100 books like Big Twitch

By Sean Dooley,

Here are 100 books that Big Twitch fans have personally recommended if you like Big Twitch. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

Deb Aronson Author Of How to Raise a Rhino

From my list on humans bonding with wild animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion is writing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, rather than famous people or people with some unusual skill, like being a math genius or something. This passion led me to Anna Merz’s story and my growing appreciation of the power of the animal/human connection and how much communication can take place without language.

Deb's book list on humans bonding with wild animals

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

Okay, I confess this is the same story as the recommendation above, The Elephants Come Home, but this is written by the actual guy, Lawrence Anthony, who undertook this effort.

Also, instead of a picture book, it is a 380-page tale told by the person who lived it. If you love The Elephants Come Home, you’ll want to read Elephant Whisperer as well.

I found myself exclaiming again and again over the stories that Anthony tells of life on the sanctuary.

By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Elephant Whisperer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.…


Book cover of The Last Elephants

James Currie Author Of When Eagles Roar: The Amazing Journey of an African Wildlife Adventurer

From my list on elephants and birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've had a life-long passion for birds and African wildlife that developed from a very early age, spending countless hours on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. At various times I've had a totally compulsive obsession for birds and have chased rare and endangered birds around the planet for my long-standing TV series Nikon’s Birding Adventures TV. My love for elephants is equally as strong and I produced an award-winning conservation film in 2018 entitled Last of the Big Tuskers that features the plight of the world’s last remaining 20 or so super-tusker elephants. I'm a conservation fanatic and love exploring the links between local people and wildlife.

James' book list on elephants and birds

James Currie Why did James love this book?

This is one of the most comprehensive books on African elephants I have ever read. It covers a huge variety of topics and is a compilation of stories and studies from a collection of authors, conservationists, and scientists. I particularly like the mixture of personal stories and scientific information. An absolute “must-read” for anyone with a deep interest in elephants and a desire to get involved in their conservation.

By Don Pinnock, Colin Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Elephants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Africa-wide Great Elephant Census of 2016 produced shocking findings: a decimated elephant population whose numbers were continuing to plummet. Elephants are killed, on average, every 15-20 minutes - a situation that will see the final demise of these intelligent, extraordinary animals in less than three decades. They are a species in crisis.

This magnificent book offers chapters written by the most prominent people in the realm of conservation and wildlife, among them researchers, conservationists, filmmakers, criminologists, TV personalities and journalists.

Photographs have been selected from among the world's best wildlife photographers, and the passionate Foreword is provided by Prince…


Book cover of Sasol Birds - The Inside Story

James Currie Author Of When Eagles Roar: The Amazing Journey of an African Wildlife Adventurer

From my list on elephants and birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've had a life-long passion for birds and African wildlife that developed from a very early age, spending countless hours on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. At various times I've had a totally compulsive obsession for birds and have chased rare and endangered birds around the planet for my long-standing TV series Nikon’s Birding Adventures TV. My love for elephants is equally as strong and I produced an award-winning conservation film in 2018 entitled Last of the Big Tuskers that features the plight of the world’s last remaining 20 or so super-tusker elephants. I'm a conservation fanatic and love exploring the links between local people and wildlife.

James' book list on elephants and birds

James Currie Why did James love this book?

Sasol Birds – The Inside Story is a fantastic book for learning more about the life-histories of southern African bird species. As a life-long safari guide, I am particularly drawn to books that can enhance my ability to interpret nature for my guests. This is simply the best book for intriguing and fascinating stories about birds of southern Africa. I would highly recommend this book for anyone with a keen interest in African birds and also for budding safari guides and naturalists who want to develop their guiding skills to incorporate birds. 

