Birds are everywhere, right? That’s why birds are an easy way to get kids excited about animals and nature. Read beautiful nonfiction bird books to teach your children more about birds. Kids will learn about beaks, feathers, food, nests, habitats, and much more.
Then, try bird watching. Make or buy your own bird feeder. Use kid binoculars to observe what birds live in your backyard. Go on a hike and look for birds. Volunteer to tag birds at your local research center. And in mid-February, you can help researchers learn more about birds by doing the backyard bird count.
Best Bird Books for Kids
My Birdie illustrated by Jessie Ford
A bird-themed board book that features pop-out, sturdy puzzle pieces, counting, and colors great for the youngest of readers.
Touch Think Learn: Fly by Xavier Deneux
Little fingers get to move the 9 removable pieces in this appealing board book about a bird who finds a mate, builds a nest, and hatches eggs.
Bird House by Blanca Gomez
Simply told and illustrated, this is a warm-hearted grandmother-granddaughter relationship story showing how the abuela helps the little girl learn about caring for nature. A girl and her abuela rescue and nurse an injured bird. When the bird is healthy again, the abuela explains to the girl that they need to let it be free. Later in the spring, the bird visits but doesn’t stay because it’s not theirs to keep.
Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins
This is an eye-catching primary color explosion of birds that immediately attracts attention. Add in the text that invites you to flap, soar, stretch, and fly, and it seems like a perfect combination to get kids engaged. I predict your kids will be up and flying around while you read them this appealing bird book picture book gem. “Swoop up and down, swoop round and round.” FUN!
Follow the Flyway The Marvel of Bird Migration written by Sarah Nelson, illustrated by Maya Hanisch
Rhyming, lyrical text with gorgeous illustrations shows eggs hatching into bald and fuzzy chicks learning to quack and honk and FLY! As the weather turns to fall, the birds lift into the ancient flyway, migrating south. They soar up and on and on with the winds, an invisible ribbon pulling them. Back matter gives more information about migration, flyways, and how we can help migratory birds. It also defines the birds illustrated in the book, including mallards, common loons, Egrets, and Dunlins. One of my new favorite bird books!
Birds by Carme Lemniscates
Delectable, eye-pleasing illustrations are a feast for your eyes in this lovely introduction to the wonders of birds in different sizes, colors, and personalities. “Some birds are very noisy. Others sing a sweet and tender song.“
Birds by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
“Birds can be yellow / or blue / or brown / or red, / or even green, I think.” Simple text introduces young readers to birds — their colors, shapes, feathers, and more.
Stinkbird Has a Superpower by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Bob Shea
Get ready for a new read aloud favorite about the many wonders of the stinkbird! The hoatzin papa narrates about his amazing superpower while his baby bird interrupts. Their dialogue is hilarious, and we learn factual information about their clever nests, avoiding predators by swimming and climbing! Oh, also–their poop STINKS!
We Are Starlings Inside the Mesmerizing Magic of a Murmuration by Robert Furrow and Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Marc Martin
Narrated from the point of view of “we”…we are part of the starling flock. When it gets cold, we take to the sky. We are joined by more. We are hundreds, thousands, millions of us flying together, making a murmuring sound, becoming a murmuration. The flock flies together, escaping predators; the flock swirls and dances and lands…plop! Then, the starlings feed and roost together. Gorgeous watercolor illustrators capture the dark starling bodies against a red, yellow, blue, and orange sky. The creators of We are Starlings capture the magical essence of these enchanting birds.
Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones
This picture book explains how a bird collects sticks to build a nest, then lays her eggs. It’s simple yet informative. Illustrated in muted earth tones.
Hummingbird by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jane Ray
Delicate flowers explode on each page. The hummingbird in the girl’s garden in Central America travels north just like the little girl does when she moves to New York City. It’s a charming story of migration and Latin American culture as well as a celebration of nature with hummingbird facts.
All the Birds in the World by David Opie
As the narrator talks about what makes birds birds, the kiwi bird asks “What about me?” on every page. Eventually, we’ll learn the answer to the little bird’s question…even though she doesn’t fly, has no tail and has a beak with nostrils, she is part of the bird family. It’s a wonderful, inclusive book with gorgeous illustrations of birds of all kinds. Valuable back matter gives readers a key to the names of the birds on each page.
The Nest that Wren Built by Randi Sonenshine, illustrated by Anne Hunter
Starting with Wren’s building a nest to sitting on her eggs which hatch and growing fledglings, this spring story of new life consistently ends each stanza with a lovely repeating line, “..the nest that wren built.” Lyrical and descriptive with warm brown illustrations, experience the story with all your senses. “This is the tuft of rabbity fur, plucked from a harp, persnickety burr to warm the nest that Wren built.” You’ll hear the chirps, feel the velvety moss, feathers, and thread, and see the scrawny hatchlings.
How Birds Sleep by David Obuchowski, illustrated by Sarah Pedry
Read about 20 different birds and where they sleep. From the Black-legged Kittiwake who sleeps on the choppy waves of the ocean to the Sandhill crane who sleeps on one leg while others in the flock watch for predators, this is a fascinating book about interesting birds and their sleeping habits. Add to that beautiful blue-colored illustrations, and you’ll feel cozy and sleepy while reading about these sleeping birds.
The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham
Don’t you love in spring when you can start to hear birds unique songs again? This book shares 12 bird songs including a house wren, blue jay, robin, and mourning dove.
