Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Everything you ever want to know and more.
Birds of Wisconsin, Stan Tekiela
I always recommend Tekiela’s guidebooks because of their clear information, organization by bird color, handy “compare this bird to this other similar bird” feature and full color photos (I can’t deal with the guidebooks that only have drawings). They’re great for the novice, or (as I like to call myself) “casual” naturalist.
Check out all of Tekiela’s books at Nature Smart Wildlife.
Hope Is the Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds, Christopher Cokinos
Stories of recently extinct birds, from the Passenger Pigeon to the Eastern Prairie Chicken. Did you know that North America once had a native species of parakeet? Often heartbreaking, Cokinos resists lapsing into telling simple morality tales warning against the consequences of over-hunting and human greed (and there is certainly plenty of that to go around), managing to present complex stories about the myriad of historical, social and ecological reasons birds go extinct.
Any nature documentary by (Sir) David Attenborough: Life of Birds, Life of Mammals and more.
Gorgeous cinematography and always fascinating narration. Then there’s the notorious “Attenborough peeping tom” shot, found in almost every episode: Attenborough, in rumpled khaki and rumpled hair, discussing wingspan, the camera pans out and you see he’s, like, literally in the middle of a gulls nest or peering over a rock watching a bird of paradise mate.