15 Best Books about Birds: Must-Read Books for Bird Watchers

Are you a bird watcher looking for the best books to add to your library? Look no further! We have compiled a list of the 15 best books about birds that will bring your birdwatching adventure to the next level.
From field guides and reference books to ones featuring gorgeous photographs, these volumes will offer something for everyone. Whether you are a novice or an experienced birder, these selections will enthrall and educate you about our feathered friends.

Best Books about Birds-Beginners Guide

The Sibley Guide to Birds – David Allen Sibley

Best Books about Birds

There are many best books about birds available to help guide novice birdwatchers, but one of the most popular choices is The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley.

This book contains detailed illustrations and descriptions of over 810 species of birds found throughout North America.
It also includes information on bird behavior, habitat selection, migration patterns, conservation efforts, and more. It’s a must-have for any beginner who wants to learn about bird identification.

The Sibley Guide to Birds also features essential identification tips that help novice birders learn to distinguish between different species at a glance. It also explains behavior traits that can be useful when trying to identify birds in the wild.

Accurate information on every page allows readers to identify common birds across the continent, such as robins, cardinals, and bluejays.
Additionally, each species has its page that includes size, range maps, details about each bird, and detailed descriptions of its behavior and calls.

RSPB Handbook of British Birds

Best Books about Birds

Whether you are a seasoned birder or just beginning your birdwatching journey, the RSPB Handbook of British Birds is a must-have guide. This comprehensive manual is packed with information on over 200 species of birds found in Britain and Ireland, making it the perfect starting point for anyone keen to learn more about our feathered friends.

With its concise descriptions and easy-to-follow diagrams, this book provides detailed information on each species, including their calls and habits. It’s also richly illustrated, with stunning images of male and female birds and their nests, eggs, and young.

The text is clear and authoritative – ideal for all birdwatchers from novice to expert – while the handy format makes it easy to take into the field or use at home for identification purposes.

Best Books for Kids about Birds

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds – Catherine D. Hughs

Kids are always young enough to learn about birds! With its vibrant illustrations and interesting facts, the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds is one of the best books to introduce children to our feathered friends.
This incredible resource provides kids with a wealth of knowledge about the different kinds of birds that inhabit our planet, from colorful parrots to majestic bald eagles.

The book begins by providing an overview of what makes a bird unique and then dives into topics like how they migrate, build nests, feed their young, and protect themselves from predators. Alongside these fascinating facts are beautiful images showing each species in all its glory.
The chapters also include fun activities for kids, including quizzes and bird-spotting games that keep them engaged as they discover more about these fantastic creatures.

RSPB First Book of Birds – Anita Ganeri & David Chandler

Kids curious about birds will love exploring the natural world with the RSPB First Book of Birds. This introduction to bird watching, written by Anita Ganeri and illustrated by David Ch, is full of fun facts and activities to help kids identify popular bird species in their backyards.

Featuring bright colors, inviting illustrations, and simple text, this interactive guide follows a young girl throughout her backyard adventures in search of feathered friends. Kids can learn more than 80 different types of birds through easy-to-understand descriptions and diagrams.
With helpful tips on attracting birds with food and water and an activity section at the end that encourages creative exploration outdoors, this book is sure to spark a lifelong appreciation for nature in readers.

Look Up!: Birdwatching in Your Backyard – Annette LeBlanc Cate

One of the best books about birds for kids is ‘Look Up!: Birdwatching in Your Backyard’ by Annette LeBlanc Cate. This book helps young birdwatchers take their first steps into avian life. It provides easy-to-understand information on identifying common species and outlines different techniques for observing wild birds, such as using binoculars or setting up a bird feeder.

Best Field Guides for Avid Birdwatchers

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region & Western Region

This comprehensive guide contains detailed descriptions and illustrations of more than 800 species of birds found in the eastern and western regions of the continent. The book also provides habitat maps that show where each species can be found throughout North America.

This field guide has everything you need to identify and learn about birds. Each entry includes a full-color illustration and information on size, range, behavior, diet, nesting habits, and other helpful facts.

Individual accounts for each species provide details on distinctive markings and songs and tips on identifying them in the wild. With its accessible format and wealth of facts, this field guide is a must-have for all bird enthusiasts!

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

National Geographic’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America is one of the top-rated references for all levels of birding enthusiasts. This comprehensive guide includes range maps, detailed illustrations, authoritative descriptions, and photos – making it a must-have for any amateur or professional birder.

The guide covers over 800 species with detailed color paintings that aid in identifying key features such as plumage differences in color and pattern among birds, distinguishing between similar species, and highlighting seasonal variations in plumage.

It offers helpful information on behavior, voice characteristics, habitat preferences, and more. It also details identification challenges posed by hybridization and species intergrades – helping birders correctly identify exotic birds which may need help to differentiate from other known varieties.

Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland – Mark Golley

Avid birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts looking for the perfect field guide to help identify and learn more about their feathered friends in Britain and Ireland will find everything they need in Mark Gilley’s Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland.

This comprehensive guide covers all species of birds found in the British Isles, from ducks to swans, raptors to waders, with detailed descriptions, maps showing where each species is most commonly sighted, and clear illustrations highlighting key identification features.

