Following are some suggested titles to help you explore, celebrate and share the extraordinary lives of birds in The Year of the Bird 2018.
Birds of the Photo Ark / photographs, Joel Sartore ; text, Noah Strycker (National Geographic Books). This book is for avian enthusiasts, from armchair observers to dedicated life-listers. This elegantly packaged celebration of birds from around the world unites incredible animal portraits from Joel Sartore’s distinguished National Geographic Photo Ark project with inspiring text by up-and-coming birder Noah Strycker.
The Seabird’s Cry: the Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers / Adam Nicolson; with illustrations by Kate Box (HarperCollins Publishers). Life itself could never have been sustainable without seabirds. As Adam Nicolson writes: “They are bringers of fertility and the deliverers of life, from ocean to land.” A global tragedy is unfolding. Even as we are coming to understand them, the number of seabirds on our planet is in freefall, dropping by nearly 70% in the last sixty years, a billion fewer now than there were in 1950. Of the ten birds in this book, seven are in decline, at least in part of their range.
Bright Wings: an Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds / edited by Billy Collins; paintings by David Allen Sibley (Columbia University Press). In this beautiful collection of poems and paintings, Billy Collins, former U.S. poet laureate, joins with David Allen Sibley, America’s foremost bird illustrator, to celebrate the winged creatures that have inspired so many poets to sing for centuries. From Catullus and Chaucer to Robert Browning and James Wright, poets have long treated birds as powerful metaphors for beauty, escape, transcendence, and divine expression.
The Enigma of the Owl: an Illustrated Natural History / Mike Unwin and David Tipling (Quintessence Editions, Ltd.). Perhaps no other creature has so compelling a gaze as the owl. Its unblinking stare mesmerizes; its nocturnal lifestyle suggests secrets and mystery. This lavishly illustrated book celebrates owls from every corner of the world and offers abundant details on fifty-three of the most striking and interesting species, from the tiny Elf Owl of southwestern American deserts to the formidable Blakiston’s Fish Owl, the largest of all owls.
One More Warbler: My Life with Birds (University of Texas Press). One of the world’s foremost birders reflects on his life in nature, which has always “kept me young through a sense of wonder.”
Northern Goshawk: The Gray Ghost/Scott Rashid (Schiffer Publishing). Scott Rashid is the director of the Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute (CARRI), in Estes Park, Colo. Like Rashid’s previous two books, this book invites the reader to learn about the life of one of North America’s most dynamic avian predators, the Northern Goshawk. The book is filled with Scott’s art, photographs and stories of his almost 20 years researching this deep woods bird of prey. To order a copy, email Scott Rashid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds/By Laura Erickson, Marie Read (Storey Publishing). From the grand flight displays to the quiet pipping of an egg, this intimately photographed book offers a rare glimpse into the breeding and nesting cycles of birds, including the fascinating details of courtship, mating, and parenting that are so often hidden from view.
Winter Birds by Lars Jonson (Bloomsbury Publishing). In this stunning book, Lars Jonsson celebrates and explores the beauty of the birds that surround him during the Swedish winter months. Inspired by the desolate, wintry landscapes, the dazzling light and the stark contrast of colors he observes against the snow, Jonsson has created an unparalleled collection of art.
(Image Not Available) The Vulture Trees/by Sue Ring deRossett; linocut illustrations by Jessica Owings Crouch (Wolverine Farm Publishing). Sue Ring de Rosset weaves a together a narrative of storytelling and history that centers around a stand of spruce trees and their annual inhabitants, the vultures, in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Vulture Trees is part natural history, part social/ecological investigation, and mostly a beautiful story of love, loss, and enchantment with one of the world’s most under-appreciated creatures. The author collaborated with Wolverine Farm’s letterpress printer, Jessica Owings Crouch, to create 6 linocut illustrations featured in the text and printed on Wolverine Farm’s Vandercook SP15 letterpress as a set of 6 postcards sold with each copy of the book.
Natural Gardening for Birds: Create a Bird-Friendly Habitat in Your Backyard Julie Zickefoose, author/illustrator (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.) Gardeners interested in attracting a variety of birds and butterflies to their gardens should consult this book. Julie Zickefoose and the editors of Bird Watcher’s Digest detail ways to offer winged creatures harbor in your backyard. Advice on feeding, housing, rescuing and providing water sources for numerous species encourage enjoyment and the provision of safe places for birds and butterflies to visit and, if you’re lucky, take up residence.
Bird-by-Bird Gardening: The Ultimate Guide to Bringing in Your Favorite Birds-Year after Year/ Sally Roth (Rodale, Inc.) In book that she considers her life’s work, veteran gardener and naturalist Sally Roth takes the chance out of backyard birding. Readers learn what design features and edible treats will tempt particular bird families so that their birdbaths and feeders will be overflowing with the visitors of their choice.
For Young Birders:
Birds / Julie Beer. A fact-filled guide to common birds of North America includes color-coded maps, identification tips, bird-watching activities, and bird calls.
Black Bird Yellow Sun/Steve Light (Candlewick Press). As a solitary black bird wings its way through the day, little ones are treated to a magnificent flight from one vibrant color to another
Birds/ Kevin Henkes; illustrated by Laura Dronzek (HarperCollins Publishers). Birds come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Birds are magic. Birds are everywhere. If you listen very carefully, you will hear them, no matter where you live. And if you look very closely, you will see them, no matter where you are.
Backyard Birds/ by Jonathan Latimer and Karen Stray Nolting; illustrations by Roger Tory Peterson (Houghton Mifflin Co.). This book for budding birders describes the physical characteristics, behavior, voices, and habitats of a variety of common birds, arranged by their color. Includes the Peterson System of identifying birds by their unique markings