The Best Bird Watching Journals (8 Journal Reviews Included)

The Best Bird Watching Journals

A bird watching journal is a great companion when you’re out in the field spotting new friends and old favorites. Journals can help you keep track of the birds you see, where you saw them, their size, behavior, and much more. This information helps bird lovers create accurate records and minimizes the risk of confusion or mistaken identity. They also have attractive covers and handsome decorations.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best bird watching journals that we could find and help you identify the best bird watching journal for your needs. Each of these journals has been carefully checked and tested to ensure it meets your quality standards. We’ll not only highlight the best features of each journal but briefly discuss what we like the most about them to make your decision that much easier.

The Best Bird Watching Journals

Best Birdwatching Log Book- Bird Passport Journal

This pocket-sized bird watching log book is one of the best bird watching journal options on the market. Its 3.5-by-5.5-inch size makes it easy to slip into a pocket or backpack while you’re out in the wild, seeking out your latest find. It includes 48 pages with two entry record pages that let you add meaningful details about each bird you see, including their behavior and nesting location.

You can also add notes, photos, and other details to each page to increase its accuracy. Furthermore, each page also has several prompts that help you remember details about each bird. For example, it includes spots for your first impression, any other sights you saw when you spotted the bird, the date you saw it, and any further details that round out your experience.

This extra information helps provide more context to each sighting and allows the memory to stay strong in your head. Furthermore, this journal includes an attractive foil-stamped cover with center-sew binding that will hold together well while you’re out in the wild. After you fill up this journal, you can easily store it in your bird-watching records to come back to later to relive your sighting.

Is this log book quite on the same level as a professional-level bird watching journal? It’s not far behind due to its attractive design, firm binding, and detailed log entries. While some may wish it had a few more log pages, its overall compact feel makes it the best bird watching journal for a pick-up-and-go experience. In other words, you should feel comfortable grabbing it and hitting the woods without having to learn any complex data-entry methods.

What We Like

  • The handsome foil-stamped cover
  • Attractive and helpful log pages
  • Compact size and portability

Bird Writing Journal by SohoSpark

This appealing journal is a bit bigger than the last entry, with a 6-by-8.75-inch overall width and length and is also nearly one inch thick. However, this increased size and density give this journal a bit more presence and an impressive overall feel. One thing you’ll notice very quickly about it, beyond its increased size, is its look: it has to be the best bird watching journal in style.

The attractive and silky-smooth faux-leather cover is thick and padded, meaning it’s easy to haul and should stay well protected against various wear-and-tear problems. Even better, the cover is 100% vegan leather, meaning it’s free of animal cruelty. That makes it an excellent option for animal lovers or vegans who want to avoid contributing to animal death or mistreatment.

Furthermore, the colorful and silky bookmark is also quite attractive and will easily hold your place while you write. Even better, it comes with penholders and a compact overall feel despite its larger size. So those bird fans who want an attractive journal that will fit into just about any situation may find this tops their list of the best bird watching journals. But are there any cons to this book?

Well, it’s a beautiful journal that includes many pages but is a bit bare bones in presentation. The pages lack the kind of extra logging details you might want in a journal, though there’s still plenty of room to write down your experience. This slight downside is a bummer but isn’t a deal breaker because this journal is still an attractive and worthwhile addition to your bird watching gear.

What We Like

  • 100% cruelty-free
  • The attractive and appealing style
  • Strong and durable design

Related post: When did birdwatching become popular?

Best Birdwatching Checklist Book- Sibley Birder’s Life List and Dictionary

If you want a bird watching checklist with a comprehensive range of birds, this is the best bird watching journal for you! It is a guided diary book that lists all 923 birds found in North America! It’s likely the most comprehensive book of its type on the market, with a simple checklist system that lets you check off when you see a bird and note where you saw it and a few other details.

Like most bird dictionaries and checklists, this book contains attractive interior decorations and pictures highlighting each bird. The color scheme mirrors the woods to help create an attractive and enjoyable book to use. You might find yourself just flipping through it even when you’re not out in the woods, as each entry also includes details about each bird that are fascinating to read.

Even better, this journal includes information about each bird’s preferred nesting patterns and spread throughout the nation. As a result, it is relatively easy to schedule a bird watching trip based on this information. Beyond these benefits, the book is compact enough to fit easily into most backpacks and includes sturdy binding with a strong cover that won’t get easily damaged.

