There’s a great book out for gardeners interested in attracting birds to their gardens. “Gardening for the Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard” by George Adams (Timber Press, 2013) is 427 pages of information that is useful to anyone in located in the lower 48 states of the USA. (Note: this is a new edition of this book; it was originally titled Birdscaping Your Garden back in 1998)
The book starts with the general needs of birds, including food, shelter, water, and nesting sites. He also puts in some pages on the special needs of hummingbirds and butterflies. The author stresses the use of native plants, as this is what the birds use in the wild and are adapted to. There is a brief section on designing the garden with birds in mind.
The core of the book consists of three large sections: Two calendars of what time of year different plants are blooming and fruiting, and what the plants are used for by the critters; a plant directory that includes photos of the plants; and a bird directory so you can figure out who your garden visitors are and so plant specifically for them. This part was especially useful to me, as to me most garden visitors are LBBs- Little Brown Birds! Highly informative and beautifully illustrated, this is the best gardening for birds book I’ve seen.