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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

How many bird books have you got? (1 Viewer)

Ooh about 10 i suppose. An old Collins guide, well thumbed as well as its companion, a tick book. Then there are books on Peter Scott including a paperback in a cardboard slip case called Happy the Man.
Then there's The British Bird by E. A. R. Ennion and one Im reading now called Call of the Birds by Charles S Bayne dated 1929.
Ive also got a modern book by Simon Barnes-How to be a Bad Birdwatcher, tho Ive yet to read it.
Wow, am I really seeing three digit figures here ?!
Have you even read all those books? I can't even imagine that much, what can they all be, field guides for each country ;)

Well... OK, I think I have about a whopping 15 books |^|, most are either books about feeding birds or on building bird houses. Included are 5 field guides: The National Geographic Guide to North America (the main one I use), an Audubon guide to Eastern North America, a Slater guide to Australia (in case I ever go there) and Roger T. Peterson guides to Western North America and Mexico.
My answer to the question is - I only have 11. I have many books on birds themselves but I would classify a 'bird book' to be a field or identification guide. My list is:

The Complete Book of British Birds (AA RSPB) 1994. With a foreword by Magnus Magnusson.
The Complete Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe (AA BTO) 2009. Paul Sterry.
Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe (BTO) 2010. Paul Sterry.
RSPB Birds of Britain and Europe (RSPB) 2004. Rob Hume.
RSPB Handbook of British Birds 4th edition (RSPB) 2014. Peter Holden and Tim Cleeves.
RSPB Handbook of Scottish Birds (RSPB) 2009. Peter Holden and Stuart Housden.
The RSPB Guide to British Birds (RSPB) 2002. Peter Holden and illustrated by Hilary Burn.
New Holland European Bird Guide (New Holland) 2008. Peter H. Barthel and Paschalis Dougalis.
Collins Complete British Birds (Collins) 2004. Paul Sterry.
Collins Bird Guide 2nd edition (Collins) 2010. Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, and Dan Zetterstrӧm.
Collins Identifying Birds by Behaviour (Collins) 2005. Dominic Couzens.
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Staring at the book case in the den, around 89 bird related books. BUT that does not count the ones scattered around the house. Just this year I have picked up several more. And no I have not read them all but I have looked at the pictures.
Just 15 birding books, and two of those are identical. Received as gifts.

My copy of Sibley is from the public library. I keep checking it out, and returning it, every three weeks or so. But sometimes I skip a month. Fortunately they have two copies which are rotated so there is typically a copy always on the shelf for somebody else to borrow. However this really must skew their borrowing statistics – maybe they will pick up a third copy to meet user demand.
Closing in on 155 (excluding extra copies of field guides acquired for use in the field, which for some Neotropical guides meant separation and coiled rebinding of plates-only volumes; it's a practice that still makes me cringe).

At times I feel that I'm far more accomplished at the accumulation of books related to birds and birding than I am in the finding and study of birds.

Helm ID guides (and similar works like the Isler & Isler tanagers monograph) occupy a lot of my shelf space, as do guides and field guides devoted to the avifauna of Central and South America. Ten years ago I could not have imagined ignoring (or at least not succumbing to) the release of Sibley's second edition. Being from Texas, I've added state books from adjacent states and of course the magnificent Oberholser The Birds Life of Texas. But that doesn't explain (for example) Birds of Nova Scotia or The Birds of Canada or The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta.

I don't have everything Skutch wrote, but he may be the author best represented in my library.

For Christmas my daughter gave me Birds of Cuba, certain that when travel restrictions are finally lifted I'll be on the first flight out.

Still, I've been able to minimize the financial damage by alertly monitoring the availability of used volumes; the wish list function at Amazon lends itself to that.

Gary H
Wow, am I really seeing three digit figures here ?! Have you even read all those books? I can't even imagine that much, what can they all be, field guides for each country ;)

I can't speak for everyone else, but for me the answer to your question ("Have you even read all those books?") is that indeed I have not. Most of my 150-plus books related to birds and birding are more like reference works, and I use them to (for example) research a particular avifauna before a trip or sort through identification puzzles. I do have a number of narrative works (memoirs, of a sort) by authors like Skutch & G.M. Sutton, and I have indeed read all of those.

Gary H
In the space of a week and since my last post my total of bird books has risen from 11 to 15! My four new purchases are:

RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe
(RSPB DK) 2013. Rob Hume.
Birds: A Complete Guide to all British and European Species (Collins) 2005. Dominic Couzens.
Birds Britannica (Chatto & Windus) 2005. Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey.
Birds of Britain and Europe (Black's Nature Guides) (A & C Black) 2008. Volker Dierschke.
About 240 bird books with another 50 or 60 on other wildlife or guides to countries where I have been birding. I have another batch of old books stashed away that have been superceeded but I can't persuade myself to throw out. I also have Birding World, OBC, NBC, ABC jourrnals since their inception and 25 years of ABA and Dutch birding journals.

Many of these books are no longer useful, eg I don't really need BWP as I could use the Concise edition and the DVD but I'm certainly not going to throw them out.

I need a bigger house.

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At times I feel that I'm far more accomplished at the accumulation of books related to birds and birding than I am in the finding and study of birds.

I know what you mean :)

I have no idea how many I have. I've acquired books at a pretty good rate since I first started birding, but that rate exponentially increased after my website got established. Maybe I'll take some pictures.

Many of them I still haven't read, not even including the field guides and reference books. I sometimes wonder how long I could occupy myself if I did nothing but read my unread books and watched my unwatched movies (another of my collections)...
The sum total of my bird books. Currently reading the Ennion



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I've always suspected that my desire to own as many books as possible wasn't unique and have been curious to compare others collections.

I know quite a few people here in the UK who's collection dwarfs mine as they are in to EVERTHING including antiquarian books which I can't afford but at 474, I think my collection is ok for a man of modest means.

Accumulated over some 40 years, of the 474, 310 are bird books, this includes site guides. I have numerous other books covering Mammals, reptiles, insects, dragonflies, butterflies and moths, even a couple about sea shells. The only thing I can't get excited about is plants...

I often fantasize about winning the lottery and how I'd go on a huge spending spree and have a proper 'library' and this leads to a thing that occupied me for a short while. When does a book collection become a 'library'? The answer is, it doesn't, a library is the room the books are kept in so unless you have such you merely have a collection of books!

I've got mine catalogued for insurance and replacement would run to about £25K, that's a few birding trips and I was shocked when I totalled it up!!!

Still plenty of room as I've just reconstructed my shelves.



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