Bird Book Club

Our book club is an opportunity to read books, meet the authors, and join others in fun discussions. We meet once each month on a Thursday for about one hour beginning at 8 p.m. EST. To join, you must register for each session. Links are provided with upcoming books below. Visit our SHOP to purchase current and past books. 

What people say about Bird Book Club:

Very informative presentation”   “The book club meeting was great”  “Thank you for this wonderful book club.” “I love this book club.” “Thank you so much!! The book is fascinating and awesome!”  “Thank you for this excellent talk tonight.”

See what we’ve read! 

Recordings available FOR RECENT SESSIONS

The Secret Perfume of Birds Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent

Danielle J. Whittaker

April 21, 2022 at 5pm PT, 6PM mt, 7 pm CT, 8pm ET

Register to the event here: 

Purchase the book here

The untold story of a stunning discovery: not only can birds smell, but their scents may be the secret to understanding their world.

The puzzling lack of evidence for the peculiar but widespread belief that birds have no sense of smell irked evolutionary biologist Danielle Whittaker. Exploring the science behind the myth led her on an unexpected quest investigating mysteries from how juncos win a fight to why cowbirds smell like cookies. In The Secret Perfume of Birds—part science, part intellectual history, and part memoir—Whittaker blends humor, clear writing, and a compelling narrative to describe how scent is important not just for birds but for all animals, including humans.

Solid Air: Invisible Killer – Saving Billions of Birds from Windows by Daniel Kleim

May 12, 2022 at 5pm PT, 6PM mt, 7 pm CT, 8pm ET

Register to the event here

Purchase the book here

About the book:

Birds behave as if sheet glass is invisible to them. They kill themselves striking clear and reflective panes in all types and sizes of human-built structures the world over. The killing is indiscriminate, taking the fit and unfit species, of any age category- both common and of conservation concern. Window-kills occur in the billions worldwide annually. The victims are always unintended, unnecessary, harmless, and have no voice or other means to protect themselves.

The science documenting this significant scale of loss has been known for decades, but only recently have meaningful efforts to address the problem occurred. Here, Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr., describes and summarizes the challenges and solutions to this important conservation issue for birds and people that can be used by, among others, architects and developers, legislators, legal professionals, urban planners, and homeowners alike.

Unlike the complexities of other environmental challenges, such as climate change, this important conservation issue for birds and people can be solved, and the means to do so are described within the pages of this work to guide this worthy effort.

The author’s 44 years of scientific research have revealed answers to create proven bird-safe products for sale. This book ultimately tries to make the case that such a commitment is worthwhile and needed.

The bald Eagle by Jack E. Davis

June 23, 2022 at 5pm PT, 6PM mt, 7 pm CT, 8pm ET

Register to the event here: 

Purchase the book here

The bald eagle is regal but fearless, a bird you’re not inclined to argue with. For centuries, Americans have celebrated it as “majestic” and “noble,” yet savaged the living bird behind their national symbol as a malicious predator of livestock and, falsely, a snatcher of babies. Taking us from before the nation’s founding through inconceivable resurgences of this enduring all-American species, Jack E. Davis contrasts the age when native peoples lived beside it peacefully with that when others, whether through hunting bounties or DDT pesticides, twice pushed Haliaeetus leucocephalus to the brink of extinction.

Filled with spectacular stories of Founding Fathers, rapacious hunters, heroic bird rescuers, and the lives of bald eagles themselves―monogamous creatures, considered among the animal world’s finest parents―The Bald Eagle is a much-awaited cultural and natural history that demonstrates how this bird’s wondrous journey may provide inspiration today, as we grapple with environmental peril on a larger scale.

“Jack Davis shows us not only what bald eagles have meant to humans . . . but what it might feel like to be one.”

Hummingbird Handbook by John Shewey

July Thursday 21 at 6pm MT

Register to the event here 

Purchase the book here

“Captures the spirit and allure of these captivating birds in every fascinating fact, historical tidbit, amusing anecdote, species profile and plant pick.” —Birds & Blooms

Hummingbirds inspire an unmistakable sense of devotion and awe among bird lovers. Gardeners, too, love the company of hummingbirds, not only for their beauty, but also for their role as pollinators. Brimming with astonishing facts, practical advice, and important ecological information, The Hummingbird Handbook is a must-have guide to attracting, understanding, and protecting hummingbirds. From advice on feeders to planting and landscaping techniques that will have your garden whirring with tiny wings, lifelong birder John Shewey provides all you need to know to entice these delightful creatures. An identification guide makes them easy to spot in the wild, with stunning photographs, details on plumage variations, and range maps showing habitats and migration patterns. Need more joy in your life? Let this guide and nature’s aerial jewels help you create a lively haven.

