Natural History Book Reviews

In the past dozen plus years, we have reviewed 152 natural history books. Here is the entire list of Natural History Book Reviews, updated February 24, 2023. The list is separated into two categories: Natural History and Field Guides. Please note that “field guides” also includes books on bird families, even though these may not be usable “in the field”.

This website focuses on birds so many of these titles are bird-related.


Natural History


Field Guides

Natural History (96)

  1. Pete Dunne on Bird Watching – Dunne, Pete
  2. Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder – Kaufman, Kenn
  3. Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide – DK Publishing
  4. Birding Illinois – De Vore, Sheryl
  5. Birder’s Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk – Wells, Jeffrey V.
  6. The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature – Rosen, Jonathan
  7. Good Birders Don’t Wear White: 50 Tips From North America’s Top Birders
  8. Birding for Everyone: Encouraging People of Color to Become Birdwatchers – Robinson, John C.
  9. Rare Birds Yearbook 2008
  10. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder – Louv, Richard
  11. All Things Reconsidered: Birding With Roger Tory Peterson – Peterson, Roger Tory
  12. Roger Tory Peterson: A Biography – Carlson, Douglas
  13. Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson – Rosenthal, Elizabeth J.
  14. Cornell Lab of Ornithology Handbook of Bird Biology
  15. Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas
  16. Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracing the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds
  17. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Nevada
  18. How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin’s Finches
  19. Birds in Flight: The Art and Science of How Birds Fly
  20. Rare Birds Yearbook 2009
  21. Corvus: A Life With Birds – Woolfson, Esther
  22. Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds
  23. Lars Jonsson’s Birds: Paintings From a Near Horizon – Jonsson, Lars
  24. The Travails of Two Woodpeckers
  25. Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds – Gentile, Olivia
  26. National Geographic Illustrated Birds of North America (Folio Edition)
  27. Birds of Eastern North America (Princeton University Press)
  28. Birds of Western North America (Princeton University Press)
  29. Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds
  30. Bird – Zuckerman, Andrew
  31. Bird Coloration (National Geographic)
  32. All About Birds: A Short Illustrated History of Ornithology – Chansigaud, Valerie
  33. Prairie Spring: A Journey Into the Heart of a Season – Dunne, Pete
  34. The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong – Kroodsma, Donald
  35. Birdsong by the Seasons: A Year of Listening to Birds – Kroodsma, Donald
  36. Birdology – Montgomery, Sy
  37. Molt in North American Birds (Peterson Reference Guides) – Howell, Steve N. G.
  38. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals
  39. Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year – Pyle, Robert Michael
  40. Global Birding (National Geographic)
  41. The Scoop From Bird Poop – McCasland, Bebe
  42. The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation
  43. The Birdwatcher’s Guide to Hawai’i – Soehren, Rick
  44. Hawaiian Birds of the Sea – Shallenberger, Robert J.
  45. The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth – Conniff, Richard
  46. Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build – Goodfellow, Peter
  47. Arctic Autumn: A Journey to Season’s Edge – Dunne, Pete
  48. Wildflower Wonders: The 50 Best Wildflower Sites in the World – Gibbons, Bob
  49. Backyard Bird-Feeding Success – Martin, Deborah L.
  50. How to Be a Better Birder – Lovitch, Derek
  51. What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World – Young, Jon
  52. The Atlas of Birds: Diversity, Behavior, and Conservation – Unwin, Mike
  53. National Geographic Bird-Watcher’s Bible: A Complete Treasury
  54. Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania
  55. More Than Birds: Adventurous Lives of North American Naturalists – Shushkewich, Val
  56. The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book – Tornio, Stacy & Keffer, Ken
  57. Gardening For the Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard – Adams, George
  58. The Unfeathered Bird – Grouw, Katrina van
  59. Rare Birds of North America – Howell, Lewington, & Russell
  60. The Fascination of Birds: From Albatross to the Yellowthroat – Young, William
  61. The Art of Bird Finding – Dunne, Pete
  62. Silent Spring Revisited – Jameson, Conor Mark
  63. Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life – Monbiot, George
  64. The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature Deficit Disorder – Louv, Richard
  65. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants – Tallamy, Douglas W.
  66. The Genius of Birds – Ackerman, Jennifer
  67. Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community – Louv, Richard
  68. Long Hops: Making Sense of Bird Migration – Denny, Mark
  69. The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and the Triumph of American Natural History – Lunde, Darrin
  70. The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative – Williams, Florence
  71. Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life – Wilson, E. O.
  72. Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed the World – Nielson, Larry A.
  73. Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History – Flores, Dan
  74. PrairyErth – William Least Heat-Moon
  75. Across the Wide Missouri – DeVoto, Bernard
  76. Last Stand: George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West – Punke, Michael
  77. Free Range Kids – Skenazy, Lenore
  78. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West – Blakeslee, Nate
  79. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of the Plains – Kimmerer, Robin Wall
  80. Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness – Gessner, David
  81. Encounters With the Archdruid – McPhee John
  82. American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains – Flores, Dan
  83. Birds and Us: A 12,000 Year History From Cave Art to Conservation – Birkhead, Tim
  84. Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs – Louv, Richard
  85. Conversations With Birds – Priyanka Kumar
  86. The Man Who Loved Birds – James T. Huffstodt
  87. Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter – Ben Goldfarb
  88. Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals & People in America – Dan Flores
  89. The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water – Chris Dombrowski
  90. Lost Animals – Extinction and the Photographic Record – Errol Fuller
  91. The Hidden Company That Trees Keep: Life From Treetops to Root Tips – James B. Nardi
  92. The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s – Alexander Nemerov
  93. Habitats of the World: A Field Guide for Birders, Naturalists and Ecologists – Iain Campbell, Ken Behrens, Charley Hesse, and Phil Chaon
  94. The River of the Mother of God: and Other Essays – Aldo Leopold
  95. How Birds Evolve: What Science Reveals About Their Origin, Lives & Diversity – Douglas J. Futuyma
  96. The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World – Oliver Milman

