Birds are beautiful and fascinating creatures, so it’s not hard to see why if you’re dying to know more about them. Books are a great way to introduce yourself to different bird species and learn more about avian care.
Whether you’re interested in adopting a new bird or just love learning about our avian friends, choosing a bird book can be a challenge. There are so many different options on the shelves that narrowing them down to the most informative and aesthetically pleasing books can be a bit of a challenge. We’ve compiled a thorough list of books for both prospective bird parents as well as soon-to-be birders so you can easily find the best bird book that suits your needs.
Keep reading to find our reviews of the 10 best options.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 9 Best Bird Books
1. Lovebirds: A Guide to Caring for Your Lovebird – Best Value
Lovebirds make fantastic pets, not only because their small size will take up a much smaller footprint in your home, but because they’re so friendly and love being with people. If you’re considering adopting a lovebird, you need Nikki Moustaki’s book. Moustaki is not only a bird owner, but she is a bird specialist and trainer, so you know you’re getting the most accurate information from her book.
This book is a great guide for new lovebird owners as it can teach you how to select a lovebird, how to house and care for them, and how to keep them healthy and happy. This 176-page introduction to lovebird keeping is the best bird book for the money, too, as it’s available at a very fair price point.
2. Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song – Premium Choice
You don’t have to be a soon-to-be bird owner to appreciate a well-written bird book. This hardcover from Les Beletsky, a renowned ornithologist (bird expert) is a great pick for anyone interested in North American birds. This full-color book has a built-in digital audio player that will play you the bird songs and calls of 250 different species. The book is divided into four main chapters that each focus on a certain type (or types) of bird calls. These four chapters are seabirds/shorebirds/waterbirds, forest, woodland, and open country. Not only does the author play you the sounds of real birds, but he explains a little bit about each species and includes an illustration of them too.
3. What It’s Like to Be a Bird
|Author:||David Allen Sibley|
If you’re interested in learning more about birds in general, this book from David Allen Sibley needs to be on your bookshelf. Sibley takes the most frequently asked questions people have about birds and answers them in a way anyone can understand. This highly informative book looks at over 200 different bird species and is chock full of illustrations (over 330 of them!). Though its focus is mainly on backyard birds you’re probably used to seeing, such as blue jays and chickadees, Sibley also examines different species easily observable, such as the Atlantic puffin, which you can see in places like Russia, Nova Scotia, and the Faroe Islands. This book is written in non-technical language, making it simple for everyone to understand, even if you have young children that are birders in the making.
4. Parrot Tricks: Teaching Parrots with Positive Reinforcement
If you’re a parrot owner looking for ways to train your pet, look no further than this guide by Tani Robar. Robar’s book will not only teach you basic obedience training as well as fun tricks that your bird will love showing off, but it will also describe all the advantages of trick training your bird. If you ever thought you couldn’t train your bird as you can train a dog, you’re wrong. Robar starts from the very beginning, teaching you how to set up an appropriate training area and obedience skills like step up, come, and perch. Once your bird has these skills mastered, you can try more advanced tricks like retrieving items and stacking cups.
One thing to note, the author spends a fair amount of time talking about how clicker training doesn’t work, but many bird owners have found that clicker training works just fine for them.
5. Parakeets and Budgies—Raising, Feeding, And Hand-Training Your Keet
Parakeets and budgies are great birds as they are extremely intelligent, highly social, and easy to care for. Lisa Shea’s book is a great jumping-off point for any potential parakeet owner and is also a fantastic guide for people who have been budgie or keet owners for a long time. The first few pages of this book focus on choosing a parakeet, but the rest delves deeply into how to raise, feed, and hand-train your pet. This guide is very easy to read in a language that’s simple to understand. It doesn’t appear to have a table of contents which can be a nuisance for people who don’t like to read books from cover to cover.