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak
“Have you heard the nesting bird?” ask the children about the robin on her nest. As they watch her, they hear the call of other birds — the “chiddik, chiddik” of sparrow, the “ha-ha-chit-chit-chit” of swallow, the “cheer-cheer-cheer-purdy-purdy-purdy” of the cardinal, and many others. But they don’t hear anything from robin until …a tapping, cracking, and hatching. Great use of rhythm and perfect ratio of words to pictures. Lovely.
On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marstall
Baby Wren and the Great Gift by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jen Corace
Baby Wren learns to appreciate the wonder of being alive and the beautiful song she sings that makes her unique.
Is This Panama? A Migration Story by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Soyeon Kim
A well-written narrative picture book story about Sammy, a Wilson’s warbler, who lives near the Arctic Circle. He knows he needs to migrate to Panama before the cold comes but he can’t find any other warblers. He starts flying and asks many animals where to find Panama (caribou, dragonflies, a snake, and monarch butterflies.) Love the information mixed in with the fictional story!
Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
As you notice the apples, their juicy tastes, the birds who feed nearby, the geometric cut-outs, peek throughs . . . and when apples are gone, you can still see the red circle but now it’s the belly of robins.
I Spy in the Sky by Edward Gibbs
Peek at the brightly colored eye area of a bird. It’s purple, has small wings, and likes to drink nectar. It’s a hummingbird! From hummingbirds to pelicans, what will you spy with your little eye? Gorgeous!
Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
Finding a Dove for Gramps by Lisa J. Amstutz, illustrated by Maria Luisa Di Gravio
A boy and his mom bundle up to help with the annual bird count. He uses his binoculars, then marks what he sees on his data sheet, remembering his Gramps’ advice. They see blue jays, a red-bellied woodpecker, a tufted titmouse but will he spot the dove that his grandpa always wanted to see? It’s a lovely tradition that honors Gramps’ legacy that just happens to have the perfect ending.
The Real Poop on Pigeons! by Kevin McCloskey
Learn how fasts pigeons can fly (faster than a car!), how they carried the first airmail, that they are in the same family as doves, and the many wild varieties of pigeons made by breeders, . . . The fun facts are actually fun — Picasso named his daughter after pigeons and the Dodo bird is a pigeon. Who knew!? Readers will be as convinced as the man in this story that pigeons are pretty wonderful but the end.
A Goofy Guide to Penguins by Jean-Luc Coudray & Philippe Coudray
A mix of groan-worthy penguin jokes and cool penguin facts, this is a delightful nonfiction graphic novel for beginning readers. The illustrations often answer the questions posed by the narrator penguin and are almost always silly.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds by Catherine D. Hughes
Gorgeous full-color photographs introduce kids to the world of birds from backyard favorites to forest and desert birds around the world. Learn about bird behaviors, sizes, diets, homes, and more.
The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Fascinating!! Danna Smith tells us about falconry from the perspective of a little girl whose father is a falconer. With this narrative, each page contains a small bit of interesting factual information. For example, on the page showing and describing how she and her father use a hood with fancy feathers so the hawk isn’t scared of the castle’s soldiers, there’s also a text box with more information about a hawk’s hood. The illustrations have just the right historical feel, too.
A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
These poems show robin parents first building a nest, then guarding eggs, and raising their baby birds to be independent. The rhyming poems are joyful, playful, and fun to read out loud. Teachers, you’ll love using these poems in your writing workshop. Vibrant action verbs capture the lives of this bird family. “Jumble, jostle, rumble, squirm” or “Wiggle, ship / Squiggle, slip” are some of the lines that captured my attention.
One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
As the town wakes up for the day, more birds soar in the sky above from one to ten and then many more. Then a hawk appears and the starlings become a large flock, moving in unison like waves, dancing together in a noisy clutch. When it’s over, the birds float back down and settle in the tree for nighttime, counting from ten back to one. A beautiful pairing of evocative images and lyrical text!
Bird Show by Susan Stockdale
Watch a gorgeous fashion show where the birds’ beautiful plumage is compared to clothing. Various birds show their adornments that look like skirts, scarves, crowns, vests, and more. Rhythmic with vivid verbs and colorful with gorgeous illustrations, this is a delight to read.
Kookaburra by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Tannya Harricks
Textured paintings and poetic text illuminate the life of the Australian kookaburra bird and her family. The narrative writing is engaging and descriptive, “Together they go nest hunting. / She kookas, / he kookas, / soft murmurings for their ears only.” But there’s more expository text that gives factual information, providing additional depth and information. “Kookaburras mostly partner for life but still court before each nesting season.“
Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog & Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth
In a word, quirky. Once you understand that you can’t really order bird parts to assemble your own bird, you’ll find this so-called “catalog” to be quite entertaining, and informative. Even in it’s satire, readers learn about species and parts of birds, meant to educate readers on the loss of habitat and bird species. Beautifully illustrated!
Ostriches: The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
You think you know. But you have no idea…how cool and weird and amazing ostriches are. Not until you read this book. I read it cover to cover in one sitting because it was so incredibly interesting and compelling! I mean, the ostriches have TOE CLAWS OF DEATH. For real. And their bones are just bizarre yet for a really good reason! What you think is their knee is their ankle bone. Not to mention their eyeballs are the biggest of any land animal. But let’s not get too much into all the fascinating facts that you’ll learn; let me just sum up by saying that this book will get you excited about the ostrich.