The book begins by introducing readers to the basics of birding – what equipment is needed, how to attract birds into your garden or local patch – before moving on to a wealth of information about specific species. Each entry includes detailed notes ranging from physical characteristics such as size and plumage coloration to behaviors like courtship displays.

Best Books on Bird Behavior

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds – Scott Weidensaul

The migration of birds is a beautiful natural phenomenon that has inspired human awe for centuries. In his exciting new book, A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul, readers can explore and appreciate this remarkable journey like never before.

Through extensive research and carefully curated anecdotes, Weidensaul takes readers on an epic global adventure to understand the behavior of these amazing creatures.

From the Arctic tundra to tropical rainforests and everywhere in between, A World on the Wing brings stories about how birds navigate thousands of miles each year without fail. Filled with stunning photographs and personal accounts from those who have had close encounters with migratory birds, this book will captivate any reader interested in bird behavior.

The Genius of Birds – Jennifer Ackerman

Best Books about Birds

For anyone interested in bird behavior, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman is a must-read. This engaging and informative book provides an in-depth look at the intelligence and capabilities of birds based on decades of research.

Ackerman starts with a discussion of the remarkable discoveries that have been made about avian cognitive abilities and then dives into fascinating stories from around the world. She illustrates how birds use tools to forage for food, understand complex social hierarchies, remember human faces, navigate vast distances, solve problems, and more.

The Genius of Birds allows readers to gain insight into the extraordinary genius of these creatures and their unique vulnerabilities. Detailing many examples from scientific studies conducted over the past few decades, Ackerman also includes personal narratives from wildlife biologists who have dedicated their lives to researching birds.

Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird – Tim Birkenhead

The natural world is full of fascinating creatures, and few are as captivating as birds. To learn more about their behavior and understand what it’s like to be a bird, readers should check out Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird by Tim Birkenhead. This book offers an exciting exploration into the lives of feathered creatures from all over the globe.

Birkenhead shares his insight and expertise on avian biology, ecology, cognition, communication, and behavior. He dives deep into the anatomy of birds to illustrate how they function across different environments.

The book also covers migration patterns, courtship rituals, and mating preferences among species. With vivid descriptions and stunning photographs, Birkenhead brings readers up close with some of the most exciting members of the animal kingdom.

The Life of Birds – David Attenborough

The Life of Birds by David Attenborough is an essential book for anyone interested in learning about the behavior of birds. This comprehensive resource provides readers with an in-depth look at bird behavior, offering detailed information on various topics, from nesting practices to migratory patterns.

Readers will find themselves deeply engaged as Attenborough’s concise yet thorough writing style covers many topics in fascinating detail.

For those looking to truly understand the life and habits of birds, The Life of Birds is an invaluable resource. Attenborough’s experience as a scientist and wildlife filmmaker shines throughout the book, giving readers fascinating insights into how different species behave in their natural environment.

Best Nature Writing for and by Bird Lovers

Rebirthing – Benedict Macdonald

Benedict Macdonald’s new book, Rebirding: Rewilding Life in Our Gardens and beyond, is perfect. Focusing on the role birds can play in our lives, it offers readers a chance to explore their relationship with nature and reconnect with the environment.

Drawing on personal experience and global research, Macdonald explains how small changes to our gardens and broader environment can significantly impact wildlife – specifically birds.

The book is split into two parts; the first examines how we can introduce more bird life into our gardens by providing food and shelter. Chapters on creating ponds for amphibians, building nest boxes for owls, and planting trees to attract woodpeckers offer plenty of ideas for bringing nature closer to home.

What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World – Jon Young

“What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World” by Jon Young is a must-read for any bird lover. It’s an inspiring exploration of how birds can teach us to appreciate and observe nature in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Young looks at how birds communicate with each other, form social relationships, and how they can be used as indicators for environmental health. He also explains why their behavior is so essential to humans – from providing food to revealing hidden landscapes and offering clues about climate change.

Young uses his expertise in ornithology and decades of experience leading birding trips. Still, he also draws on stories from around the world that demonstrate how much birds have been able to offer and benefit human societies over time.

Crow Country – Mark Cocker

Crow Country, by Mark Cocker, is widely considered to be some of the best nature writing for and by bird lovers. The book looks at our relationship with crows and explores how we can learn from them and protect them. It also dives into the rich folklore surrounding these birds, making this book both informative and entertaining.

In Crow Country, author Mark Cocker examines Britain’s complex relationships between people and crows. Through vivid descriptions of his experiences with crows in various locations around Britain, he helps readers understand why these birds have such an important place in British culture. He also discusses their intelligence, resourcefulness, adaptability, and other traits that make them fascinating to admirers of wildlife.


birdwatching is a fascinating and rewarding pastime, and these 15 Best Books about Birds provide an excellent way to explore the world of avian life. Each book offers a unique insight into bird behavior, migration patterns, and different species across the globe.
Whether you are an experienced birder or just starting, these must-read books will help you to appreciate birds in all their beauty and diversity. With these books by your side, you can create the perfect library for any bird watcher’s needs.