By Rael Loon, Hélène Loon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sasol Birds - The Inside Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At last – a book that goes beyond bird identification and delves into the fascinating and little-known world of bird behaviour and biology. Birds – The Inside Story offers an absorbing insight into the lives of southern African birds, exploring a range of interesting topics that include:
• The mechanisms of flight – did you know that albatrosses can fly thousands of kilometres without flapping their wings?
• Intricate courtship rituals – did you know that some males offer females ‘nuptial gifts’ of food to strengthen the pair bond?
• Nests and nest building – did you know that Sociable…


Book cover of Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds

James Currie Author Of When Eagles Roar: The Amazing Journey of an African Wildlife Adventurer

From my list on elephants and birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've had a life-long passion for birds and African wildlife that developed from a very early age, spending countless hours on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. At various times I've had a totally compulsive obsession for birds and have chased rare and endangered birds around the planet for my long-standing TV series Nikon’s Birding Adventures TV. My love for elephants is equally as strong and I produced an award-winning conservation film in 2018 entitled Last of the Big Tuskers that features the plight of the world’s last remaining 20 or so super-tusker elephants. I'm a conservation fanatic and love exploring the links between local people and wildlife.

James' book list on elephants and birds

James Currie Why did James love this book?

This is the true story of Phoebe Snetsinger and her bizarre and often dangerous quest to see more birds on the planet than any other human. Her quest to hold the world record for most bird species seen is a great story in itself but it is the way the author delves into Snetsinger’s character and her relationships with her family and others that are equally as fascinating. I love learning about what drives people to have absolute obsessions in life that they place above all else – relationships, health, safety, etc. I have been to many of the locations in the book and seen many of the bird species mentioned as well. The author captures all of this in a fast-paced book that will be loved by birders everywhere and anyone who wants a compelling read about obsession!

By Olivia Gentile,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life List as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After her four kids were nearly grown and she was about to turn 50, Phoebe Snetsinger was told she had less than a year to live. Snetsinger, a St. Louis housewife and avid backyard birder, decided to spend that year traveling the world in search of birds. As it turned out, her doctors were wrong, but Phoebe's passion had been ignited and she spent the next eighteen years crisscrossing the globe recklessly staking out her quarry. En route she contracted malaria in Zambia, nearly fell to her death in Zaire, and was kidnapped and gang raped on the outskirts of…


Book cover of Flight Lines: Across the Globe on a Journey with the Astonishing Ultramarathon Birds

Tim Low Author Of Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

From my list on opening your eyes to Australian birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian zoologist, botanist, and best-selling prize-winning writer. An earlier book of mine, Feral Future, inspired the formation of the Invasive Species Council, an Australian conservation lobby group. My Where Song Began, was a best-seller that became the first nature book to win the Australian Book Industry Award for best General Non Fiction. It was republished in the US. I have co-edited Wildlife Australia magazine and written for many magazines and newspapers, including nature columns as well as features. As a teenager I discovered new lizard species, one of which was named after me.

Tim's book list on opening your eyes to Australian birds

Tim Low Why did Tim love this book?

For great feats in nature the epic migrations of millions of wading birds are difficult to beat. Immense stamina is needed for days of non-stop flight, plus sophisticated navigational skills – which remain improperly understood – to guide birds by day and night and through storms that blow them off course.

Andrew Darby begins on a beach in South Australia where two grey plovers are fitted with radio transmitters shortly before their migrations north. He follows their travels, flying after they do to Broome in north-western Australia, then to China to see the mudflats they refuel on, then to their breeding habitat inside the Arctic Circle, then back again to northern Australia.

Important to his story are the dedicated and sometimes obsessive people Darby meets in each location, many of them unpaid, who use innovative technology and intellect to work out where, exactly, the birds go on their travels and…

By Andrew Darby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flight Lines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the sun lowered and turned Gulf St Vincent fiery, they each called a high-pitched 'peeooowiii!', flashed their black wing-pits, spread their tail skirts and took flight.

Andrew Darby follows the odysseys of two Grey Plovers, little-known migratory shorebirds, as they take previously uncharted ultramarathon flights from the southern coast of Australia to Arctic breeding grounds. On these extraordinary flights they chance predators, typhoon weather and exhaustion before they can breed, and maybe return to familiar southern feeding grounds. But the greatest threat to these, and other long-distance migrants on the flyway, is China's dragon economy, engulfing their vital Yellow…


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

Tim Low Author Of Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

From my list on opening your eyes to Australian birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian zoologist, botanist, and best-selling prize-winning writer. An earlier book of mine, Feral Future, inspired the formation of the Invasive Species Council, an Australian conservation lobby group. My Where Song Began, was a best-seller that became the first nature book to win the Australian Book Industry Award for best General Non Fiction. It was republished in the US. I have co-edited Wildlife Australia magazine and written for many magazines and newspapers, including nature columns as well as features. As a teenager I discovered new lizard species, one of which was named after me.

