Understanding Bird Behaviour
by Stephen Moss
Edition: 1st ed., 2015
The way birds behave is one of the vital keys to accurate identification, and this book provides the experienced instruction needed to understand and get the most out of watching birds. This guide covers all the fundamental types of bird behavior, including movement, feeding, breeding, migration, navigation, distribution, range, life, and death, all of which are illustrated with beautiful photographs. There is a whole section dedicated to the behavior of different species groups, from divers and grebes to sparrows, buntings, and finches.
Its an educative read, but it is not quite the comprehensive treatment of the behaviour of all groups of birds that you might surmise from the title; a better one might have been Understanding British Bird Behaviour. The book limits its treatment, for the most part, to species occurring in the British Isles. Despite this, the text provides ample coverage of all the more common examples of bird behaviour that most of us can expect to come across.
Understanding Bird Behaviour makes no claims of being an exhaustive reference but as an introductory text on the subject it covers a lot of ground. The information is clearly presented and perfectly accessible for beginners while still holding plenty to recommend it to experienced birders as well. The limited geographic treatment results in missing many fascinating examples of bird behaviour (nothing on flightless birds, nectarivores, bowerbirds, megapodes, hornbills, birds-of-paradise) but the interested reader will track down full accounts of these groups in other books easily enough.