8 Best Books About Birds Update 05/2022

These books are a must-read for all pet and bird lovers out there! Find comprehensive field guides and vital literature that address the fundamentals of bird watching.

The Bedside Book of Birds

by Graeme Gibson

Graeme Gibson, a novelist and birdwatcher, spent years compiling this lavishly illustrated celebration of humanity’s long-standing fascination with the wonders of the feathered tribes. This wonderful collection of words and photographs pays homage to the long-standing bond between people and birds.

The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition

by David Allen Sibley

The Sibley Book to Birds, First Edition swiftly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the country’s most extensive and best bird guide. The Sibley Guide, which has been used by millions of birders from novices to experts, has become the gold standard for natural history guides.

The Genius of Birds

by Jennifer Ackerman

With the release of the first edition of The Sibley Guide to Birds, David Allen Sibley gained notoriety as the author and artist of the most comprehensive book on birds in the United States. For decades, the Sibley Guide to Birds has been the benchmark by which all other natural history guides are judged.

The Thing with Feathers

by Noah Strycker

Bird behavior is explored in depth, from the amazing homing abilities of pigeon to the good deeds of fairy-wrens, to the swaying flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, and the lifelong loves of albatrosses, in The Thing with Feathers.

What It’s Like to Be a Bird

by David Allen Sibley

Bird behavior is explored in depth, from the amazing homing ability of pigeon to the good actions of fairy-wrens, to the swaying flocking powers of starlings, the deft craftsmanship of bowerbirds, the astounding memory of nutcrackers, and the everlasting affections of albatrosses.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds-Eastern Region

by National Audubon Society

All of the birds that may be found in eastern North America are featured in this handy reference. Durable vinyl cover, vivid color photographs, and definitive text, including information on the bird’s voice, nesting habits; habitat; range; and intriguing behaviors are all included in this comprehensive guidebook.

The Hill of Summer

by J A Baker

This was written by a notable author who was a bit of a mystery. The book was initially published in the 1960s, and I read it soon afterward. I was so delighted with his first book about the peregrine falcon that I bought his only other book. “[Editor’s note: the edition listed comprises both books].” Nature writers have long praised these publications, but they were relatively unknown in those days. The Peregrine tells the story of a single bird from spring to fall, but The Hill of Summer depicts the birds Baker observed in the Essex region where he lived from spring to October. While he worked for the AA, he didn’t drive so he cycled about and wandered around the area, taking in the scenery. It didn’t matter what time of day or night it was; he went out in all weather and wrote about wildlife and landscape in a very lyrical style. Beautiful and realistic, his descriptions of birds just fly off the page. My knowledge of birds makes them appealing to me.

This is only one of numerous examples that catch the eye. A fascinatingly mystifying bird, the crepuscular nightjar spends its time on heath and open woods. Long wings and tail allow it to twist and sway in the air, and its plumage bears a pattern that looks like decaying leaves or bark or bracken. When it fills the air, it emits an unusual melody that has been likened to a faraway motorcycle or an antique sewing machine. Baker recalls being mesmerized by a flock of birds performing and singing as he stood on the edge of a clearing in the woods.

Shorelands Winter Diary

by C F Tunnicliffe (edited by Robert Gillmor)

Charles Tunnicliffe had a significant impact on my life. He was the son of a Cheshire farmer who discovered his artistic abilities at a young age and pursued his studies at the Royal College of Art. Bob Martin’s dog food company employed him to make farm animal drawings and he was one of our greatest wood engravers. Anything to do with the countryside, domestic and farm animals, or wildlife is in his hands, and he does it with flawless precision. Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter, the first in a series of nature books featuring his illustrations, launched his career. His resume is impressive. Work such as pet food or agriculture advertisements or Brooke Bond tea cards or magnificent oil paintings at Royal Academy shows are just a few examples. Numerous novels were illustrated by him.

Since I was a kid, I was a huge fan. Shorelands, the Anglesey house where he lived with his wife, became a familiar sight to me as a child in North Wales, where I grew up. He would occasionally accompany us on our strolls. His paintings and sketches, as well as his observations of birds, can be found in this great book. His notes enhance the artwork excellently because they are succinct and enjoyable to read. Winter Diary appeals to me because of the waders and wildfowl that frequented the estuary and lagoon directly across from where he resided in the summer, but there is a corresponding text, Shorelands Summer Diary. What To Look For In Spring/Summary/Autumn/Winter is a quartet of Ladybird books for children that left the greatest impression on me as a child with their magnificent tableaux depicting imagined life throughout the course of the year. Shepherds tending to their flocks over the winter will be able to watch wild whooper swans flying overhead or a pair of magpies conversing on the branch of a larch, all against the backdrop of the Welsh mountains I could see from my bedroom window. They will be able to see these things, too. A child’s experience was magical, and it was nearly as good as actually being there. He occupies a prominent place in my personal hierarchy of revered ornithological artists.

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