Tim's book list on opening your eyes to Australian birds

Tim Low Why did Tim love this book?

This is not strictly an Australian bird book but is so rich in Australian content it might as well be.

American science writer Jennifer Ackerman takes us into the minds of birds and delivers surprises on every page. An explosion of recent research has shown birds to be far more sophisticated than was thought possible and Australian birds epitomise that. In her introduction Ackerman says that Australian birds crop up throughout her book for their extreme behaviours, intelligence, and ecological diversity.

She travelled Australia to see them and to interview experts, including me. Asking ‘Can a lyrebird lie?’ she offers evidence that they do. She tells of fairy-wrens and zebra finches communicating important information to their young while these are still inside their eggs.

We learn of brush turkey chicks, after hatching from the egg, spending more than two days digging to escape from the nest mound, then receiving no…

By Jennifer Ackerman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bird Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A celebration of the dizzying variety of bird life and behaviour, one that will enthral birders and non-birders alike' The Observer

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds.

'There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.' This is one scientist's pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviours they've previously dismissed…


Book cover of Bird Love

Tim Low Author Of Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

From my list on opening your eyes to Australian birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian zoologist, botanist, and best-selling prize-winning writer. An earlier book of mine, Feral Future, inspired the formation of the Invasive Species Council, an Australian conservation lobby group. My Where Song Began, was a best-seller that became the first nature book to win the Australian Book Industry Award for best General Non Fiction. It was republished in the US. I have co-edited Wildlife Australia magazine and written for many magazines and newspapers, including nature columns as well as features. As a teenager I discovered new lizard species, one of which was named after me.

Tim's book list on opening your eyes to Australian birds

Tim Low Why did Tim love this book?

Leila Jeffreys treats the birds in her photography studio like celebrities destined for the cover of Vogue. She takes time getting to know them and letting them know her, so that instead of just seeing birds she sees into them, and they into her.

Her book of bird portraits is a testament to trust between divergent species. She mentions a black-breasted buzzard coming to accept her photographic gear then suddenly becoming very focussed on her: "It’s an exhilarating feeling when a bird makes this transition and we begin to communicate silently as we study each other. The intelligence of this bird was profound."

The birds in her portraits look variously intense or relaxed, curious or knowing, engaged or merely comfortable, soulful, intelligent, refined, and so much else. As a child, Jeffreys was ‘besotted’ with animals and saw them as people, imagining they could talk to her. That shows through…

By Leila Jeffreys, Michael Graydon (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bird Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fine art photographer Leila Jeffreys captures the beauty and diversity of some of our most colourful and elegant feathered friends. From the birds of her native Australia to North America, Jeffreys seems to see into the very souls of these model-like creatures with her stunning and evocative portraits.Jeffreys works with animal rescue and conservation groups to find subjects to photograph. Her love and compassion for her subjects is evident throughout, and she captures their personalities in her delightful portraits: Commander Skyring the Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Dexter the White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Mrs. Plume the Budgerigar and friends, are as delightfully whimsical as…


Book cover of Handbook to The Birds of Australia

Tim Low Author Of Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

From my list on opening your eyes to Australian birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian zoologist, botanist, and best-selling prize-winning writer. An earlier book of mine, Feral Future, inspired the formation of the Invasive Species Council, an Australian conservation lobby group. My Where Song Began, was a best-seller that became the first nature book to win the Australian Book Industry Award for best General Non Fiction. It was republished in the US. I have co-edited Wildlife Australia magazine and written for many magazines and newspapers, including nature columns as well as features. As a teenager I discovered new lizard species, one of which was named after me.

Tim's book list on opening your eyes to Australian birds

Tim Low Why did Tim love this book?

English naturalist John Gould is recognised as the father of bird study in Australia.

During 19 months in 1838-1840 he travelled in NSW, South Australia, and Tasmania, seeing the birds and landscapes before they had been affected much by Europeans, and leaving insightful descriptions that provide a unique window into a past when, for example, regent honeyeaters, endangered today, flitted about in the middle of Adelaide city.