Bird versus Bulldozer, Thursday, August 25, 2022 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET

Register HERE

Purchase the book HERE

The story of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher is a parable for understanding the larger ongoing struggle to conserve biodiversity in regions confronted with intensifying urban development. Because this gnatcatcher depends on vanishing coastal sage scrub in Southern California, it has been regarded as a flagship species for biodiversity protection since the early 1990s. But the uncertainty of the gnatcatcher’s taxonomic classification—and whether it can be counted as a “listable unit” under the Endangered Species Act—has provoked contentious debate among activists, scientists, urban developers, and policy makers.
Synthesizing insights from ecology, environmental history, public policy analysis, and urban planning as she tracks these debates over the course of the past twenty-five years, Audrey L. Mayer presents an ultimately optimistic take on the importance of much-neglected regional conservation planning strategies to create sustainable urban landscapes that benefit humans and wildlife alike.

Woody’s last laugh by Christopher Haney

Thursday, Sept 22, 2022 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET

Register HERE

Purchase the book HERE

Woody’s Last Laugh – How the Extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker Fools Us into Making 53 Thinking Errors

Woody’s Last Laugh explores a simmering controversy amid scientists, conservationists, birders and the media: the supposed ‘extinction’ of American ivory-billed woodpecker. Among the first to identify rampant mental errors inside conservation and environmental professions, the book identifies 53 distinct kinds of cognitive blunders, psychological biases, and logical fallacies on both sides of the woodpecker controversy. Few species have ever provoked such social rancor. Why are rumors of its persistence so prevalent, unlike other near or recently extinct animals? Why are we so bad mannered with each other about a mere bird? How is it that we cannot agree even on whether a mere bird is alive or dead? Woody’s Last Laugh uncovers why such mysteries so mess with our heads. By exploring uncharted borders between conservation and mental perception, new ways of evaluating truth and accuracy are opened to everyone.  If there is one lesson Dr. Haney hopes his book delivers, it is to not overvalue our thinking skills. Human reason is fallible, even among scientists and technical experts. To improve our essential relationship with nature, conservation practices will need to devote as much attention to the unbridled thoughts as the unswerving sentiments. Dead or alive, however, the ivory-bill got the last laugh on us all.

The End of Night by Paul Bogard Thursday, Oct 27, 2022 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET

Register HERE

Purchase the book HERE

A deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left.

A starry night is one of nature’s most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans’ eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In The End of Night, Paul Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art.

From Las Vegas’ Luxor Beam — the brightest single spot on this planet — to nights so starlit the sky looks like snow, Bogard blends personal narrative, natural history, science, and history to shed light on the importance of darkness — what we’ve lost, what we still have, and what we might regain — and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight.

How Birds do involve by Douglas Futuyma

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET

Register HERE

Purchase the book HERE

How Birds Evolve explores how evolution has shaped the distinctive characteristics and behaviors we observe in birds today. Douglas Futuyma describes how evolutionary science illuminates the wonders of birds, ranging over topics such as the meaning and origin of species, the evolutionary history of bird diversity, and the evolution of avian reproductive behaviors, plumage ornaments, and social behaviors.

In this multifaceted book, Futuyma examines how birds evolved from nonavian dinosaurs and reveals what we can learn from the “family tree” of birds. He looks at the ways natural selection enables different forms of the same species to persist, and discusses how adaptation by natural selection accounts for the diverse life histories of birds and the rich variety of avian parenting styles, mating displays, and cooperative behaviors. He explains why some parts of the planet have so many more species than others, and asks what an evolutionary perspective brings to urgent questions about bird extinction and habitat destruction. Along the way, Futuyma provides an insider’s perspective on how biologists practice evolutionary science, from studying the fossil record to comparing DNA sequences among and within species.

A siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows

Thursday, Dec 1, 2022 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET

Register HERE

Purchase the book HERE

2015 Arthur Ellis Award ― Winner, Best First Novel • Globe and Mail 100: Best Books of 2014 • 2015 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize ― Shortlisted, Best Mystery

Inspector Domenic Jejeune’s success has made him a poster boy for the U.K. police service. The problem is Jejeune doesn’t really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds.

Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, located in the heart of Britain’s premier birding country, Jejeune’s two worlds collide when he investigates the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. His ambitious police superintendent foresees a blaze of welcome publicity, but she begins to have her doubts when Jejeune’s most promising theory involves a feud over birdwatching lists. A second murder only complicates matters.

To unravel this mystery, Jejeune must deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues, and his own insecurities. In the case of the Saltmarsh birder murders, the victims may not be the only casualties.

ajax-loader