Every Book and Product Recommended by my Podcast Guests
Since it is the time of the year where people struggle to come up with useful gifts for their naturalist and birder friends, I thought I’d lend a hand. This is a list of every book, documentary, and product recommended or mentioned by my podcast guests.
And full disclosure – yes, many of these are affiliate links to Amazon. I do this in hopes of recouping a fraction of what I spend on the podcast. If you are not a fan of Amazon, that’s OK – you can still browse the product and find an alternate retailer.
Insects: Fields Guides and Regional Guides 🦋 🐛 🐜 🐝 🐞
Backyard Bugs: An Identification Guide to Common Insects, Spiders, and More – by guest Jaret Daniels
Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West by Dennis Paulson – one of the best field guides I’ve found – a bit large for the field but worth it, mentioned in the episode with Danielle Husband
Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East by Dennis Paulson – the Eastern USA version of the above
Field Guide to California Insects – Jerry Powell, Joyce Gross, mentioned by Eddie Dunbar and Merav Vonshak.
Insects of the Pacific Northwest – a regional field guide Eddie Dunbar recommends, that includes good California coverage, too.
Insects & Bugs for Kids: An Introduction to Entomology – by guest Jaret Daniels
Moths of Western North America – Jerry Powell, Mentioned by Eddie Dunbar
Plant Galls of the Western United States, by Ronald Russo – recommended by Adam Krantz
Tracks and Signs of Insects and Other Invertebrates – a wonderful guide book to insect behavior. Mentioned by Eddie Dunbar, Merav Vonshak, and Adam Krantz.
Birds: Books and Field Guides 🦅🦉🐦
Birding Without Borders, Noah Strycker’s wonderful book about an International Big Year, mentioned in the episode with Dorian Anderson
National Geographic’s Birds of North America – along with The Sibley Guide to Birds, are Brian Sullivan‘s favorite bird field guides for North America.
Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, by Scott Weidensaul – Matthew’s influential book about the wonder of migration.
New World Blackbirds – by guest Alvaro Jaramillo
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America – David Sibley, recommended by Mike Bergin and Brian Sullivan
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America – David Sibley, recommended by Mike Bergin and Brian Sullivan and mentioned by Chloe and Trevor Van Loon.
The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds – Richard Crossley, recommended by Mike Bergin, Brian Sullivan
The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors – Richard Crossley, recommended by Mike Bergin, Brian Sullivan
The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl – Richard Crossley, recommended by Mike Bergin, Brian Sullivan
The Warbler Guide – Innovative field guide to warblers that includes spectrogram visualizations of warbler vocalizations. Co-authored by guest Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson.
What the Robin Knows by Jon Young, which focuses on learning bird behavior – and especially vocalizations, recommended by Mike Bergin
Birds of Chile – the field guide guest Alvaro Jaramillo, Peter Burke, David Beadle created that helped accelerate Chilean birding.
Collins Birds of Europe – one of Brian Sullivan‘s favorite field guides (link is to the USA publication)
The Australian Bird Guide – one of Brian Sullivan‘s favorite field guides
Other Nature Field Guides or Regional Guides 🐌🦎🐸🐍🍄🐟
A Field Guide to California Lichens – Stephen Sharnoff, recommended by Kerry Knudsen
Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of California goes into a lot of depth for California, recommended by Brandon Kong
Jepson Manual – the classic for California plants, recommended by Chloe and Trevor Van Loon.
Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest – Bruce McCune, recommended by Kerry Knudsen
Mammal Tracks and Sign – A Guide to North American Species – by Mark Elbroch, this and Bird Tracks and Sign by Mark Elbroch were inspirations for guest Charley Eiseman
Monarchs and Milkweed by Anurag Agrawal, also available as an audiobook! Recommended by Dr. Carrie Olson-Manning and Sydney Kreutzmann
Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast – by Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz is one of Tony’s favorite field guides, recommended by Tony Iwane
Natural History of California, by Allan Schoenherr – a detailed dive into the abiotic and biotic factors that impact ecology in California. I can’t recommend this book enough, and wish every state had an equivalent. Mentioned by Matthew Dodder Side note: if in Arizona, check out A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert.
Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians is a good general guide for the western USA, recommended by Brandon Kong
Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific, by Eugene Kozloff – illustrated marine biology book that will help with your identification and understanding, recommended by Cricket Raspet
The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon, by James T. Carlton, recommended by Cricket Raspet
Other Nature Books 🌿🌺📖📚🏔️
Bringing Nature Home – by guest Doug Tallamy, recommended by John “Griff” Griffith
Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner – history of development of water resources of the west and the personal and environmental impact that resulted, mentioned by Jan Hintermeister
Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham, recommended by Justin Angle
Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California – the book that guest Rick Halsey wrote
Hidden Prairie: Photographing Life in One Square Meter – guest Chris Helzer wrote this book about discoveries he found in a square meter of prairie.
Native Plant Gardening for Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A series of books covering the Upper Midwest, Southeast, South (coming soon) – guest Jaret Daniels
Nature’s Best Hope – by guest Doug Tallamy – highly recommended by John “Griff” Griffith
Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the Great Plains – by William Ashworth, recommended by Danielle Husband
Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks, by Lyandra Lynn Haupt, recommended by Mike Bergin
Playas of the Great Plains – by Loren Smith (University of Texas Press), recommended by Danielle Husband
The Dangerous World of Butterflies – Peter Laufer, mentioned in the episode with Eddie Dunbar
The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States – by guest Chris Helzer. This is Chris’ highly regarded book that is recommended for any prairie enthusiast.
The Nature Fix – Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative – by Florence Williams, a book that Rick Halsey recommends
The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees – by guest Doug Tallamy
Voyage of the Beagle and Origin of Species – Darwin’s famous books, mentioned by Matthew Dodder
Other Books 📖📚
Invisible Women – Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez – Yiwei Wang recommends this book to give perspective about ways society inherently biases against women.
The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett – how humans encroachment in the wild world leads to new disease transference. Amazingly relevant now, despite being written in 1995. Mentioned by Jan Hintermeister
Fire in Paradise – the Netflix Documentary recommended by Justin Angle
Life on Air, by Sir David Attenborough, mentioned by Matthew Dodder
The Canal – Christian Shaw’s hour long documentary of his Erie Canal expedition Watch it here.
Products – Cameras, Lenses, Nature Gear 📸🔍
Hand lens or loupe – this 10x lens came highly recommended to me by a biologist friend, as a good mix of optical and build quality, great for looking at lichen, galls, slime molds, flowers, leaves, etc.
Insect aspirator (aka pooter) – here’s an example, but check bioquip.com for better ones. Recommended by Chloe and Trevor Van Loon.
Olympus TG-6 Waterproof Camera– recommended for underwater and terrestrial macro, with built-in focus stacking, recommended by Cricket Raspet.
Phone macro lenses – turn your smart phone into a macro camera. Make sure the lens you buy is compatible with your phone and case! Recommended by Chloe and Trevor Van Loon.
UV Lights for attracting moths and insects: USB UV Kit for backpacking; High powered for general use; the “Gold Standard” LepiLED. Recommended by Chloe and Trevor Van Loon.