Wholly engaging, What It's Like to be a Bird is a feast for the mind and, thanks to Sibley's gorgeous illustrations, the eye ... Sibley packs the text with cool facts ... Occasionally, Sibley presents birds ways that seem to me unpleasantly commodified ... Why not devote a line or two to calling out cruelty in these industries? ... Sibley invites an engaged approach to bird-watching: 'You will learn faster if you can be an active observer — draw sketches, take notes, write poetry, or take photos. All of these things make you look a little more carefully and a little longer.' ... Lingering over every page of What It's Like to Be a Bird, this is what can be seen: The book's beauty mirrors the beauty of birds it describes so marvelously.
There are a lot of bird books that describe bird behavior as observed by humans ... The wonderfully unique thing about this book is that it examines clever avian behavior from the bird’s point of view. Focusing on frequent backyard visitors (nuthatches, blue jays, and chickadees) and other easily observable species (owls, roadrunners, ducks) this selective compendium provides full-color, life-sized illustrations accompanied by engagingly curious field notes on flight, foraging, nesting, walking, swimming, navigation, hearing, smell, taste, touch, vision, and vocalization ... This title is enthusiastically recommended for both armchair birdwatchers and serious birders and is an excellent choice for public libraries, even those with shelves already brimming with bird guides.
... in addition to a barrage of fascinating facts, these pages are full of Sibley’s own artwork: color drawings of birds in every mood and motion, and black-and-white drawings of a more anatomical, informational nature ... And all along the way, hundreds of bird behaviors are explained in great, sometimes wonky detail ... [the book] is trying to draw readers not into the identification of species in the field but into the world of birds, the why and how of what they do all day long. And its larger size and beautiful artwork makes it the perfect bird book to share with kids.