Field Guides and Identification Guides (56)

  1. Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America – Kaufman, Kenn
  2. Audubon Pocket Backyard Birdwatch
  3. Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of Eastern North America – Thompson III, Bill
  4. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America – Peterson, Roger Tory
  5. Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America – Floyd, Ted
  6. Owls of North America – Backhouse, Frances
  7. Falcons of North America – Davis, Kate
  8. Watchable Birds of the Black Hills, Badlands, and Northern Great Plains – Wassink, Jan L.
  9. A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors
  10. Gulls of the Americas (Peterson Reference Guides)
  11. Shorebirds: Beautiful Beachcombers – Morris, Arthur
  12. Hummingbirds of North America: Attracting, Feeding, and Photographing – True, Dan
  13. Where the Birds Are in Northeast Spain – West, Steve
  14. Birds of Eastern Africa
  15. Birds of Southern Africa
  16. Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia
  17. Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia
  18. The Sibley Guide to Trees – Sibley, David Allen
  19. Birds of Borneo: Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan – Myers, Susan
  20. Photographic Guide to the Birds of Jamaica – Haynes-Sutton, Ann
  21. Birds of Europe (Princeton Field Guides, 2nd Edition)
  22. Birds of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Socotra (Princeton Field Guides)
  23. Peterson Field Guide to Birds – Western North America / Eastern North America
  24. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia – Simpson, Ken & Day, Nicolas
  25. Raptors of New Mexico – Carron, Jean-Luc E.
  26. Birds of Peru (Princeton Field Guides)
  27. Identifying and Feeding Birds – Thompson III, Bill
  28. The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America – Stokes, Donald & Stokes, Lillian
  29. Parrots of the World (Princeton Field Guides)
  30. Mammals of North America (Princeton Field Guides)
  31. Birds of the Middle East (Princeton Field Guides)
  32. The Birds of Kaua’i – Denny, Jim
  33. A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai’i – Denny, Jim
  34. Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic)
  35. The Crossley ID Guide to Eastern Birds – Crossley, Richard
  36. Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors – Liguori, Jerry
  37. Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding – Kaufman, Kenn
  38. Birds of Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Central and West Pacific (Princeton Illustrated Checklists)
  39. The Birds of New Jersey: Status and Distribution
  40. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America – 6th Edition
  41. Backyard Birding: A Guide to Attracting and Identifying Birds – Minetor, Randi
  42. Petrels, Albatrosses & Storm-Petrels of North America: A Photographic Guide – Howell, Steve N. G.
  43. The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America (Peterson Field Guides) – Thompson III, Bill
  44. Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England – Kaufman, Kenn
  45. Birds of Melanesia: Bismarcks, Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia (Princeton Field Guides)
  46. Cuckoos of the World
  47. Birds of India: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and The Maldives (Princeton Field Guides)
  48. Hawks in Flight (Second Edition) – Dunne, Pete; Sibley, David; & Sutton, Clay
  49. The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds Eastern Region – Donald & Lillian Stokes
  50. The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds Western Region – Donald & Lillian Stokes
  51. Crossley ID Guide: Raptors – Crossley, Richard
  52. The Warbler Guide – Stephenson, Tom & Whittle, Scott
  53. Hummingbirds and Butterflies – Thompson III, Bill & Toops, Connie
  54. Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Birds (National Geographic Kids)
  55. The Crossley ID Guide Britain & Ireland – Crossley, Richard
  56. Field Guide to Flycatchers: Empidonax and Pewees – Cin-Ty Lee