Useful Books on Birds and Birdsong

Introduction to California Birdlife, Jules Evens, with photographs by Ian Tait. University of California Press.
Organized by habitat.

Handbook of California Birds, Vinson Brown, Henry Weston Jr., and Jerry Buzzell. Naturegraph Publishers.
One of the only books to include an identification key based on bird sounds.

Birds of Northern California, David Fix and Andy Bezener. Lone Pine Publishing.
Easy to thumb through. Organized by type of bird. Nice illustrations.

Birding Northern California, John Kemper. Falcon Publishing.
Not a guide to birds, but to birding locations, with lists of typical and migrant birds found at each.

A Field Guide to Western Birds, Roger Tory Peterson. Houghton Mifflin.
Classic illustrations.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Western Region, Miklos D. F. Udvardy. Alfred A. Knopf.
Brilliant color photos. Organized by color and shape.

The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong, Donald Kroodsma. Houghton Mifflin.
This wonderful book is a delightful introduction to learning to listen to the songs and calls of birds. Kroodsma is a passionate advocate of using computer tools to visualize birdsong. A CD of birdsongs is included with the book. US, not specifically California.

Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong, edited by Peter Marler and Hans Slabbekoorn. Elsevier Academic Press.
Scholarly articles on the state of science on birdsong. Includes 2 CDs of examples of bird songs and calls cited in the articles.

Birdsong: A Natural History, Don Stap. Scribner.
Stap accompanies Donald Kroodsma on many birding expeditions and writes engagingly about what he learns.

Handbook of Bird Biology, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Princeton University.
A huge, nicely written text on all aspects of bird biology, including sound production.
A CD of sounds accompanies the volume.

© 2005 - 2011 Rusten Hogness