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Birding Books

Recommended titles from the Feminist Bird Club-Madison Chapter related to the birding backpacks available at a Madison Public Library location near you.

Field Guides and Birding Guides

Cover of The New Birder’s Guide t
Thompson III

This is a helpful, encouraging field guide that shares memorable tips and fun facts about a selection of commonly seen birds. It has all the features of a standard field guide (maps, field marks, photos, etc) plus commentary that helps demystify some of the language in standard guides. 

Cover of The Kaufman Field Guide to

This is a popular field guide for beginning birders that’s organized in a helpful way. It contains photos instead of the drawings one might see in the Sibley's guide. Notably, it has been translated into Spanish.

Cover of The Sibley Guide to Birds:

This guide can be found in your birding backpack! It’s an eastern guide, meaning it contains birds found east of the Rocky Mountains (and thus more likely to be found in Wisconsin!). It contains drawings of birds, instead of photos, which can be useful when learning field marks because sometimes pictures don’t show everything! 


Cover of Field Notes from an Uninte

This memoir has themes of finding meaning and community in midlife, with key parallels with birds and birding.

Cover of The Home Place: Memoirs of

This memoir discusses Black identity in birding and in the rural south and covers the author’s love for the natural world.

Cover of Life List: A Woman's Quest

This biography covers the life of the famous birder Phoebe Snetsinger who became the first person in the world to see more than 8,000 species of birds.


Cover of 1001 Secrets Every Birder

This is a fun and informative read that covers all kinds of useful tips for birding, overturns bird-related urban legends, and has anything else you could ever want to know about birds and birding!

Cover of The Genius of Birds

Some birds can rival the intelligence of primates! This book tells their story and how ornithologists have understood these birds and how cool and smart they are!


Cover of A Parliament of Owls

One of a series of bird-related murder mysteries, this book is one of a surprisingly vibrant subgenre of mystery fiction centered around birds, including books by Goff, Steve Burrows, Jan Dunlap and others.

Cover of The Thirty Names of Night

Rare birds connect generations, countries, and communities, in this coming-of-age novel that is ultimately about finding and accepting oneself, family, and community.

Children's Books

Cover of Flight of the Golden Plove

This beautifully-illustrated book covers the annual journey of the Pacific Golden-Plover as it accomplishes its amazing migration between Alaska and Hawaiʻi twice every year.

Cover of Loon at Northwood Lake

This wonderful book covers a family of loons as they raise a family on a northern lake and demonstrates the beauty of birds within our very own state of Wisconsin!

Cover of She Heard the Birds: The S

This book, illustrated in a collage art style, tells the story of Florence Merriam Bailey who helped pioneer and popularize birding as a hobby and activity in the late 1800s and early 1900s and whose work was critically important in early US bird conservation efforts and ornithology.