10 books like Birdology

By Sy Montgomery,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Birdology. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Human Nature of Birds

By Theodore Xenophon Barber,

Book cover of The Human Nature of Birds: A Scientific Discovery with Startling Implications

Yes, it’s a bit dated, but it was a bold, pioneering book for its day. Barber doesn’t shrink from describing birds as they are: intelligent, flexible, emotional animals with lives and personalities.

The Human Nature of Birds

By Theodore Xenophon Barber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Argues that birds make and use their own tools, recognize abstract concepts, create complex musical compositions, and more


The Sibley Guide to Birds

By David Allen Sibley,

Book cover of The Sibley Guide to Birds

This beautifully illustrated, comprehensive book is a must-have for bird enthusiasts. It is not only a useful guide to identifying birds, but also an illuminating source on little-known aspects of bird behavior.

The Sibley Guide to Birds

By David Allen Sibley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding


The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds, First Edition quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. Used by millions of birders from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide became the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The highly anticipated second edition builds on this foundation of excellence, offering massively expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and a new, elegant design.


The second edition of this handsome, flexibound volume…


Birds as Individuals

By Len Howard,

Book cover of Birds as Individuals

A British musicologist opens the windows to her country home and lets wild birds come in and nest there. This unique study allows her (and us) to observe these feathered sprites up close and personal. Many befriend their human hostess, with remarkable revelations.

Birds as Individuals

By Len Howard,

Why should I read it?

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


Providence of a Sparrow

By Chris Chester,

Book cover of Providence of a Sparrow: Lessons from a Life Gone to the Birds

An electrician and his wife rescue an orphaned baby house sparrow and raise him into adulthood and beyond. This beautifully and at times hilariously told story is full of precious revelations about the rich personality of a bird routinely overlooked by us.

Providence of a Sparrow

By Chris Chester,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Providence of a Sparrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.” --William Shakespeare, Hamlet

B fell twenty-five feet from his nest into the life of Chris Chester. The encounter was providential for both of them.
B and Chester spent hours together playing games like bottle-cap fetch or hide-and-seek. They learned “words” in each other’s vocabularies. B developed a fetish for nostrils and a dislike of the color yellow. He grew anxious if Chester came home late from work. At bedtime he would rub his sleepy eyes on Chester’s thumb and settle to sleep in his palm. Chester ended up turning part…


Hummingbird

By Nicola Davies, Jane Ray (illustrator),

Book cover of Hummingbird

Sometimes stories from the imagination are the best way to convey concepts in all their layered complexity. Concepts like migration. The beautifully illustrated Hummingbird tells the story of a little girl who moves from her grandmother’s village in Central America to New York City, paralleling a ruby-throated hummingbird’s migratory journey. Information about the hummingbird and its migration are woven seamlessly into the book, shining through the lovely story. 

Hummingbird

By Nicola Davies, Jane Ray (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"One of the prettiest works of non-fiction you are likely to see... It is ravishing." The Sunday Times

From Nicola Davies, one of the UK's finest non-fiction writers, and from Jane Ray, one of the UK's finest illustrators, comes and exquisite Nature Storybook about ... hummingbirds! A hummingbird is smaller than your thumb and weighs less than a 20 pence piece - however you measure it, it's tiny. But every spring, hummingbirds that have spent the winter in Mexico fly north to make the most of the warmer weather. They nest as far north as Canada and Alaska; a 2,000…


The Thing with Feathers

By Noah Strycker,

Book cover of The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal about Being Human

Packing a huge amount of research onto every page, Strycker, who in his 2015 big year logged a record-setting 6,042 bird species, engagingly analyzes the biology and behavior of penguins, magpies, hummingbirds, albatrosses, and more to explore how the lives of birds are simultaneously incredibly alien to and indelibly intertwined with those of humans in activities and emotions as diverse as altruism, dancing, seduction, and fear. His insights, delivered with a light touch, may well change the worldview of those who think that humans are somehow more worthy than any other animal on the planet.

The Thing with Feathers

By Noah Strycker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"[Strycker] thinks like a biologist but writes like a poet." -- Wall Street Journal

An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world—and deep connection with humanity.
 
Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As we learn more about the secrets of bird life, we are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, relationships, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.

The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the…


Kill Three Birds

By Nicole Givens Kurtz,

Book cover of Kill Three Birds: A Kingdom of Aves Mystery

As an author, I love to cross genres, to redefine the boundaries of established sci-fi norms. Nicole Givens Kurtz does just that. Kill Three Birds is a skillfully executed blend of procedural mystery, fantasy, and political drama.

