American Bird Conservancy
The mission of the American Bird Conservancy is to conserve wild bird species and their habitats throughout the Americas. The Web site contains information and a list of 500 "Globally Important Bird Areas of the U.S." Click on your state for a list of sites and links to them.
Projects for the Birder's Garden
Subtitled "Over 100 easy things that you can make to turn your yard and garden into a bird-friendly haven," Projects for the Birder's Garden, edited by Fern Marshall Bradley (Yankee Publishing, Inc., 2004; $17.95), provides loads of useful information and project ideas. It includes step-by-step instructions and illustrations for many types of feeders that would make much-appreciated holiday gifts for gardening friends; some are simple enough for children to make. There's lots of detail on attracting birds with special treats and nesting material, as well as tips to keep squirrels and cats at bay.
I particularly like the information on creating a backyard habitat with water sources (including 10 design plans) and plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting sites. Birds in the low desert are not known for living or nesting within "manufactured" housing. Our heat is just too intense, although many birds do make their homes in naturally air-conditioned saguaro cavities. However, if you have a place in the high country, the chapter containing design plans for birdhouses will come in handy.