Bird Book Bonanza

I have done a lot of bird posts and a lot of book posts but never a bird book post!  At least I don’t think…  I have told you about my favorite take along guide book and we have another larger guide book with more birds but this is not a field guide or reference book post.  In fact between my Golden Guide: Birds and All About Birds online, my identification and basic bird facts needs are covered.  Here I have included books to read and enjoy with or about birds!

For kids…  

In My Nest by Sara Gillingham, illustrated by Lorena Siminovich

Children are sure to love this delightful finger puppet book. Layered die-cut pages allow a peek at all the colorful things that make up each animal’s home, and an adorable folk-art style finger puppet make this book that is filled with reading and playtime fun (Amazon Description).

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson

When three owl babies awake one night to find their mother missing, they can’t help but wonder if she will ever return.  Huddled together for reassurance, the owl babies worry about their mother – and themselves – until, at last, she gracefully swoops back down to the nest.  This book can be used to comfort children who will recognize and appreciate the fear of these young owls (from book flap).

Birdsongs by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

The sky is quiet.

The yard is quiet.

The creek is quietly gurgling.

Then…tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat! A red-capped woodpecker starts his rap for the day. Next comes nine soft coos from the mourning doves, followed by the chipping of a flurry of sparrows. And on go the birdsongs throughout the day.

Celebrate neighborhood birds in this poetic picture book, and count their sounds backward from ten to one, until all is quiet in the yard again (Amazon description).

Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni

Tico, a little bird born without wings, is one day granted his dearest wish. But the wings he gets are made of gold and his bird friends turn against him. “You think you are better than we are,” they say. What Tico does with his golden feathers—and the important lesson he learns—is a fable that children will take to their hearts.

Today at the Bluebird Cafe: A Branchful of Birds by Deborah Ruddell and illustrated by Joan Rankin

A world of birds unfolds in twenty-two vivid poems that capture the unique personalities of birds from backyard blue jays to toucans and cockatoos. Come sweep through the sky with an eagle, compare table manners with a vulture, and mock a mockingbird — if you dare!

Debora Ruddell’s poems are funny and thoughtful, silly and sweet. Joan Rankin’s delightful pictures enchant the eye and tickle the funny bone. There is something for everyone who flies through the pages of this brilliantly birdbrained book (Amazon description).

A Drop of Gold by Vlasta van Kampen

The story of how birds got their colors is beautifully told by Vlasta van Kampen through her vibrant, colorful illustrations.

Mother Nature has been very busy creating a wonderful world, but among all her responsibilities the birds have been overlooked: they are colorless! When she realizes what has happened, Mother Nature quickly sets about correcting her mistake. She calls on some special helpers, the monkeys.

They arrive with pots of paints and baskets overflowing. All the birds assemble and the monkeys paint them in turn, until each is beautiful and unique. Some are speckled, some brightly colored, some striped. When the coloring is done, the birds experiment with bills and beaks and crests, deciding what they like and how they wish to dress themselves.

It is a grand time, and when they are finished, a wonderful celebration follows as they all dance together. Into the middle of the festivities flies one small, tired bird. He has gotten lost on his way and fears he has arrived too late to receive his colors.

Sadly, the monkeys look around and discover only two pots left – one with a drop of brown paint and the other with a drop of gold. They mix the brown paint with sweet nectar and paint the little bird all over. He had hoped to be bright and beautiful, however, so he remains sad.

Then the duck has a wonderful idea. She asks the little bird to open his mouth, and into it she lets fall the single drop of gold paint. When the little bird opens his mouth to chirp, out comes the sweetest sound any of the birds have heard (Amazon description).

The Restless Robin by Margorie Flack

This is such a nice older book.  We scooped it up at a library sale.

The journey of a robin as it migrates and meets other birds and starts a family (Amazon description).

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter

2012 marks 110 years since Warne published The Tale of Peter Rabbit. In celebration, we are publishing limited editions of twelve classic tales with colorful covers, special endpapers, and notes explaining the history behind each book. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck is the tale of Jemima, who wants a quiet place to lay her eggs (Amazon description).

Just Plain Fancy by Patricia Polacco

Naomi Vlecke lives with her farming family in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. The Amish first came to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s, and to this day preserve a religious and “plain” life-style. As part of her household chores, Naomi looks after the chickens with her little sister, Ruth (Amazon Description).

Find out what happens when they discover a peacock egg!

