The Handbook of Bird Biology is an essential reference for birdwatchers, college students, and educators. Since its first publication by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 1972, tens of thousands of students and bird enthusiasts have transformed their understanding of the avian world using this comprehensive text. The fully revised 3rd edition provides expanded and updated coverage written by world-renowned ornithologists from Cornell and beyond.

Read what these experts have to say about The Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition:

The new Handbook of Bird Biology from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology is intellectually and visually inspiring. The text conveys the excitement and appeal of watching and studying birds, while the exquisite photographs capture their beauty and diversity. I can’t imagine a better textbook, or a general reference for aspiring or established ornithologists and naturalists.

Craig W. Benkman, Robert B. Berry Distinguished Chair in Ecology, University of Wyoming

This is a comprehensive resource for everyone interested in learning more about birds. Written by a team of experts from around the world, this essential volume covers all aspects of avian diversity, behaviour, ecology, evolution, physiology and conservation. It shares and explains important scientific discoveries about birds and provides the essential background for a deeper understanding and enjoyment of birds and their lives. Whether you’re a birder, aviculturist, a student of ornithology, resource manager or conservation biologist, this completely updated book is an indispensable and readable resource that you will refer to often.

GrrlScientist, Forbes, Best Books About Birds and Birding in 2016

Watching birds in the wild is the most rewarding element of any ornithologist’s life. In turn, disseminating the knowledge learned from ornithologists in a beautifully illustrated, up-to-date, and digitally enhanced book is a feat that few accomplish. In the Handbook of Bird Biology, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s team provides readers at all levels a vast but digestible set of general evolutionary, behavioral, and physiological concepts, rigorous scientific appraisals, and diverse, data-driven examples. From learning about why coots must recognize parasitic impostors in their clutch to visualizing how the oversized egg of the kiwi fits within its skeleton, this book is full memorable and well explained information and of course, beautiful depictions of birds of all feathers. 

Mark E. Hauber, Editor of The Auk and Interim University Vice Provost for Research, City University of New York

Illustrated with superb photographs and excellent illustrations, this new edition of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Handbook of Bird Biology covers all aspects of the biology of birds, including their evolution, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation. The text is clearly written, with key topics and concepts highlighted and well explained. The book will serve equally well as an introduction to bird biology for the interested layperson or as a text for a university course in ornithology. A truly remarkable and comprehensive book, it will also provide a useful reference and refresher for the professional ornithologist.

Richard T. Holmes, Harris Professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus, Dartmouth College

This deeply informative and visually stunning book will be the essential resource for all interested in birds. With its comprehensive overview of essential concepts in biology, including principles from evolution, ecology, physiology, behavior, and conservation, anyone wanting a single resource to organize their learning of conceptual principles of modern biology could do no better than this book, with the added benefit of learning deeply about the colorful and fascinating diversity of birds. Written in a straightforward and engaging style while still being scientifically top-notch, it will be equally appealing to professional ornithologists, university students, and bird enthusiasts of all backgrounds. The visual layout is superb, with beautiful photographs as well as carefully designed figures and diagrams. The team at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has done a wonderful job with both this book as well as the extensive collection of online videos, articles, and learning games connected to it. I will be thrilled to use all of these resources in teaching my ornithology students.

Darren E. Irwin, Professor of Zoology and Curator of Birds at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, University of British Columbia

The “Handbook of Bird Biology” is a remarkable achievement – it is a must have for every professional and amateur ornithologist or other ‘student’ interested in birds and natural systems. The numerous experts that contributed to this book provide up to date and extensive detail about all aspects of bird biology, highlighting the diversity of morphology, plumage, physiological adaptations, mating systems, vocalization behavior, migratory behavior, among other topics. The book effectively blends together the natural history stories that so intrigue us with theoretical underpinnings of many behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary processes that help us understand the natural world. The illustrations alone are exceptional and add greatly to the text, but when combined with supplementary multi-media materials developed by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, this book is truly transformational. To see videos about the Parotia’s ballerina dance, or male Sharp-tailed Grouse battling it out on leks, to read blog posts from scientists, or participate in interactive features about special topics such as song development, takes the learning experience to a whole new level. This Handbook is an extraordinary contribution to ‘students’ of birds of all ages and expertise.

Bette Loiselle, Director, Tropical Conservation and Development Program & Professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida

You don’t have to teach Ornithology, or even to be an ornithologist, in order to find the new edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology useful and highly enjoyable. It is extremely well written and beautifully designed, making it a pleasure to read. Moreover, for those of us who teach Evolutionary Biology or Behavioral Ecology, it provides so many up-to-date and inspiring examples, beautifully illustrated and professionally described (with direct links to audio-visual media), that we must be careful not to let bird research take over the entire curriculum! The book has been compiled by some of the best scientists in the field, who have impressively managed to make it both user-friendly and of the highest academic quality.

Arnon Lotem, Professor, Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University

Birds are some of the most studied and monitored organisms on earth and so an impressive amount of information has amassed on their biology. Lovette, Fitzpatrick, and a whole host of subject matter experts have done a wonderful job assembling this enormous amount of information into 15 succinct and clearly written chapters. This is the third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology, and the highly accessible text is handsomely adorned with stunning photos, vibrant illustrations and easily interpreted figures. It’s a stimulating read and a wonderful reference volume for anyone curious about birds from any level of expertise.

Peter Marra, Director, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Whether you are simply fascinated by how birds have become adapted to nearly every corner of our planet –including the mastery of flight – or have a deep academic interest in this group of animals, The Handbook of Bird Biology is an unrivaled resource. Drawing upon classic literature as well as the latest peer-reviewed data sets, the Handbook will take you on a journey through the evolutionary history of birds all the way through the finer details of behavior, ecology, physiology and more. Beyond being informative, the layout and graphic design of this book is clever, gorgeous and highly engaging. The authors have more than successfully achieved the difficult goal of providing a text that is both technically accurate and accessible to a broad audience.
Rebecca Safran, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Written and edited by some of the leading experts in the field, the third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology is an impressive synthesis of the “state of the art” in ornithological science. With a clear style and well chosen examples from all over the World, this book is ideal not only for anyone interested in the evolutionary biology of birds, their anatomy, behavior, ecology and conservation, but also as a textbook for an ornithology course. In addition to the abundant and outstanding color photographs illustrating its fifteen chapters, the handbook is complemented by resources including videos, audios, animations and texts of the Bird Academy website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I recommend the Handbook of Bird Biology with much enthusiasm to everyone interested in learning about birds and submerging into their fascinating biology.

Pablo Luis Tubaro, Curator of Ornithology and Director, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales