When we hear the word “birdwatcher” we picture a little old lady in sneakers, wide-brimmed floppy hat, khaki cargo pants, pocketed vest and a huge set of binoculars slung around a skinny neck.
The truth is, we are ALL birdwatchers – you, me and everyone else.
Admit it – at least once you’ve looked out a window into your own backyard and thought, or said, “Look at that bird. What kind is it?”
Whether it is in the wilderness of Alaska, a Los Angeles suburb or even a pigeon begging for handouts in Miller Plaza — if there are birds around, we watch them.
So maybe it’s a hardcore, professional birder on your gift list or a budding backyard birder, all could enjoy and benefit from a birding book. Here’s a few suggestions from birding experts Paul Baicich and Wayne Petersen, who publish the monthly Birding Community E-Bulletin.
— National Geographic Birds of North America, Birding is the fastest growing wildlife-related activity in the U.S., and even conservative estimates put the current number of U.S. birders at 50 million.
— Better Birding – friendly skill-building by George L. Armistead and Brian L. Sullivan.
— Baby Birds – informative and ultra-cute by Julie Zickefoose.
— The Kiskadee of Death – a birder-murder mystery by Jan Dunlop.
— Bird Families of the World: A Guide to the Spectacular Diversity of Birds – an elegant compendium by David Winkler, Shawn Billerman, and Irby Lovette.
— Woodpeckers of North America – a handsome reference by Stephen A. Shunk.
— Listening to a Continent Sing: Birdsong by Bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific – a ten-week bicycle journey by Don Kroodsma.
— Cat Wars – investigating a cuddly killer by Peter Marra and Chris Santella.
— National Park Roads – much more than a coffee-table book by Tim Davis.