My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder by Sharon Lovejoy

A great way to introduce kids to nature and the joys of bird-watching, My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder combines a full-color illustrated field guide and activity book with a custom-designed, sky blue window feeder.

Sharon Lovejoy, author of Toad Cottages and Shooting StarsSunflower Houses, and other uplifting nature and gardening titles, brings her expertise and artistic sensibility to this joyous guide to 34 backyard birds, from the zippy Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the clever Chickadee, who grows extra brain cells during the winter to help remember hidden stashes of food. Lively text delves into each bird’s diet, behavior, range, nests, habitat, and calls; the watercolor illustrations are expressive and meticulously detailed. Additionally, readers will learn how to create a bird journal and whip up a batch of bird food.

The feeder is generous, shaped like a house, fully open in the front for the birds, and with side windows and a porthole for the viewer. The roof protects the feed, and the bottom lip folds open for easy cleaning. Two suction cups hold the feeder to a window (Amazon description).

The Boy Who drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

John James Audubon was a boy who loved the out-of-doors more than the in. He was a boy who believed in studying birds in nature, not just from books. And, in the fall of 1804, he was a boy determined to learn if the small birds nesting near his Pennsylvania home really would return the following spring.
This book reveals how the youthful Audubon pioneered a technique essential to our understanding of birds. Capturing the early passion of America’s greatest painter of birds, this story will leave young readers listening intently for the call of birds large and small near their own homes (Amazon Description).

Birds (DK Eyewitness Books) by David Burnie

The most trusted nonfiction series on the market,Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures.

DK’s classic look at the world of birds, now reissued with a CD and wall chart (Amazon Description).

Full-color photos. “Each spread is composed of full-color photos, sketches, and explanatory text covering the anatomy, behavior, and adaptations of birds and presented in a visually appealing manner that compels further page turning. The author leads us through all that is fascinating in our study of birds at a level of writing suitable for younger readers. A fine addition to school libraries at all levels.”–(starred) Science Books & Films. –This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds Their Stories, Their Glories by Hudson Talbott

Welcome to the United Tweets Pageant! This colorful parade of state birds competing to be Top Tweet will have readers of all ages laughing aloud. From Alabama?s Yellowhammer to Wyoming?s Western Meadowlark, each bird is a winner?and each bird loves to show off the state it calls home. Hudson Talbott has created an inspired introduction to states and their birds. His vibrant, detailed illustrations infuse the birds? interactions with energy and humor, making this a great way to spark kids? interest in United States history, geography, and, of course, wildlife (Amazon description)!

For grown-ups…  

The Armchair Birder: Discovering the Secret Lives of Familiar Birds by Jon Yow

While birding literature is filled with tales of expert observers spotting rare species in exotic locales, John Yow reminds us that the most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside our windows. In thirty-five engaging and sometimes irreverent vignettes, Yow reveals the fascinating lives of the birds we see nearly every day. Following the seasons, he covers forty-two species, discussing the improbable, unusual, and comical aspects of his subjects’ lives. Yow offers his own observations, anecdotes, and stories as well as those of America’s classic bird writers, such as John James Audubon, Arthur Bent, and Edward Forbush. This unique addition to bird literature combines the fascination of bird life with the pleasure of good reading (Amazon Description).

To See Every Bird on Earth: A Father, a Son, and a Lifelong Obsession by Dan Koeppel

Birding has become one of the most popular outdoor pursuits. What do you get when you combine birding with competition, obsession, and the sheer love of counting? You get a Big Lister, a person who aspires to see every bird species on Earth. The author’s father is among the 12 or so birders to have seen 7,000 birds or more, and this is his story. When 11-year old Richard spotted a brown thrasher in a Queens woodland, and then found out how to identify birds from a local bird club, he promptly started a list. Battling with his parents (who drove him into the practice of medicine but were unable to squelch the growing obsession with birds), Richard tried and failed at marriage (though produced the book’s author) and ultimately traveled the world in the elusive desire of seeing every species. The psychology of Big Listing–birds becoming a means to an end–is sensitively portrayed. The subtext of listing’s effect on the relationship of the author and his father provides immediacy (Booklist). Nancy Bent 

The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds by Julie Zickefoose

The Bluebird Effect is about the change that’s set in motion by one single act, such as saving an injured bluebird—or a hummingbird, swift, or phoebe. Each of the twenty five chapters covers a different species, and many depict an individual bird, each with its own personality, habits, and quirks. And each chapter is illustrated with Zickefoose’s stunning watercolor paintings and drawings. Not just individual tales about the trials and triumphs of raising birds, The Bluebird Effectmixes humor, natural history, and memoir to give readers an intimate story of a life lived among wild birds (Amazon Description).

