In the spirit of supporting the birds and local businesses, the Bird Center encourages you to visit our partners Bookbound (1729 Plymouth Rd, the Courtyard Shops) to purchase the books below. Call Peter or Megan at 734.369.4345 for more information. HAPPY SHOPPING and thanks for helping the birds! Every purchase of these high-quality items supports the work of the Bird Center. Most items in the store are also available for mail order. USPS flat-rate shipping is $8.

genius of birds

The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman (hardcover, $28)

 Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. In fact, according to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence.  Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight.

In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research— the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the great tit communities of the United Kingdom and the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states—Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are revolutionizing our view of what it means to be intelligent.

Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark’s nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember where it put them several months later; the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours; the well-known pigeon, which knows where it’s going, even thousands of miles from familiar territory; and the New Caledonian crow, an impressive bird that makes its own tools.

But beyond highlighting how birds use their unique genius in technical ways, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They display a strong sense of fairness. They give gifts. They play keep-away and tug-of-war. They tease. They share. They cultivate social networks. They vie for status. They kiss to console one another. They teach their young. They blackmail their parents. They alert one another to danger. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve.

This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science. Ackerman delivers an extraordinary story that will both give readers a new appreciation for the exceptional talents of birds and let them discover what birds can reveal about our changing world. Incredibly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds richly celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.

The Genius of Birds

baby birdsBaby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest, by Julie Zickefoose (hardcover, $28)

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in bird nests, or what happens after a fledgling leaves the nest, come along on Julie’s sensitive exploration of often-uncharted ornithological ground.
This beautiful book is as much an art book as it is a natural history, something readers have come to expect from Julie Zickefoose. More than 400 watercolor paintings show the breathtakingly swift development of seventeen different species of wild birds. Sixteen of those species nest on Julie’s wildlife sanctuary, so she knows the birds intimately, and writes about them with authority. To create the bulk of this extraordinary work, Julie would borrow a wild nestling, draw it, then return it to its nest every day until it fledged. Some were orphans she raised by hand, giving the ultimate insider’s glimpse into their lives. In sparkling prose, Julie shares a lifetime of insight about bird breeding biology, growth, and cognition.
As an artist and wildlife rehabilitator, Julie possesses a unique skill set that includes sketching and painting rapidly from life as well as handling delicate hatchlings. She is uniquely positioned to create such an opus, and in fact, nothing like it has ever been attempted. Julie has many fans, and she will gain many more with this unparalleled work.

Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest

backyard birdsong guideThe Backyard Birdsong Guide Eastern and Central North America: A Guide to Listening, by Donald Kroodsma (hardcover, $34.95)

 Back by popular demand with more than 300,000 copies sold, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is proud to re-release the widely acclaimed and bestselling bird audio field guide series, Backyard Birdsongs, from award-winning Ornithologist and Author, Donald Kroodsma.

Backyard Birdsongs is an interactive handbook of birds and their songs for beginning bird-watchers. With a touch-button electronic module housing common vocalizations of 75 species from across Eastern and Central North America, this volume offers a truly sensory way to identify and get to know local birds. Crisply detailed and scientifically accurate illustrations accompany each entry, and up-to-date range maps provide clear geographical reference points. Complete with an introduction to birdsongs that will inspire readers to look out their kitchen windows and venture out in the field, this unique book provides an exciting entryway into the subtle art of birding.

This second edition includes a much-requested new Sound Track Index (to help make watching and listening to birds easier), and a free download of the Cornell Lab’s own MERLIN™ Bird ID App (on iTunes and Android stores).

And as with all Cornell Lab Publishing Group books, 25% of the net proceeds from the sale of Backyard Birdsongs supports projects at the Cornell Lab, such as children’s educational and community programs.

The Backyard Birdsong Guide

This is a BEAUTIFUL BOOK of photographs!

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Bird Love, by Leila Jeffreys (hardcover, $40)

Fine art photographer Leila Jeffreys captures the beauty and diversity of some of our most colorful and elegant feathered friends. From the exotic birds of her native Australia to those of North America, Jeffreys seems to delve into the very souls of these creatures with her stunning and evocative portraits. Jeffreys works with animal rescue and conservation groups to find subjects to photograph. Her love and compassion for her subjects is evident throughout, as she captures their personalities in her delightful portraits; Commander Skyring the Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Dexter the White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Mrs. Plume the Budgerigar, and many others are as whimsical as they are beautiful.

