This is a list of resources for people who wish to find and identify butterflies, dragonflies and birds in the Sandhurst Shores area. It is not intended as a comprehensive list of references for avid watchers or experts.

There are many identification guides and resources available.  Here are some we recommend.


These are the two main field guides for our area.

Brock , Jim, and Kenn Kaufman. Butterflies of North America. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books, 2003. Print.

Glassberg, Jeffrey. Butterflies through Binoculars, The East. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.

The Glassberg guide is probably the most useful for our area for someone who is unfamiliar with identifying butterflies.  It is limited to the east whereas the Brock and Kaufman guide covers all of North America.  Such extensive coverage means a beginner has to flip through many pages of species which do not occur anywhere near the area where observations are being made while trying to pick out those species which may occur at a certain location and ignoring the rest.  This is frustrating and makes comparisons of local species difficult since they are often depicted many pages apart from one another.  And of course something from California looks just like what you are seeing in your back yard at Sandhurst Shores.

Layberry, Ross A., Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. The Butterflies of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated, 1998. Print.

This is the main reference for Canadian butterflies.  Because so much work has been done since 1998 a lot more is known about butterfly distribution,  Some species have expanded their range while others are now less common than they one were.  But there is still much useful information here.  For more up-to-date distributional information see below.

The Ontario Butterfly Atlas Online is quite useful for Ontario observers.  This is sponsored by the Toronto Entomologists’ Association.  It is very up-to-date and is being constantly updated.  You can search for the distribution of individual butterfly species as well as find what species have been seen in certain areas  If you zoom in on the map and left click on a square you get a list of the species which have been seen in that square.

Ontario Butterfly Atlas Online


Dragonfly field guides have only recently begun to appear.  Dragonflies and damselflies are much more difficult to identify than butterflies.  Often they can only be identified in the hand.  But still many are easy to identify with binoculars or photos.  If you have only one guide it will have to be the Paulson.  However it is always good to have more than one reference.

Dunkle, Sidney W. Dragonflies Through Binoculars, A Field Guide To Dragonflies Of North America. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2000. Print.

This guide covers only dragonflies.  It was one of the first to be issued.  The photos are too small to be useful and females are seldom illustrated.  You really need more information than this to identify many species.

Jones, Colin D., Andrea Kingsley, Peter Burke, and Matt Holder. The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Provincial Park and the Surrounding Area. Whitney, Ontario: The Friends of Algonquin Park, 2008. Print.

Most of the species of dragonflies and damselflies that occur in our area are covered in this book.  It has the advantage of covering a restricted range.  Therefore you are not presented with a lot of species which you are not going to find locally.  However there are species which occur at Sandhurst Shores or nearby which are not covered in this book.

Lam, Ed. Damselflies of the Northeast, a guide to the species of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Forest Hills, New York: Biodiversity Books, 2004. Print.

This is the best guide to damselflies for the area which it covers.  It includes all of our local species.  The drawings are superb.  This is a model of what a great dragonfly guide should be.

Paulson, Dennis. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011. Print.

This is the most comprehensive identification guide for our area.  It covers both dragonflies and damselflies.  There is much useful information here on identification and similar species.  However it might be a little overwhelming for a beginner.  But you need this information if you are going to identify most of the dragonflies you see.


Field guides to birds have been around for many years and there are very many of them.  It always helps to have several to refer to.  There are also many online resources for bird identification which can get quite detailed.

Sibley , David Allen. The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Alfred A.Knopf, Inc., 2000. Print.

This is the guide we use most frequently.  There are also two smaller versions of this guide which split it into an eastern and a western guide.  This guide covers most species adequately so that they can be identified.  But many groups have more comprehensive guides such as gulls and shorebirds if you want to get into the finer points of identification.

 Weir, Ron D. Birds of the Kingston Region. 2nd Edition. Kingston, Ontario: Kingston Field Naturalists, 2008. Print.

This is the book to refer to for information on the status of birds in the Kingston region.  It gives information on distribution, arrival and departure dates and much more.