London Review of Rooks: Books about Birds

Keats’ nightingale, Coleridge’s albatross, Flaubert’s parrot, Catullus’s sparrow, Bishop’s sandpiper, Kafka’s owl, Yeats’ wild swans, Poe’s raven, Shelley’s skylark, Plath’s pheasant, Hughes’ crow, Ibsen’s duck, West’s grey falcon, Chekhov’s seagull, Hines’ kestrel - all of them excellent literary birds which do not feature in this list. Instead, we present a mix of ornithology (Birds Britannica), bird psychology (Alex and Me), T.H. White’s masterpiece The Goshawk, and more soaring reads.

The Goshawk

T. H. White, introduction by Marie Winn

Training a hawk is nothing like training a dog – in all its fundamentals it is an act of seduction, and in her introduction to this stunning account of the process, Marie Winn refers to the ...


The Running Sky: A Bird-Watching Life

Tim Dee

From the publisher:

The Running Sky records a lifetime of looking at birds. Begining in summer with clouds of breeding seabirds in Shetland and ending with crepuscular nightjars like giant moths ...


Birds and People

Mark Cocker, illustrated by David Tipling

From the publisher:

Part natural history and part cultural study, it describes and maps the entire spectrum of our engagements with birds, drawing in themes of history, literature, art, cuisine, ...


Collins Bird Guide

Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterstrom and Peter J. Grant

From the publisher:

Following on from its hugely successful launch in 1999, Collins Bird Guide – the ultimate reference book for bird enthusiasts – now enters its second edition.


The Poetry of Birds

Simon Armitage

From the publisher:

Birds are the most obvious wild things we have around us. Some of the best known, and most loved, poems in English are bird poems. This title features poems according to ...


A Kestrel for a Knave

Barry Hines

From the publisher:

Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a troubled teenager growing up in the small Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley. Treated as a failure at school, and unhappy at ...


The Bird Skinner

Alice Greenway

From the publisher:

From the award-winning author of White Ghost Girls comes an evocative tale of memory, loss – and the redemptive power of friendship.



David Cabot and Ian Nisbet

From the publisher:

This New Naturalist volume provides a much-anticipated overview of these fascinating birds – the first book on the natural history of British and Irish terns since 1934.


Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird

Tim Birkhead

From the publisher:

A hugely engaging book about birds, their senses and behaviour that is informed by an attractive blend of personal experience, entertaining stories and cutting-edge science.