Recommended Books

Birding Northern California by John Kemper - Extensive guide to birding locations throughout Northern California. Maps, directions, habitats, bird lists, and general information for each location. Status and distribution charts in the rear of the book as well as a good list of references.

Discovering Sierra Birds by Ted Beedy - Good descriptions of birds typically found in the Sierra Nevada. Discusses the various habitats found in the Sierras. Species accounts include a record of sightings in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Currently out of print.

Hawks in Flight by Pete Dunne, David Sibley, and Clay Sutton - Guide to identifying migrant raptors in flight. Emphasis is on identifying birds by shape, size, and flight behavior. Drawings are in black and white to de-emphasize reliance on plumage colors as an identification method.

Birder's Handbook by Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye - Large reference containing species treatments and essays on a wide range of topics relating to birds. Species accounts address breeding, displays, nesting, eggs, chick development, diet, and habitat.

Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior by David Allen Sibley - Extensive collection of information on bird life. Includes essays on biology, behavior, evolution, habitat, and conservation. Additional chapters cover these topics as they relate to bird groups (Hawks and Allies, Pigeons and Doves, etc.). Illustrated with Sibley's artwork.

Birds of North America by American Bird Conservancy - Nicely illustrated field guide that shows birds in panoramas. Range, size, abundance, identification information, and brief description of vocalizations. Birds are grouped by behaviors. The book's smaller width makes it easy to fit in your pocket.

Birds of Northern California by David Fix and Andy Bezener - Informative guide to birds found in Northern California. Introduction contains descriptions of Northern California bio-regions. Each species given an entire page. Large illustrations. Identification, size, status, habitat, nesting, feeding, and vocal information included as well as brief notes about similar species. Its focus on the region's birds aids in identification.

Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley - Extensively illustrated guidebook that includes many juvenile and alternate plumages. Includes range, size, identification information, and descriptions of vocalizations.  More complete than the other guide books as far as illustrations and number of species are concerned, but larger size makes it more cumbersome to use than most guides. Recently published in separate Western and Eastern editions that are smaller and easier to handle in the field.

Field Guide to the Birds of North America by National Geographic - Another well done field guide. Good compromise between size and completeness. Often the choice of serious birders in the field.

Source of the Thunder by Roger A. Caras - Moving story of the birth, life, and death of a California Condor coincident with its decline in modern times. Natural history of the bird is included as well as Native American legend.

Kingbird Highway by Ken Kaufman - Biographical account of Kaufman's big year. The author dropped out of high school and repeatedly hitchhiked around the continent in a quest to see as many different bird species as possible in a single year.

The Singing Life of Birds by Donald Kroodsma - Fascinating accounts of field experiments investigating the how, what, where, and why of birdsong.  The author is the acknowledged authority in his field.  His writing is a rare combination of science and art.  Sonograms (visual representations of birdsong) are scattered throughout the book and are keyed to the accompanying CD.

Letters from Eden: A Year at Home, in the Woods by Julie Zickefoose - Four seasons worth of the author's (and her family's) interactions with birds and other wildlife on her Southern Ohio farm.  The author also did the beautiful paintings and sketches that illustrate the accounts in the book.

Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul - Fascinating accounts of bird migration in the Western Hemisphere that include stunning feats of avian endurance, how migrating birds are tracked, as well as the author's experiences in studying the phenomenon.

The Owl and the Woodpecker: Encounters with North America's Most Iconic Birds by Paul Bannick - Beautiful photos and informative essays on North American Owls and Woodpeckers.  The species accounts are arranged by habitat.  Includes an audio CD from Martyn Stuart.

The Birds of Towhee Lane by Betty Shannon - Retired bird rehabber for Sierra Wildlife Rescue has compiled decades of fascinating stories about nesting birds on her  property.  Each chapter is chock full of bird behavior as interesting as it is educational.

 

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald - The story of how a woman dealt with the loss of her father by re-connecting with her childhood falconry experiences while training a Goshawk.

 

Recommended Movies

The Big Year

A dramatization of three birders competition to see the most North American birds in one year.

 

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

A documentary about Parrots living wild in San Francisco and one man's stewardship.

 

The Million Dollar Duck

A documentary about the Federal Duck Stamp art competition.  Several artists are profiled.

 

A Birder's Guide to Everything

A dramatization about several young birders chasing a rare bird.

 

Fly Away Home

A dramatization of a father and daughter helping geese migrate with an ultralight aircraft.

 

Winged Migration

A documentary about bird migration the world over with stunning photography and videography.

 

Project Passenger Pigeon

A documentary about the life and extinction of the Passengar Pigeon and the lessons to be learned.

 

The Lost Bird Project

A documentary about a sculptor who memorializes extinct birds.

 

The Messenger

A recent documentary about the role of songbirds as an indicator species.

Have you found an injured bird or other animal?

For El Dorado County contact

Sierra Wildlife Rescue

(530) 621-4661.

For the Sacramento area contact Wildlife Care Association

(916) 965-WILD.

Have you found a bird band?

Please report the number to the USGS Bird Banding Lab.

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