Books on Birds


September 18, 2023

598.Book on birds 

Further Reading:

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Tony Angell The House of Owls, 2015.

For twenty-five years, Tony Angell and his family kept a nesting box outside their home that housed western screech owls. Angell is an artist who captured drawings of the birds from his window while they were courting, hunting, and raising owlets.

Owen Deutsch Bringing Back the Birds: Exploring Migration and Preserving Birdscapes Throughout the Americas, 2020.

The American Bird Conservancy and photographer Owen Deutsch teamed up to tell of the disappearing bird habitats throughout the American continents. Some travel the lengths of both Americas in their migrations. The goal of the conservancy is for birds to be considered in land use discussions. But the photographs alone make this a fascinating book.

Mark Elbroch and Eleanor Marks Bird Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species, 2001.

Elbroch and Marks photographed birds and their signs in the wild, capturing how they would be found in nature. They show how to find signs of birds through feathers, pellets, nests, droppings, and bones. All are divided into families and species.

William Fiennes The Snow Geese, 2010.

Fiennes followed snow geese from the Canadian Arctic through migrations to Delaware, California, and the Gulf of Mexico. He wrote about what he discovered in this award-winning book.

Michael Forsberg On Ancient Wings: The Sandhill Cranes of North America, 2004.

One of the world’s most ancient birds, the sandhill crane, migrates yearly from the Platte River to the Arctic. Michael Forsberg followed them for five years and shared their story here in prose and color photographs.

Phillip Hoose The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, 2004.

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is an example of extinction in modern times. While Phillip Hoose wrote his book for young people, anyone can benefit from reading about the history of this legendary bird believed to be extinct despite the heroic efforts to save it. As a side note, several claims of the bird’s sightings have surfaced since this book was published.

Kenn Kaufman Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder, 1997.

In the 1970s, it was not unheard of for young people to drop out of high school and hit the road. For Kenn Kaufman, the motivation was not to find himself or seek pleasure but to find birds. Crisscrossing the country multiple times, he came to appreciate and understand the natural world. In 2009, he republished this memoir.

John Nielsen Condor: To the Brink and Back, 2006.

The California condor was nearing extinction at the beginning of the twentieth century. But a group of people were determined to save them. In a desperate and controversial move, the last wild condors were captured and placed in zoos to breed in captivity. After their offspring were released in native areas, they appeared to recover. This book tells how it happened.

Stan Tekiela Feathers: A Beautiful Look at a Bird’s Most Unique Feature, 2014.

This coffee table book looks at bird feathers in all their beautiful and varied glory.

Scott Weidensaul Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, 1999.

Field researcher Scott Weidensaul traced bird migration patterns across the continents and explained how habitat degradation and deforestation threaten these patterns.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see “Further Reading: Start Here.”

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