The premise? An explosive investigation on the murder of local women in an alternative society of humanoid birds organized in castes. A masterclass in world building and characterization.

For many decades, science fiction has been seen, labeled as inflexible, formulaic, and overcomplicated. Nicole Givens Kurtz leads us to new territories: she aims at preserving the complexity and layers of the science fiction genre and subgenres while broadening the spectrum of its themes and narrative structures.

Kill Three Birds

By Nicole Givens Kurtz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kill Three Birds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sent to investigate a strange murder in a quiet remote egg, can Hawk Tasifa find the killer before she becomes the next target?

Prentice Tasifa is an investigative hawk whose been deployed from The Order to the small egg of Gould, a mountain village. A missing girl had been found dead. Hawks investigate strange and difficult situations throughout the kingdom of Aves. They can “see the unseen,” by accessing a unique ability to activate hawk-like vision, a trait they carry through their bloodlines.


When Prentice arrives in Gould, she soon discovers that there isn’t just one bird dead, but three.…


You Nest Here with Me

By Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Melissa Sweet (illustrator)

Book cover of You Nest Here with Me

Yolen and Stemple are a mother-daughter dream team duo and creators of many bird books including Yolen’s classic, Owl Moon. This birdy-lullaby has a soothing read-aloud rhythm as a mother tucks her tired nestling-child in bed. She recounts the places where various birds nest, from pigeons on ledges and catbirds in hedges, to owls in oak tree boles and hawks on telephone poles bound by the reassuring refrain, "You nest here with me.” Sweet’s blue-green color palette offers a calming and soporific counterpart and a nod to night-time. Learn more about the featured birds, their diet and nesting habits, and this birding family in the book’s back pages.

You Nest Here with Me

By Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Melissa Sweet (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Nest Here with Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now available in a board book edition, this lyrical bedtime book is an ode to baby birds everywhere and to sleepy children, safe in their beds. As a mother describes how different species of birds nest, secure and cozy with their mama birds, she tucks her own child into bed with the soothing refrain -- "you nest here with me" -- easing her little one and readers alike to slumber. Accompanied by beautiful artwork by award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet, mother and daughter Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple have combined their poetry writing and love of birding in this board book…


Asha and the Spirit Bird

By Jasbinder Bilan,

Book cover of Asha and the Spirit Bird

Asha is a wonderfully brave character who sets out on a dangerous adventure to find her father. She connects with a lamagaia bird, which she believes is the spirit of her grandmother. This bird leads her from her village at the foothills of the Himalayas through India. I loved the exotic setting and the realistic challenges Asha faces. She rises to each challenge with bravery and continues on with loyalty for her friends and family. A beautiful, inspiring book.

Asha and the Spirit Bird

By Jasbinder Bilan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2019
Winner of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition
2017
Shortlisted for the Waterstones
Children's Book Prize 2020
Longlisted
for the Jhalak Prize 2019
Chosen as one of
the Guardian's Best Books of 2019

'This book is such a light-filled, huge-hearted delight of
an adventure.' KATHERINE RUNDELL

'An evocative debut novel ... satisfyingly classic in feel'
GUARDIAN

'A heartfelt and mystical children's adventure story.'
TELEGRAPH

Asha lives in the foothills of the Himalayas. Money is tight and
she misses her papa who works in the city. When he suddenly stops
sending his wages,…


Mama Built a Little Nest

By Jennifer Ward, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Book cover of Mama Built a Little Nest

I recommend this book because of my love of Steve Jenkins’s illustrations. I think he is one of the great illustrators of animals for kids' books, and his work is a perfect blend of accuracy and abstraction. In this book, his illustrations are paired with Jennifer Ward’s charming text that’s well suited to read aloud to the youngest children.  

Mama Built a Little Nest

By Jennifer Ward, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mama Built a Little Nest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A delightful exploration of the incredibly variety of nests birds build for their babies, illustrated by a Caldecott Honoree.

Mama built a little nest
inside a sturdy trunk.
She used her beak to tap-tap-tap
the perfect place to bunk.

There are so many different kinds of birds-and those birds build so many different kinds of nests to keep their babies cozy. With playful, bouncy rhyme, Jennifer Ward explores nests large and small, silky and cottony, muddy and twiggy-and all the birds that call them home!


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