For many people, the notion of birding conjures up images of folks tramping around a forest or a swamp with heavy binoculars hanging around their necks and well-thumbed guidebooks stuffed into their pockets. While some birders do travel to search for specific species, others find a variety of specimens right outside their doors. The term “bird watching” is deceptive because hearing is also important. Often a particular bird can be identified by sound alone. For this reason, NLS produced A Birdsong Tutor for Visually Handicapped Individuals (DB 29485) in cooperation with the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. A Birdsong Tutor presents natural sounds in diverse urban, suburban, swamp, and forest habitats. This title and others in this minibibliography cover the range: birders who journey to other countries, birders who flock to rural areas close to home, and birders looking to attract more feathered friends to their own backyard.

Digital braille and talking book titles can be downloaded from the NLS BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service. Contact your local cooperating library to register for BARD. Registered users may also download audio titles on iOS and Android devices using the BARD Mobile app. Braille titles may be downloaded using the app on a device linked by Bluetooth to a refreshable braille display. To find your local cooperating library, go to or call toll-free 888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323).


A Birdsong Tutor for Visually Handicapped Individuals
by Lang Elliott

An auditory guide to the sounds made by birds and other wildlife. Following an introduction to a variety of natural sounds, including a full mixed chorus of woodland birds, Elliott, a professional ornithologist, conducts different field trips to acquaint us with various habitats of the sound-makers. With practice, the listener will be able to identify singers from the eastern United States and Canada. 1989.
Download DB29485


A Complete Guide to Bird Feeding
by John V. Dennis

An ornithologist and biologist explains how to attract a greater variety of species and tells precisely how to choose or make and install the feeders preferred by various birds. He advises on how to stock them with grains, berries, seeds, meats, fats, fruits, and nuts that appeal to different birds that visit feeding stations. 1975.
Download DB17632

The Backyard Bird Watcher
by George H. Harrison

For fledgling birders, this guide to the techniques of attracting birds to suburban and rural yards gives basic data on planning, feeding, birdhouses, and water. Offers advice on coping with common problems and makes specific suggestions for various geographical areas. 1979.
Download DB14355

America's Favorite Backyard Birds
by Kit and George Harrison

Popular guide to bird watching focuses on the ten most common bird species, such as robins, cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers. Offers a wealth of information on each: what they look like, where they live, what they eat, how they behave, when they nest and mate, and how the young are raised. Includes the authors’ own experiences and observations. 1983.
Download DB20534

The Rarest Bird in the World
by Vernon R.L.

Head Bird watcher chronicles the trip through Ethiopia he was invited on to search for the Nechisar Nightjar, which was identified as a new species of bird in 1990 solely on the basis of one wing. Discusses scientific debate surrounding the identification, the drive of exploration, and his travels through the plains of Ethiopia. 2015
Download DB84752

On Watching Birds
by Lawrence Kilham

The author is an eminent virologist and also an expert observer of birds who has watched birds on the battlefields of France and in East Africa, Central America, and many areas of the United States. He shows how to make one’s own discoveries by observing courtship and nesting activities, and conveys the pleasure of learning about bird behaviors. 1988.
Download DB28349

by Joan Easton Lentz

All aspects of bird watching are discussed in this primer, including equipment and clothing as well as birding techniques, methods, and ethics. Intended primarily for neophyte birders who want to learn correct procedures. 1985.
Download DB23709

Birding around the World
by Aileen R. Lotz

This guidebook for bird watching is intended to stimulate “early birders” and encourage travelers to enjoy the sport. Part one offers hints to successful birding, part two provides a geographically arranged introduction to common and uncommon birds likely to be encountered, and the final part presents a list of basic books and other aids designed to further one’s interest in world birding. 1987.
Download DB27972

Hand-Taming Wild Birds at the Feeder
by Alfred G. Martin

Instructional guide with fascinating true stories. Includes eleven rules for making friends with birds and describes how to identify birds with confidence. 1963.
Download DB11368

How to Attract, House, and Feed Birds
by Walter E. Schutz

Information on bird watching as a hobby and instructions on making feeders and bird houses. 1970.
Download DB18852

Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds
by Scott Weidensaul

Describes the drama of bird migration in the Western Hemisphere—the problems and the future outlook. Also discusses researchers, amateur birders, land managers, and others who study the birds' travel patterns and work to protect their sanctuaries. Covers southward journeys from Alaska, wintering grounds, nesting season, and northward flights. 1999.
Download DB62048

Hand-Feeding Backyard Birds
by Hugh Wiberg

Massachusetts author discusses his twenty years of experience patiently feeding wild birds from his hand and gives step-by-step instructions for others to learn to hand-feed. He provides information on each of the species of birds he has successfully befriended and includes tips on photographing birds. 1999.
Download DB66627

Birding for Children

How Birds Learn to Sing
by Barbara Ford

Explores the songs and calls of different birds and the learning involved in their sound-making. For grades 4-7. 1975.
Download DB15437

Backyard Birds of Summer
by Carol Lerner

Lerner focuses on summer visitors from the tropical regions of South and Central America, explaining how to identify the different birds and how to attract them to your backyard. The first section discusses birds attracted to yards by feeders and a supply of water. The second section talks about birds who use nesting boxes. For grades 3-6 and older readers. 1996.
Download DB45525

Backyard Birds of Winter
by Carol Lerner

Naturalist Lerner explains how birds survive the cold winter months in North America and southern parts of Canada, tells how to identify different birds, and offers information on what types of food they like and how to make feeders for them. She discusses such birds as chickadees, cardinals, blackbirds, wrens, doves, sparrows, and finches. For grades 3-6 and older readers. 1994.
Download DB40102


Stories about Birds and Bird Watchers from Bird Watcher’s Digest
by Mary Beacom Bowers

Collection of thirty-eight tales about the adventures and foibles of countless bird watchers. Subjects include rescuing and caring for a baby starling, an American bittern who liked fox-trots, and the world's largest living bird, wandering albatross. 1981.
Download DB18955

Parrots’ Wood
by Erma J. Fisk

The author, an octogenarian, spent a month on a remote plantation in Belize known as Parrots’ Wood where she studied wintering migrant songbirds and their adjustment to a diminishing habitat. She set mist nets, banded birds, baked bread, sipped rum, and kept a journal of daily events with reminiscences of family and friends. 1985.
Download DB23381

Neighbors to the Birds
by Felton Gibbons

Includes summary descriptions of various movements in birding and studies of early leaders: William Bartram, Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon, John Burroughs, and John Muir. 1988.
Download DB29428

A World of Watchers
by Joseph Kastner

Traces the history of bird watching, the “most scientific of sports or the most sporting of sciences,” from early, exclusive, all-male birding clubs to the wide membership of the late-twentieth-century Audubon Society. Until the advent of field guides and inexpensive binoculars, bird watchers killed the objects of their interest. Many of birding history’s colorful, eccentric personalities are profiled. 1986.
Download DB25343

Birdwatching with American Women
edited by Deborah Strom

Distinguished ornithologists, conservationists, writers, and educators, as well as several wives of famous naturalists, are among the contributors. Also includes biographical sketches of the authors. 1986.
Download DB24492

Of a Feather
by Scott Weidensaul

Living on the Wind (DB 62048) author surveys American birding from colonial times to the twenty-first century. Examines contributions of early naturalist William Bartram, ornithologist Alexander Wilson, artist John James Audubon, and field-guide author Roger Tory Peterson. Discusses the impact of conservationism and technology on birding. 2007.
Download DB65791

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