May 2022 – Booklist
The annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival happens each May. Bird lovers come from all over the United States to visit one of the most amazing bird areas in the world. It’s a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the birds around us. Even if we aren’t hiking Antelope Island looking for burrowing owls or taking a raptor road trip, we can enjoy the amazing world of birds.
Birding for the Curious: The Easiest Way for Anyone to Explore the Incredible World of Birds by Nate Swick
Introductory guide to the hobby of birding.
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story…with Wings by Mark Bittner
Author recounts how he discovered a flock of feral tropical parrots living in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill.
Alex and Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence–and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene M. Pepperberg
Researcher describes her thirty-year relationship with the African Grey parrot Alex and relates the personality of and emotional connections made by the bird who told her “You be good. I love you,” each night.
The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar by Vernon R.L. Head
Birdwatcher chronicles the trip through Ethiopia he was invited on to search for the Nechisar Nightjar, which was identified as a new species of bird in 1990 solely on the basis of one wing.
Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World by Noah K. Strycker
The author chronicles the year he traveled around the globe to see as many bird species as he could. (Yes, this is a thing. It’s fun to be on a bird tour and hear someone who has traveled 2000 miles to be there excitedly call out, “That’s a life bird for me!”)
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W. Johnson
Chronicle of the 2009 theft of 299 rare bird skins from a natural history museum by a musician for the purpose of supporting his hobby: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.
The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife
The author describes the history and work of his role as Ravenmaster at the Tower of London.
The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird by Joshua Hammer
Chronicle of the United Kingdom’s case against Jeffrey Lendrum for stealing the eggs of endangered bird species from their native habitats. Details the underworld of black market birds’ eggs.
What It’s Like to be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing — What Birds Are Doing, and Why by David Sibley
A guide for birders and non-birders to better understand what common birds are doing and why.
And just for fun….
The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht
Humorous–and foul-mouthed–guide to birds of North America. Each entry includes physical description, notes on behavior, calls, and the general disposition of the species. Also includes a short history of bird-watching, methods of identification, general tips, and a guide on how to observe and record birds.
Image description: A small yellow bird perches on the branch of a blossoming tree.