6. The Complete Practical Guide to Pet and Aviary Birds
David Alderton hit it out of the park again with this book. This newly updated book acts as a reference manual for anyone who owns birds. It covers every aspect of bird ownership and care from housing them, building aviaries, settling new birds into their new home, and feeding and handling. This book doesn’t only focus on traditional pet birds like parakeets, parrots, and cockatiels, but it also delves into the characteristics and breeding habits of other breeds like weavers, finches, pheasants, and softbills. There are over 800 photographs in this 256-page book to keep you entertained, and its clear and easy-to-read language is perfect for anyone of any age.
7. Conure: Your Happy Healthy Pet
|Author:||Julie R. Mancini|
Conures are a beautiful, bright, and playful bird species that are adaptable and resilient. If you’re considering adopting one or if you’ve already pulled the trigger and welcomed one into your home, Julie Mancini’s book needs to be on your bookshelf. This book is the authoritative guide with all of the advice you’ll ever need to care for your conure. It has full-color photographs and is super reader-friendly which makes reading it a breeze. This book provides information on choosing a conure, creating a stimulating home for it, everyday care, and even teaching them to talk. We just wished there was more information about egg laying,
8. Chicken Encyclopedia
If you’ve ever given thought to raising chickens, you need to give the Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Damerow a read. This book is an A-Z encyclopedia about chickens and roosters so it’s extremely easy to find exactly what you’re curious about. It delves deeply into pretty much everything you’ve ever wanted to know including information about molting, different tail types, reproduction, and communication. This book contains breed descriptions, medical concerns, and a lot of fun chicken trivia which makes it a fantastic guide for people curious about owning chickens (or for those who just love these birds).
9. The Hummingbird Handbook
Hummingbirds are one of the most captivating bird species. Not only are they very beautiful, but they play a very essential role as pollinators. John Shewey’s book is chock full of facts, advice, and ecological information all related to hummingbirds. This handbook provides tips on attracting these beautiful pollinators to your yard and how to protect them. It’s chock full of stunning photos not only of hummingbirds themselves but images of their plumage variations and range maps. It’s broken down into six chapters such as Hummingbird Trivia, Hummingbirds of the United States, and Planting and Landscaping for Hummingbirds.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Buy the Best Bird Book
Choosing the best bird book for you should be a pretty easy task now that you know the ten best options out there. If you’re still needing a bit of help deciding, here are some further factors to consider before buying.
Are you planning on buying a bird book because you’re looking at adopting a new avian friend, or are you researching bird books simply because you love birds? Do you want to know more about the birds that are showing up in your backyard, or do you hope to learn how to train your pet bird?
Your answer to this question will play a huge part in the decision-making process. You wouldn’t buy a book about conures if you’re only interested in learning how to attract hummingbirds to your yard.
Another important consideration to factor in as you search for a bird book is the quantity and quality of the images included in said book. Many of the books on our list double as beautiful coffee table books as they’re full of stunning photography that you’ll feel proud to have on display. Others have illustrations and hand-drawn images instead of photographs. Some of the options are so full of information that there aren’t many images at all. How important is it to you that the book you choose is visually appealing as well as informative?
You don’t have to take our word for it that the above ten books are the best out there. Reading reviews from real readers like you can provide more insight into the books you’re considering buying. We always recommend checking out the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads before adding any book to your cart. This way, you will know a little more about what to expect when the book arrives on your doorstep as you’ll have read reviews from real people who have already finished the book.
David Alderton’s book Cockatiels: Care and Breeding is the best overall bird book because it’s both informative and easy to digest. The best value bird book is Nikki Moustaki’s Lovebirds: A Guide to Caring for Your Lovebird, as it’s both informative and easy on the pocket. For birders with a larger budget, we recommend Lee Beletsky’s Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song, as it allows you to both see and hear different species of birds.
We hope our reviews will make choosing the best bird book for you a bit easier now. Happy reading!
Featured Image Credit: Gerdzhikov, Shutterstock