A clearinghouse for all things avian, this Iowa-based site offers folksy charm along with bird stories, equipment recommendations (affordable binoculars and bird cams), guest photos and a free newsletter.
The world-renowned organization's web site has a new look and feel that's at once welcoming and incredibly educational. Learn fundamental tips in "Birding Basics," and even sign up for a bird-watching excursion (upcoming hotspots are Anchorage, Winnipeg and Bozeman). You also can monitor the latest in habitat issues across North America.
Want to leave your neck of the woods for a lush expanse of green? Bird Treks offers trips in places that are the bird-watching equivalent of Disney World, including Southeast Arizona, Big Bend, Texas, South Florida and Delaware Bay. International trips are on their agenda, too. (One other great source, especially for national park tours: gorp.away.com, just type in "bird-watching trips.")
Once you can talk the talk, join any number of bird-watching clubs in your region—this site is your connection. Also, don't miss the online forums, where you can learn from pros and amateurs alike.