From today’s vantage, the bald eagle holds a mythical place in our collective imaginations, now acting as an emblem of the American ideal. When the bird was selected in 1782 to be on the Great Seal of the United States, however, its place in the wider consciousness was more nuanced. In his rousing history, Jack E. Davis presents the complicated story of the bald eagle, including how ornithologists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were much less concerned with the conservation of these birds of prey. This title is also available for check out as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.
Pittsburgh is not only home to the National Aviary but also, according to Audobon Mid Atlantic, has around 188 bird different species throughout our skies, waters, and various brush, depending on individual preference.
Spring and summer are some of the best seasons to get out and explore, including appreciating our avian friends, whether through sighting or simply hearing their calls.
The literature surrounding birds is always growing, whether scientific studies or celebrations of the personal connections that one can find with animals that are, largely, at a distance.
You can sign up for a free library card here.
If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.
National Geographic photographer Tim Laman has spent 30 years of his career photographing birds in their natural habitats. “Bird Planet” is the culmination of his personal artistic journey with these amazing animals. This title is also available for check out as an eBook on Hoopla.
Tim Birkhead, an ornithologist with a particular interest in the scientific history of birds, presents a deep dive into the historical relationship between humans and birds. Birkhead focuses on how the depiction of birds in art through the ages shows the deep connection humans have with birds, beginning from scientifically accurate Neolithic cave paintings through the rise of birdwatching as a pursuit in the age of Darwin. This title is also available for check out as eAudio on Hoopla.
Pigeons are often derided as pests and not generally considered as a bird to seek out or appreciate. Rosemary Mosco gives these ever-present birds their due praise in this graphic and humor-forward guide to every urbanite’s most viewed bird. This title is also available for check out as an eBook and as eAudio on Hoopla.
Common birds, including mourning doves and crows, get loving tributes in Jack Gedney’s book of essays that focus on the science of these everyday birds while also paying special tribute to the experience of living in close contact with them, including their omnipresent birdsong. This title is also available for check out as an eBook on Hoopla.
While serious bird enthusiasts travel in order to complete their long checklists of rare avian sights, Slow Birding takes a much more local approach to the practice. Author Joan E. Strassman walks readers through the most common bird species they’ll encounter, some right in their backyards. This title is also available for check out as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby.