Slow Birding


Slow Birding encourages us to really observe the birds in our own backyards. What are the seasonal movements of birds in your neighborhood? What kind of habitat can Cardinals thrive in? Keep this book next to your field guide. Slow down and observe!


Author: Joan E. Strassmann
Illustrator: Anthony Bartley
ISBN: 9780593329924
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Year of Publication: 2022
352 pages

Slow Birding, The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard is a one-of-a-kind guide to birding locally that encourages readers to slow down and notice the spectacular birds all around them.

Published in the fall of 2021 and featured in the NYT out of the gate, Slow Birding teaches you how to enjoy the subtle (and not so subtle) avian activities that occur right outside your window year ’round.

Many birders travel far and wide to popular birding destinations to catch sight of rare or “exotic” birds. In Slow Birding, evolutionary biologist Joan E. Strassmann introduces readers to the joys of birding right where they are.

In this inspiring guide to the art of slow birding, Strassmann tells colorful stories of the most common birds to be found in the United States—birds we often see but might not have considered deeply before. For example, Northern Cardinals thrive in the city, where they are free from predators. White brows on a male White-throated Sparrow indicate that he is likely to be a philanderer. This essential guide to the fascinating world of common, everyday birds features:

  • detailed portraits of individual bird species and the scientists who have discovered and observed them
  • advice and guidance on what to look for when slow birding, so that you can uncover clues to the reasons behind specific bird behaviors
  • bird-focused activities that will open your eyes more to the fascinating world of birds

Slow Birding is the perfect guide for the birder looking to appreciate the beauty of the birds right in their own backyard, observing keenly how their behaviors change from day to day and season to season.


Joan Strassmann has been a slow birder all her life. She is an award-winning teacher of animal behavior, first at Rice University in Houston and then at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is Charles Rebstock professor of biology. She has written more than two hundred scientific articles on behavior, ecology, and evolution of social organisms. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Additional information

Dimensions 5.5 × 8.25 × .5 in