The best bird books 📚

Browse the best books on birds as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Sibley Guide to Birds

The Sibley Guide to Birds

By David Allen Sibley

Why this book?

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.

From the list:

The best books for understanding and appreciating birds

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Book cover of Birds as Individuals

Birds as Individuals

By Len Howard

Why this book?

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.

From the list:

The best books for understanding and appreciating birds

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Book cover of Birdology: Adventures with Hip Hop Parrots, Cantankerous Cassowaries, Crabby Crows, Peripatetic Pigeons, Hens, Hawks, and Hummingbirds

Birdology: Adventures with Hip Hop Parrots, Cantankerous Cassowaries, Crabby Crows, Peripatetic Pigeons, Hens, Hawks, and Hummingbirds

By Sy Montgomery

Why this book?

True to form, Montgomery advances our understanding of birds through stories and adventures from the field. An accessible book from a celebrated writer whose love of animals is infectious.

From the list:

The best books for understanding and appreciating birds

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

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

By Noah Strycker

Why this book?

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.

From the list:

The best books on birds and life

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Book cover of Fledgling

Fledgling

By Hannah Bourne-Taylor

Why this book?

Here’s how an intense, almost obsessive focus on wildlife can bring solace from chaos and alienation. Young bird-lover Hannah Bourne-Taylor moves to Ghana as a ‘trailing spouse,’ and it’s the fauna that keeps her going as she struggles to rebuild her identity. Two stray dogs leap into her life; a pangolin needs saving from someone’s dinner table. But it’s the act of saving a swift and a mannikin finch, nurturing and releasing the birds back into the wild, that provides the key to this closely observed, touching story. At first, the finch doesn’t want to re-wild – and Hannah realizes…

From the list:

The best books about women, birds, and nature

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Book cover of Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch: What Will You Find?

Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch: What Will You Find?

By Editors of Storey Publishing, Oana Befort

Why this book?

Oh, how I wish I had this book when I was a child! Each brightly illustrated page is rich with close-up photos of various birds to look for, field guides, and tips to follow. It’s jam-packed with every activity bird-loving littles could hope for—games, crafts, a birding log for sightings, sticker badges, and a real magnifying glass! Bird Watch is an excellent book for school field trips, family nature adventures, and the perfect gift for young explorers.
From the list:

The best books for children about birds

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