Getting ready to do some holiday shopping? Here are some birding and gardening books for all the readers on your list for 2016.
Lab Girl, Hope Jahren. Anyone who loves plants will be enthralled by geobiologist Jahren and her love of living things. It’s also an inspiring story of a successful woman in science, still a field dominated by men. Lab Girl isn’t one of the traditional gardening books, but it’s been hailed by many as one of the best books of the year, and clearly worth checking out.
National Geographic Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: Bringing Nature Into Your Yard and Garden, Nancy J. Hajeski. In my own tiny urban yard, I’ve documented 60 species of birds, dozens of butterflies species, and more. There’s no doubt wildlife gardening works. This new book from the trusted folks at National Geographic can help you create your own wildlife garden no matter where you live.
Gardening With Chickens, Lisa Steele. Backyard chickens are more popular then ever. This book goes beyond coops and feed to explore the way chickens and gardens interact. Learn how to have a successful veggie garden as well as healthy hens, and which plants will actually benefit your chickens.
Gardening for Butterflies, The Xerxes Society. As a professional butterfly gardener, I regularly tell people, “If you plant the right plants, butterflies will come.” This new book will help you do just that, with plant lists by regions and numerous other tips. You’ll also find help with identifying your visitors and learn more about their life cycle.
Gardening with Less Water: Low-Tech, Low-Cost Techniques; Use up to 90% Less Water in Your Garden, David A. Bainbridge. Gardeners in many places are becoming much more aware of the amount of water their landscapes use. Beautiful low-water landscaping is possible just about anywhere, and this book helps make it possible.
The Genius of Birds, Jennifer Ackerman. No one who loves birds will doubt that many have great intelligence. Ackerman’s book bears that out in detail. Learn about birds using tools, solving puzzles, and communicating in a variety of ways. Even experienced birders will learn plenty of new things about our feathered friends.
America’s Other Audubon, Joy M. Kiser. Ever heard of Genevieve Jones? Probably not. In the 19th century, though, she created a beautifully illustrated books showing bird nests and eggs, something Audubon neglected to include in his own work. This book gives a synopsis of Jones’ life and includes her lovely illustrations.
The Sibley Birds Coloring Field Journal, David A. Sibley. Adult coloring books are all the rage. Now you can color your stress away while learning about the birds you love!
One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives, Bernd Heinrich. Half the fun of watching birds can be getting to know the individual birds that visit your yard. Heinrich learns about bird behavior from birds nesting nearby (including in the side of his house), and shares his insights in this book.
Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest, Julie Zickefoose. Watching nesting birds is an amazing experience. Artist Zickefoose has studied 17 different species throughout the nesting process, and documented them in this beautifully illustrated book that’s part art book, part natural history, and all fascinating.
For Kids of All Ages
The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs, Andrea Pinnington/Caz Buckingham. Learning to recognize bird songs can make birding much more fulfilling. If it feels overwhelming, start with this little book that’s great for sharing with little ones. Learn about 12 common backyard species and play their songs with the press of a button with this appealing little book.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds, Catherine D. Hughes. Get kids interested in birds with colorful photos and fun facts. This book includes birds from your own backyard and around the globe. Learn about their behavior, diets, habitats, and more.
My Book of Birds, Geraldo Valério. Rather than detailed photographs, this book has charming illustrations. The facts included are still fascinating and fun, and bird-loving adults will enjoy it as much as children.
Looking for more bird and gardening books gift ideas? Click here for my previous suggestions.