Gould introduced the budgerigar to Europe, was the first to describe the bowers of bowerbirds, and the first in so many ways. His book appeared in 1865 but remains relevant today. I quoted him many times in my bird book for his unique insights and observations. But the common names he used can be difficult to swallow. He praised the regent honeyeater as ‘one of the most beautiful birds inhabiting Australia’ but called it the ‘warty-faced honeyeater’.

This book (or pair of books…

By John Gould,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Handbook to The Birds of Australia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the "public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank…


Book cover of What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World

Jack Gedney Author Of The Private Lives of Public Birds: Learning to Listen to the Birds Where We Live

From my list on watching birds with pleasure and understanding.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach people how to enjoy birds. I’ve led bird walks, taught seminars, co-owned a wild bird feeding shop, and written two books and well over a hundred newspaper columns on birds. Over the years, I’ve conveyed a fair heap of information about birds because accurate knowledge and biological understanding are valuable tools for fostering appreciation. But I consider making birds relevant and vivid in our everyday lives to be far more important than simply accumulating facts. These are a few books that get to the heart of what I am most excited about: changing how we see and hear birds and thereby enriching our experience of every single day.

Jack's book list on watching birds with pleasure and understanding

Jack Gedney Why did Jack love this book?

This book taught me how to watch birds. 

Many bird books aim to teach about birds and how they live, conveying factual information while ignoring (or lamenting) our human interactions with them. There are also books about birding, telling picaresque stories of extreme birdwatching adventures, or delving into technical minutiae aimed at maximizing one’s skill at bird identification. This book doesn’t fall into either of those categories; instead, it focuses on the rich and positive rewards of paying attention to birds. 

What was that sound? Why did those birds all fly up into the tree? What will I discover if I simply sit still in the woods, patiently watching and listening? When I started asking—and being able to answer—these questions, my whole world changed.

By Jon Young,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What the Robin Knows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning naturalist and author Jon Young's What the Robin Knows reveals how understanding bird language and behavior can help us to see more wildlife.

A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided by three basic premises: the robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest; by tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit; and the birds’ companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs.

Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by…


Book cover of How to Find a Bird

Maria Gianferrari Author Of Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

From my list on read aloud bird books for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I may not be an expert ornithologist, but I am an avid “birdologist” to borrow a term from Sy Montgomery—one who is awed and fascinated by all things bird. Bird-watching is meditative—it helps me to be present and to feel joyful. I love reading, learning, and writing about birds too! I am the author of these bird books: Hawk Rising, illustrated by Brian Floca, Whoo-Ku Haiku, illustrated by Jonathan Voss, and the forthcoming You and the Bowerbird, illustrated by Maris Wicks. I love writing about the natural world and its inhabitants as well as dogs—another love of mine!

Maria's book list on read aloud bird books for kids

Maria Gianferrari Why did Maria love this book?

Both Jennifer Ward and Diana Sudyka are two of my favorite kid lit creators, and this brilliant collaboration begs to be read aloud. Ward’s lyrical text sings as an introductory guide for the littlest bird watchers, showing them where to look for birds: up to see them fly and roost—but not just up—down on the ground where birds nest, straight ahead where they blend with bark, on and under the water. And if you put out a birdfeeder, all you need is a window-view. But what’s the best way to find a bird? To listen—birdsong is all around us! Sudyka’s gorgeously intricate art paints the avian details of all the found birds. Don’t miss the back matter for bird-watching tips.

By Jennifer Ward, Diana Sudyka (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Find a Bird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A joyful and informative guide to birdwatching for budding young birders from an award-winning author-illustrator duo.

How do you find a bird? There are so many ways! Begin by watching. And listening. And staying quiet, so quiet you can hear your own heartbeat. Soon you’ll see that there are birds everywhere—up in the sky, down on the ground, sometimes even right in front of you just waiting to be discovered!

Young bird lovers will adore this lushly illustrated introduction to how to spot and observe our feathered friends. It features more than fifty different species, from the giant whooping crane…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in birdwatching, birds, and Australia?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about birdwatching, birds, and Australia.

Birdwatching Explore 34 books about birdwatching
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Australia Explore 314 books about Australia