Coloring books feature familiar and exotic birds

The three new coloring books below combine two of our favorite activities — coloring and learning about birds, exotic and familiar.

One of the best coloring books: Birds of Paradise: A Coloring Expedition, by Edwin Scholes, Tim Laman, and Andrew Leach.
Birds of Paradise: A Coloring Expedition, by Edwin Scholes, Tim Laman, and Andrew Leach.

Birds of Paradise: A Coloring Expedition, by Edwin Scholes, Tim Laman, and Andrew Leach (illustrator), Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2016, hardcover, 88 pages, $15.95, $20.99 Canada.

The Cornell Lab’s 18-expedition, eight-year Birds-of-Paradise Project has already produced a sumptuous coffee-table book, an absorbing National Geographic documentary, and a successful museum tour, and now it can claim another accomplishment: a coloring book like no other. This one includes an introduction to birds-of-paradise by evolutionary biologist and explorer Edwin Scholes, leader of the project; photos of the birds taken by fellow explorer Tim Laman; and detailed, true-to-life, full-page outlines of all 39 species by science illustrator Andrew Leach.

Why birds-of-paradise are the way they are.

One of the best coloring books: America's Favorite Birds: 40 Beautiful Birds to Color, by Miyoko Chu and Brenda Lyons.
America’s Favorite Birds: 40 Beautiful Birds to Color, by Miyoko Chu and Brenda Lyons.

America’s Favorite Birds: 40 Beautiful Birds to Color, by Miyoko Chu and Brenda Lyons (illustrator), Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2016, hardcover, 88 pages, $15.95, $20.99 Canada.

Not only does this coloring book present outlines of 40 birds found in the United States — from Great Horned Owl to Blackburnian Warbler — but the accompanying text describes characteristics and behaviors that make each species unique and special. Ornithologist Miyoko Chu, senior director of communications at the Cornell Lab and author of Songbird Journeys: Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds, is the author. Brenda Lyons, an illustrator from Manchester, Connecticut, prepared the artwork.

One of the best coloring books: The Sibley Birds Coloring Field Journal, by Cecilia Lehar.
The Sibley Birds Coloring Field Journal, by Cecilia Lehar.

The Sibley Birds Coloring Field Journal, by Cecilia Lehar (illustrator), Alfred A. Knopf, 2016, hardcover, 96 pages, $19.95, $25.95 Canada.

If you’ve ever wanted to draw along with well-known artist David Sibley, this is the coloring book for you. Outlines of 75 North American birds, all of them originally created by Sibley, are included, along with full-color thumbnails of Sibley’s paintings that you can use for reference (or not). A dozen anatomical drawings, also by Sibley, show basic feather groups, variations in bill shapes, and topographies of birds. Fashion illustrator Cecilia Lehar produced the outlines.

Read David Sibley’s regular column “ID Toolkit.

Bird books celebrate photography, drawing, and coloring.

Read our reviews of other bird books.

 

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