“Bird Love,” by Leila Jeffreys

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Birds: A Mindful Coloring Book (paperback, $17)

Georgie Woolridge, St. Martin’s

Birds are the aesthetic masterpieces of nature. Now you can bring some to life with your colored pencils, markers, or even watercolor paint! Birds presents a new kind of mindful coloring book, containing over 35 astounding drawings inspired by illustrator Georgie Woolridge’s travels in India and around the world. Each stunningly intricate drawing incorporates swirling paisley patterns and other local designs inspired by the styles in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. By easing you out of your thoughts and into another world, coloring these beautiful images becomes a practical exercise in mindfulness that anyone can adopt, regardless of skill level.
Each stunning illustration is accompanied by a brief paragraph about the bird and its habitat, in addition to a helpful introduction with hints and tips about drawing, coloring, and the various effects that you can achieve by using different coloring tools. Go ahead and ruffle some feathers!

“Birds” a mindful coloring book

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The Thing with Feathers ($18)

The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human
by Noah Strycker


An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world—and deep connection with humanity.Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As we learn more about the secrets of bird life, we are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, relationships, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatrosses, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature.Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, Noah Strycker spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and shares the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds. You’ve never read a book about birds like this one.

The Thing With Feathers

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Subirdia ($30)

John M. Marzluff, Yale University Press

Welcome to Subirdia presents a surprising discovery: the suburbs of many large cities support incredible biological diversity. Populations and communities of a great variety of birds, as well as other creatures, are adapting to the conditions of our increasingly developed world. In this fascinating and optimistic book, John Marzluff reveals how our own actions affect the birds and animals that live in our cities and towns, and he provides ten specific strategies everyone can use to make human environments friendlier for our natural neighbors. For all ages!

“Welcome to Subirdia is more than entertaining- it will change the way you think about cities, nature and your own back yard!  -Thor Hanson, author of Feathers: the Evolution of a Natural Miracle.


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Birds: My First Discoveries (softcover, $8)

Moonlight Publishing

From the publishers: “Discover the world of birds from inside the egg and the nest, from soaring heights and high tree perches to swimming underwater in seas and ponds.”

For ages 5-8, and around!


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“Aviary Wonders”, Inc. ($20)

Kate Samworth, Clarion Books

From the publishers: “Since 2013, Aviary Wonders Inc. has offered bird lovers a unique opportunity: Assemble your own bird from stunningly beautiful and carefully hand-crafted parts. The birds can even be taught to fly and to sing! This slyly satirical crafter’s delight is offered as the perfect antidote to extinction of birds in the wild.”

“Brilliantly illustrated with oil paintings and filled with laugh-aloud asides as well as sobering facts about extinct species, this mock catalog is a clever send-up of contemporary sales spin and a thought-provoking look into an all-too-possible future.”


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An Egg is Quiet ($8)

Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long, Chronicle Books

From the publisher: “This stunningly beautiful and wonderfully informative book from award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston makes for a fascinating introduction to the vast and amazing world of eggs. Featuring poetic text and an elegant design, this acclaimed book teaches children countless interesting facts about eggs. Full of wit and charm, An Egg Is Quietwill at once spark the imagination and cultivate a love of science.”

Ages 5-8, and before & after!




Bird Center 12month. & 16 month Wall Calendars! (Currently Unavailable)

We have12-month & 16 month wall calendars (10.5″  x 13″ ) featuring birds photographed around Michigan by Martha Hitchener. Bring in the New Year with Michigan Birds.


Bird Center Gift/Greeting Cards!

Each 5″ x 7″ card celebrates one of Michigan’s beautiful native birds species. Choose from Hairy Woodpecker; Cedar Waxwing; Tufted Titmouse; Scarlet Tanager; Blue Jay or Cardinal! Also available in assorted packs of 5 or 10 cards! Photos by Martha Hitchiner.

Cards are available at Wild Birds Unlimited in Ann Arbor (2208 S Main St in the Busch’s shopping center.)



Hats (Only a few left!)

100% cotton truly form-fitting (no structural insert at forehead!) baseball hat with nicely scaled bill, excruciatingly beautiful bc logo embroidered onto front head of cap in bright green  One size fits all with adjustable back ‘belt’. Washable, with care. Colors, ‘indigo’ or ‘tulip’ (shown), are pre-washed for natural faded look. One size fits everybody!

$24.00 ea. + USPS flat rate SHIPPING

Also available onsite @ Wild Birds Unlimited in Ann Arbor.



Our mugs are back due to popular demand! Website address conveniently placed below that fabulous logo, nice size, comfortable handle, sturdy and long-wearing.

Reverse side: “Thank-you for helping the birds”.

$12.00 + USPS flat rate SHIPPING.

BC Mug



BC T-shirt green with ducks!

All cotton t-shirt with BC logo as pictured.

All t-shirts are $18 + USPS flat rate SHIPPING.

Sizes + shipping options