Stephen’s beautiful books on birds make for great armchair reading. Stephen Moss is one of our leading nature writers (he even teaches nature writing at Bath Spa University). Passionate at sharing his vast knowledge with others, he is president of Somerset Wildlife Trust and has worked with Sir David Attenborough, Simon King and Bill Oddie. Chris Packham calls Stephen a ‘superb naturalist and writer’.
Whether you just enjoy looking at birds out of your window, you are a passionate ‘twitcher’ or a full-blown ornithologist, you are likely to discover things in these books, that make you a firm fan of our feathered friends.
- The Robin: A Biography follows a year in the life of the most familiar bird in our gardens. But how much do really know, other than that robins are territorial and popular on Christmas cards? Join the robin as he enters the world as an egg, through nesting, courtship, song, feeding, migration and an early death (most robins only live a year).
- The Wren: A Biography traces our most common bird (8.5 million breeding pairs). This tiny bird has the loudest song by size and will live in city gardens to blustery moors and islands. Always on the move, this captivating and beautiful biography is sure to delight.
- The Swallow: A Year in the Life also traces one of our most common birds. Learn of the swallow’s journey from its epic migration, and find more info on these extraordinary little birds.
- The Twelve Birds of Christmas is a lovely book that digs beneath the surface of some of our most popular Christmas carols, in this ornithological celebration of the festive season. Stephen Moss explores the place of 12 of our native birds in history, culture and landscape. From grey partridges to mute swans and from turtle doves to nightjars, you’ll adore this.
- Urban Aviary is a unique guide to the unusual (and often surprising) birds that soar above our cities. Not just standard urban birds, parakeets have been known to fly wild. And we also visit abroad, to meet penguins in Capetown, pelicans in San Francisco and starlings in Rome.
- Mrs Moreau’s Warbler is a fun book on how birds got their names. Swallow and starling, puffin and peregrin, blue tit and blackcap. We use these names so often, that few of us ever pause to wonder of their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who created them?
Stephen’s Wonderful Books on Wildlife
Not just an expert on birds, here are more books to learn about our native creatures. Nature journalist Peter Marren writes that Stephen is ‘blessed with almost unlimited knowledge’:
- The Accidental Countryside: Hidden Havens for Britain’s Wildlife goes in search of the hidden corners of Britain, where wildlife survives against the odds. From Shetland’s Iron Age stone structures to London’s most modern skyscrapers (and from lowly railway cuttings to ornate stately gardens), Moss reveals the unlikely oases where wildlife thrives in areas originally created for human purposes. Learn how wildlife (for once) is taking advantage of us!
- Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain’s Wildlife was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize. Stephen takes us on a UK-wide journey from inner cities to the Scottish islands, to see how our wild friends are doing. How we can help our hares, hedgehogs, skylarks, water voles and house sparrows? The book also has good news: otters and beavers have returned to the rivers and peregrines have taken up residence, in the heart of London. It also touches on endangered red squirrels (see why grey squirrels are not to blame).