Reference books on birds
Books for beginners
The Book of Indian Birds.
Dr. Salim Ali. Bombay Natural History Society.
The beginner's bird book, written by India's "birdman", Dr. Salim Ali. Revised edition with updated names. a good first bird book to buy, though it does not contain all the bird species found in India.
A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (2000).
Krys Kazmierczak. Illustrated by Ber van Perlo. Pica Press, Sussex.
A classic book with all the bird species in India. Though dated, with some species updates required, I still consider this as the best bird book for beginners to graduate from.
A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (1983).
Salim Ali & S. Dillon Ripley. Bombay Natural History Society & Oxford University Press.
Us oldies started bird watching with this. Large as a field guide, and not so easy to carry in the field. Contains all the bird species in India known at the time. Still has the old English names, though. A sentimental purchase, rather than a practical one!
Birds of Pune (2006).
Kalpavriksh and Center for Environment Education.
Good book for beginners in western India.
Books for more serious bird watchers
Bird of the Indian Subcontinent (1998).
Richard Grimmet, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp, Oxford University Press.
Covers all the birds of India. A good update to Salim Ali's Handbook of Indian birds. Bulky, and not to be carried in the field, but an excellent reference book to keep at home.
Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan . Compact Edition (1983).
Salim Ali & S . Dillon Ripley. Bombay Natural History Society & Oxford University Press.
The first comprehensive book on Indian birds. A classic. I still refer to it! A great reference book, though dated.
Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide (2005).
Volume 1 & 2. Pamela C. Rasmussen, Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicons.
An excellent book covering all the species in the Indian sub-continent, including many species splits. Though expensive, a must have for serious bird watchers.