Birds by Jefferey Fisher

Birds are some of the world’s most intriguing creatures, and they have long been the preferred muses for internationally renowned artist and illustrator Jeffrey Fisher. In this gorgeous hardcover, Fisher presents 46 different bird species in elegant, hand-painted portraits. Each bird is captured in his signature stylebold, colorful, unexpected, and beautifuland paired with thoughtful musings on the species’ history and lore. Recognizable and rare birds abound in equal measure, from the Great Spotted Kiwi to the Kakapo to the common Wren. This whimsical collection of creatures will be a treasured complement to any birder’s library (Amazon Description)

The Warbler Road by Merrill Gilfillan

Literary Nonfiction. Nature Writing. In these twenty-six short essays, Merrill Gilfillan records his encounters with Wood Warblers as they flit through North American landscapes on their migratory paths. With precision, appetite, and a touch of whimsy, he sketches the tiny birds in their surroundings, perfecting the art of what he elsewhere calls “alfresco writing.” Throughout, THE WARBLER ROAD testifies to birding as a meditative, even votive dedication and a fundamental mode of attention to the world: “When I walk out with binoculars in May and September, it is often the fly fisherman in Yeats’s poem I have in mind as I move along the path. We are both out to discover and authenticate the morning, to break the glaze of habitude and mark, for an hour or so, the weave and fine points of the season and its day-in-place.” As Peter Matthiessen writes, “A bird book for poets, precisely and evocatively observed, beautifully written. Would that such a eulogy existed for every family of birds.” Amazon description

The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany by Graeme Gibson

In this stunning assemblage of words and images, novelist and avid birdwatcher Graeme Gibson has crafted an extraordinary tribute to the venerable relationship between humans and birds.

Birds have ever been the symbols of our highest aspirations. As divine messengers, symbols of our yearning for the heavens, or avatars of glorious song and colour, they have stirred our imaginations from the moment we first looked into the sky. Whether as the Christian dove, or Quetzalcoatl—the Aztec Plumed Serpent—or in Plato’s vision of the human soul growing wings and feathers, religion and philosophy have looked to birds as representatives of our better selves—that part of us not bound to the earth.

With the passion of a birdwatcher and hoarder of words, Gibson has spent fifteen years collecting the literary and artistic forms our affinity for birds has taken over the centuries. Birds appear again and again in mythology and folk tales, and in literature by writers as diverse as Ovid, Thomas Hardy, Kafka, Thoreau and T.S. Eliot. They’ve been omens, allegories, disguises and guides; they’ve been worshipped, eaten, feared and loved. Nor does Gibson forget the fascination they hold for science, as the Galapagos finches did for Darwin. Birds figure charmingly and tellingly in the work of such nature writers as Gilbert White, Peter Matthiessen, Farley Mowat and Barry Lopez.

Gorgeously illustrated, woven from centuries of human response to the delights of the feathered tribes, The Bedside Book of Birds is for anyone who is aware of birds, and for everyone who is intrigued by the artistic forms that humanity has created to represent its soul (Amazon Description).

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

A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided in his work and teaching 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.
Birds are the sentries—and our key to understanding the world beyond our front door. Unwitting humans create a zone of disturbance that scatters the wildlife. Respectful humans who heed the birds acquire an awareness that radically changes the dynamic. We are welcome in their habitat. The birds don’t fly away. The larger animals don’t race off. No longer hapless intruders, we now find, see, and engage the deer, the fox, the red-shouldered hawk—even the elusive, whispering wren.

Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over. Finally, science is catching up. This groundbreaking book unites the indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author’s own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, a deeper connection to ourselves (Amazon Description).

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Happy Father’s Day!  And if you have any favorite bird books please share!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. I love your bird posts and am excited about these bird books! Love that Yow’s book cover books right in our backyard. I really wish it was a bird I saw on our window sill this morning at 7am. But no, it was a squirrel. How he got to a third floor window with no trees or anything to climb beats me! but he scared the life out of me. Only thing separating us was the window mesh. I prefer birds. Really, truly I do.
    vanita recently posted..Growing Dreams Into RealityMy Profile

    • I do too but that might have creeped me out even if it was a bird! I like to visit wild life in their habitat not the other way around!

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