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Good Books About Birds And Birding (That Every Birder Should Read)

Birding books

Birding is one of the easiest hobbies. To go birding, all you need are binoculars, a desire to watch birds, and a field guide!

Books about birding have filled our minds with bird-related knowledge for decades. There are birding books that help you identify birds, give tips about birding and where to find birds, provide insight into bird behavior, and even tell stories about birding adventures.

But which books about birds are must-reads? Which bird books make perfect gifts for the birders in your life?

 

Best Books About Birding


North American Bird Watching for Beginners: Field Notes on 150 Species to Start Your Birding Adventures

North American Bird Watching for Beginners: Field Notes on 150 Species to Start Your Birding Adventures

Just getting started with birding? This book is perfect for beginning birders! The easy-to-use format also makes it a great book for non-birders who want to learn more about the hobby. It gives lots of good explanations about birding basics, including terms we use to categorize birds and definitions of words that birders use!

This book also has basic but important information about different bird habitats, migration, nesting, other aspects of bird behavior, and how you can help backyard birds.

Although it’s not a field guide, it also has information about 150 species to help the reader become familiar with various types of birds.

 

Bird Trivia: Funny, Strange and Incredible Facts about North American Birds

Bird Trivia: Funny, Strange and Incredible Facts about North American Birds

Birds are truly amazing animals. They fly, migrate thousands of miles, and highlight our backyards with beautiful colors and peaceful calls. This bird book points out many of the things that make birds so special.

Related: Funny bird names that make you take another look

It will put a smile on the face of anyone interested in birds and even folks who don’t know anything about our feathered friends! What’s especially nice about this book is that it shows how fascinating birds can be, even the ones right in our backyards. Anyone reading it will quickly discover that you don’t need to travel to distant lands to witness incredible bird behavior!

 

The Backyard Birdwatcher’s Bible: Birds, Behaviors, Habitats, Identification, Art & Other Home Crafts

The Backyard Birdwatcher's Bible: Birds, Behaviors, Habitats, Identification, Art & Other Home Crafts

The “Backyard Birdwatcher’s Bible” is an accurate title for this reference book. Although you wouldn’t want to bring it into the field, true to its name, this book is a perfect read for people focused on backyard birding.

Related: A beginner’s guide to birdwatching

It has beautiful photos of common birds accompanied by range maps and information about them, along with tips on how to attract those birds to the backyard. Birders and non-birders alike will also enjoy the pages that talk about birds shown in art.

Beginning birders will like the tips and information for basic birding, and crafty DIY birders can use it to make bird feeders and birdhouses.

 

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing–What Birds Are Doing, and Why

What It's Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing--What Birds Are Doing, and Why (Sibley Guides)

This bird book answers a lot of the most common questions we have about birds, especially the familiar species we see in the backyard. It has interesting and fascinating information, but even better, the answers are accompanied by some of the best bird illustrations in the world!

Written and illustrated by David Allen Sibley, this quality book makes for a fun and informative read. Birders will appreciate it, and plenty of non-birders will like it, too. Sibley also included information based on recent scientific research, but he still made it very accessible to adult readers of all levels.

 

The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future

The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future

This book talks about the many ways birds have influenced people’s endeavors throughout history. The author details many of the ways that humans have learned from birds and how they continue to act as a vital connection between us and nature.

It’s a great book for anyone interested in a good, thoughtful read about birds and their connection to humans. Birders will certainly enjoy it, but many folks who don’t watch birds will also find it interesting. This thought-provoking tome is definitely not for people looking for a book full of big pictures and little text.

 

Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World

Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World

Christian Cooper is a Black, gay birder from New York City who often birds in Central Park. One fateful day, he had a racist encounter with a woman that went viral. In this biography, he talks about that incident but compared to other aspects of the book, it actually plays a minor role.

This book will be a good read for anyone interested in hearing about the story of an intelligent, interesting birder who loves to travel and has worked in the comic industry. He provides insights into life and birding from a Black and gay perspective.

 

Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song

Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song

Bird songs can be tough to learn. This book can help! Open it, and you’ll see illustrations for 250 different bird species. There is also an audio player to listen to their songs while looking at the picture of the bird! This is one of the best ways to learn bird vocalizations, and this book delivers.

Related: Best gifts for birders

While advanced birders probably already know the songs of the birds in this book, it’s an excellent tool for beginning birders. It’s also a great accompaniment while watching birds through a back window. Folks with some interest in nature will also enjoy this book, and it acts as a good gift.

 

The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think

The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think

This book is a well-written tome that details hundreds of incredible aspects of bird behavior. The birds have always been acting in these ways; we just never realized it! Recent scientific research has been showing that birds are much more intelligent and complicated than people had assumed.

The author of this book reveals and explains these discoveries with a fun read and details how birds have their own way of going about life. Birders and folks who love to read and are interested in learning about birds and the natural world will enjoy “The Bird Way.”

 

Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World

Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World

In 2015, birder and writer Noah Stryker set out to try to see more than half of the 10,000 plus bird species. This book is an account of those incredible travels. However, it’s much more than a mere travel diary. Inside, Noah talks about how his “obsession” with birds led him to take this big adventure.

It’s a fun and easy-to-read book that also tells the stories of the places he visits, the many guides and birders he meets, and, of course, the fantastic beauty of the 6,000 plus birds he ended up seeing.

Birders who love to travel will especially enjoy “Birding Without Borders.”

About the Author

Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O'Donnell has been focused on all things avian since the age of 7. Since then, he has helped with ornithological field work in the USA and Peru, and has guided many birding tours, especially in Costa Rica. He develops birding apps for BirdingFieldGuides and loves to write about birds, especially in his adopted country of Costa Rica.

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