Birders & Ornithologists

Hobbyist or Scientist?

The general public can probably see little difference between birders and ornithologists and in the UK at least probably think of them all as ‘twitchers’. There is, of course, no reason why you can’t be both and some are but, generally speaking those people consider themselves to be ornithologists if they undertake a scientific study of birds or some aspect of their lives.

Whilst many birders may be of a scientific bent their main motivation is the enjoyment of seeing, watching and often photographing birds in the wild. Many are full on fanatics, others mildly interested or keen to know the names of the birds they see when enjoying the countryside or feeding them in their own back yards.

In the past, and now with citizen science projects, many birdwatcher add to the knowledge of birds and their behaviour.

Whatever they consider themselves to be they are birdmen and birdwomen and many have written biographies of some notable ornithologists and birders – some of my favourites in the useful reading section below. I’ve not read a better one than Chris Packham’s.

 

 

Useful Reading
  • A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching

    | By Stephen Moss | Aurum Press | 2013 | Paperback | 375 pages | ISBN: 9781781311493 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Concise History of Ornithology

    | By Michael Walters | Christopher Helm | 2003 | Hardback | 255 pages, B/w photos | ISBN: 9781873403976 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Rage for Falcons

    | (An Alliance Between Man and Bird) | by Stephen J Bodio | Skyhorse Publishing | 2015 | Paperback | 135 pages, 25 b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781634506724 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A-Z of Birds: A Birder's Tales from Around the World

    | By Bo Beolens | Brambleby Books | 2013 | Paperback | 236 pages, b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781908241238 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Among Penguins

    | (A Bird Man in Antarctica) | By Noah Strycker | Oregon State University Press | 2011 | Paperback | 207 pages, 16 plates with colour photos | ISBN: 9780870716294 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Arrivals and Rivals

    | (A Duel For the Winning Bird) | by Adrian M. Riley | Brambleby Books | 2007 | Edition 2 | Paperback 180 pages, Colour plates | ISBN: 9780954334796 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Audubon's Elephant

    | (The Story of John James Audubon's Epic Struggle to Publish The Birds of America) | Duff Hart-Davis | Phoenix Publishers | 2003 | Hardback | 246 pages, 16 colour & 8 b/w photos, 8 line illustrations | ISBN: 9780297829676 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Beguiled by Birds

    | by Ian Wallace | Christopher Helm | 2004 | Hardback | 272 pages, 170 photos, 182 colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780713665352 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Bird Man's River

    | By Eric Arnold Roberts Ennion | Benton Street Books | 2011 | Hardback | 160 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780957046504 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birders

    | (Tales of a Tribe) | by Mark Cocker | Vintage | 2002 | Paperback | 230 pages | ISBN: 9780099289548 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birding on Borrowed Time

    | by Phoebe Snetsinger | American Birding Association | 2003 | Paperback | 307 pages | ISBN: 9781878788412 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds

    | By Bernd Brunner | Greystone Books | 2017 | Hardback | 292 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781771642774 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds & People

    | By Mark Cocker & David Tipling | Jonathan Cape | 2013 | Hardback | 592 pages | colour photos, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780224081740 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds: Coping with an Obsession

    | (One Man's Journey Through 70 Years of Birdwatching) | By Derek Moore | New Holland Publishers | 2013 | Hardback | 272 Pages | 100 Colour & Black & White photos | ISBN: 9781847739520 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Blokes and Birds

    | Edited by Stephen Moss | New Holland Publishers | 2003 | Hardback | 96 pages, 86 b/w photos | ISBN: 9781843304845 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Eric Ennion: One Man's Birds

    | Edited by: B Walthew | Wildlife Art Gallery | 2004 | Hardback | 140 pages, Colour plates, colour illustrations | HardbackDec 2004 | #150558 | ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

    | (Lessons in Life and Death) | By Chris Packham | Ebury Press | 2017 | Paperback | 376 pages, b/w photos | ISBN: 9781785033506 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Francois Levaillant and the Birds of Africa

    | By L C Rookmaaker | Brenthurst Press | 2004 | Hardback | 506 pages, 58 Colour plates | ISBN: 9780909079598 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Had I the Wings

    | (The Friendship of Bachman and Audubon | By J Shuler | University of Georgia Press | 2001 | Paperback | 234 pages, b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9780820320793 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Henry Dresser, Victorian Ornithology

    | (Birds, Books and Business) | Manchester University Press | 2017 | Hardback | 341 pages, 62 colour & 116 b/w photos and illustrations | ISBN: 9781784994136 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • How to Be a Bad Birdwatcher

    | By Simon Barnes | Short Books | 2006 | Paperback | ISBN: 9781904977056 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • John Gould the Bird Man: Associates and Subscribers

    | By Gordon C Sauer | Oak Knoll Press | 1995 | Hardback | 190 pages, no illustrations | ISBN: 9781888262322 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Kingbird Highway

    | (The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder) | by Kenn Kaufman | Houghton Mifflin | 2006 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 336 pages | ISBN: 9780618709403 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Of Birds and Men

    | By Herbert Axel | Book Guild | 1992 | Hardback | 284 pages, 45 b/w photos by Eric Hosking | ISBN: 9780863327476 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Salim Ali, India's Birdman

    | By Reeta Dutta Gupta | Rupa Publications India | 2003 | Hardback | 59 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9788129100450 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Birdman Abroad

    | By Stuart Winter | New Holland Publishers | 2011 | Paperback | 224 pages, b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781847736925 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Birdman's Wife

    | By Melissa Ashley | Affirm Press | 2016 | Hardback | 389 pages, no illustrations | ISBN: 9781925344998 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Man who Flies with Birds

    | By Carole Garbuny Vogel & Yossi Leshem | Kuperard | 2009 | 64 pages, Colour photos | ISBN: 9780822576433 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Whose Bird

    | (Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds) | by Bo Beolens & Mike Watkins | Christopher Helm | 2003 | Paperback | 400 pages | By Henry A McGhie | ISBN: 9780713666472 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • Bird Brain

    Website
    We can deliver a variety of ornithological surveys (breeding birds, winter survey, nest site locating, collision risk assessments, species specific, schedule 1 etc).
  • Derek Bird Brain

    Website
    Derek Moore 1943 - 2014
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • IOC - International Ornithological Congress

    Website
    Melbourne has been announced as the host city for the 28th International Ornithological Congress in 2022
Organisations
  • Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences - History of Ornithology

    Website
    The most important basis for the research done at the Department of Ornithology is its rich collection obtained due to hard effort of many generations of zoologists. These are bird skins, alcohol specimens, skeletal and paleontological materials. The richness, diversity and completeness of the Department
Other Links
  • History of American Ornithology

    Website
    Pages for John Cassin, Thomas Mayo Brewer, Thayer etc

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