C. Bekeley's AmphibiaWeb site

For world sites with bird-finding information, contacts, or tours, try:
For Antarctica, the Cheeseman Ecology Safari tours offer "maximum time in the field" with small groups aboard impressive shipts

For Peru, the lodges and guides offered by Rainforest Expeditions (including a lodge at Tambopata Nature Reserve)

A Birding Israel site is a great starting point for that Middle East location.

A good start for Australia is Lloyd Nielsen's 'Birding Australia' site, and for southwest Australia, Frank O'Connor's site is exceptional

For Puerto Rico, a good book and CD with photos, not generally available, can be ordered on line at this link: Puerto Rican Birds.

Tina MacDonald's Where Do You Want to Go Birding Today has links to many locality websites worldwide.

For bird identification:

Specialty gull identification sites:
Martin Reid's site [some good stuff on gulls and various difficult birds from Texas and elsewhere, but an unexpectedly varied collection of photos of neotropical birds and insects]

Robert H. Lewis' site [emphasis of East Coast but also good collection from Japan]

Greg Gillson's 'Gulls of the Pacific Northwest' [Oregon/Washington with good photos of hybrid/introgressant gulls]

Specialty seabird sites:

Angus Wilson's ocean wanderers [had an early emphasis on western Atlantic trips and links to pelagic trip providers, with bird quizzes, but now expanded to cover the world's oceans with a lot of seabird photos, and a list of world seabirds. A fabulous resource]

Brian Patteson's site [Gulf Stream pelagics off North Carolina & vicinity; good shots and super rarities plus up-coming boat trip info]

Tony Pym's site [mostly subantarctic and Antarctic species]

Specialty hummingbird i.d. sites:

Van Remsen's Hum Net is an excellent starting point for lots of North American hummingbird topics, including their chat line

Tips on Selasphorus hummer are on Mike Patterson's page [esp. good for breeding birds near overlap zone in Oregon]

Photos of California hummers, including nests and young, are on Wayne Owen's Humabout site; more shots of nests and adults of a wider selection of hummers is on Joshua Fall's site

Specialty owl sites are: [a very fine site with tons of great photos and information on virtually all Nearctic and Central American owl]

The Owl Pages [a site originating out of Australia, bringing together fine photos of owls around the globe]

Some very important organizational sites:
Handbook of the Birds of the World

Neotropical Bird Club

African Bird Club

Oriental Bird Club

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Earthplatform is very useful for general environmental information
Other fine collections of links are:


Links last updated 8 July 2012