The arrival of colder weather makes it the perfect time to stay indoors and curl up with a great book and a mug of hot tea. To help you select your next title or one to share as a gift for the holidays, here are four fascinating bird-centered books that are sure to deepen your appreciation for your backyard visitors.

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

Drawing from a deep well of revolutionary scientific research, this writer paints a vivid new portrait of bird intelligence: they’re far more clever and adaptable than we give them credit for – even rivaling primates and humans in their forms of intelligence! Chapter by chapter, we discover how birds are masters of abstract thinking, problem-solving, facial recognition, complex communication systems and more. Ackerman’s examples from the observed behavior of birds – being smart, funny, sneaky and even deceitful – are backed up by science.

Birding without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World by Noah Strycker

To a birder, a big year means setting out to view as many birds as possible in a year’s time within a given area. Noah Strycker set his sights on planet Earth. This memoir takes you through his amazing, record-breaking journey through seven continents and 41 countries, logging 6,042 bird species. His memoir is more than a massive checklist — there’s plenty of fascinating people, places, and conflicts along the way. Strycker paints a picture of birding as more than a hobby, and if nothing else, an excuse to travel!

What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World by Jon Young

A must-read for any nature lover. Young's study of robins, juncos and other songbirds shows there's much to learn from bird communication. Discover the ancient discipline of listening, considered an art by many cultures worldwide. Young's exploration of something as simple as sound helps us forge a deeper connection with the natural world and ourselves.

The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife

Books that include complex social hierarchies, big personalities and cunning intelligence always make for a great read, and the corvid species (which includes crows, ravens, and jays) has it all. Here, we get to know the unique personalities of the ravens kept at the Tower of London, as told by the guard who was tasked with caring for them.