Is there anything that we didn’t like about this journal? Well, it’s not among the best bird watching journals for cover style. The rather plain cover does little to catch the eye and may detract from some people’s enjoyment. While we think that’s a relatively minor complaint, it is one worth mentioning because many people want a bird watching journal that looks as good as it feels to use.

What We Like

  • The incredibly long list of birds
  • Easy-to-use design
  • Handsome interior design

Rite in the Rain All Weather Birder’s Journal

Are you looking for the best bird watching journals for challenging weather conditions? This option may work well for your needs! It is designed for challenging weather and includes paper with anti-sogging protection. This means that your paper will not get soggy when wet and will stay strong as you write in harsh conditions. This alone makes this an excellent option for the busy bird watcher.

Furthermore, this book is also designed to withstand dirt, grease, and even bird fecal matter while you’re out in the wild. It truly stands up against the toughest that the wild world of bird watching can throw at it. Even better, the binding is very durable and will stay strong in your backpack. It typically avoids warping or other damage problems that may occur while you’re out in the wild.

You get 64 pages with this notebook, which should provide you with plenty of space to write down information about each bird you find. While the pages don’t include the kind of heavy detail that you might want with a typical bird watching journal, you can add whatever information you want to them. Thanks to its compact shape and size, it is also reasonably easy to store this book.

The only negative about this book is its fairly plain nature. While it isn’t precisely unattractive, it lacks some of the bells and whistles you might find in other bird watching journals. However, it is among the best bird watching journals for people who spend hours in challenging weather environments every year to spot an elusive species.

What We Like

  • The waterproof pages
  • The incredibly tough binding
  • The pocket-sized design

Birder’s Life List and Journal

Have you ever checked out and wished you had an on-the-go and offline option? Well, wish no more! This fantastic journal is published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, creators of Their physical journal includes the same kinds of detail you get from their online resource. So expect plenty of beautiful illustrations of your favorite birds to delight you while on the go.

Like other checklist journals, it includes a comprehensive species list that covers a surprising number of birds. However, this list also includes birds in Hawaii, which some journals may leave out. It also includes accidental birds or those rare species that pop up from time to time. That extra information is excellent because you never know when you’re going to see a surprising bird you can’t identify.

The structured checklist also provides an easy-to-read design that makes checking different species off your list manageable. Likewise, the durable cover and strong pages should last a long time with minimal problems. While it’s not as strong as the previous entry, it should keep its shape in your backpack and resist most wear and tear concerns with minimal worries.

The only thing that lets this journal down is that it lacks individual illustrations of each bird in the journal. While we understand why this might be the case (lack of space), it’s still frustrating. It seems like a missed opportunity to knock this journal out of the park. However, it is still among the best bird watching journals due to its comprehensive listing and durable design.

What We Like

  • The very durable overall design
  • Comprehensive bird list
  • Accidental species entries

Runner Ups

Let’s look at a few high-quality bird watching journals that didn’t quite top our list. These options are still worth checking out and might be the best bird watching journals for some people. It all depends on what you want from a journal and how much you feel willing to spend.

Are you wondering on how to jumpstart your birding adventure? Know the basics and find the answers to most important birdwatching FAQs!

North America Bird Checklist and Birding Journal

This in-depth journal includes over 2,300 different species throughout the North American continent, making it the most comprehensive option on our list. It also has species in Canada and Mexico and an easy-to-use interface. However, it’s even plainer than other journals on this list.

What We Like

  • The comprehensive list
  • The easy-to-use design
  • The durable spine

The Birder

The 6 x 9 inch Birder is a bird watching log, notebook, and journal that makes it easy to write on and simple to store. It comes with 120 pages for 58 different bird watching days and includes room for sketches, drawings, and guided journals. Great for beginners but may feel bulky to some.

What We Like

  • Plenty of pages to use
  • Simple design for beginners
  • The attractive style and overall feel

Birding Journal: Through the Seasons

If you want an attractive book, this might be the best option. It includes sophisticated and detailed cover artwork and interior page designs that make this a beautiful book to flip through. It also contains a calendar-based design where you can track your sightings. But unfortunately, all it lacks is a comprehensive species list.

What We Like

  • Extra room to sketch birds
  • Tracking data for multiple years
  • A fun and engaging introduction

Related post: Best Bird Photography Books for Beginners and Masters

Finding the Best Bird Watching Journal

When reading through this list of the best bird watching journals, it is crucial to keep things like your budget in mind. These books aren’t incredibly expensive, but some may cost more than you want to spend. Furthermore, you also need to note things like how many pages it includes, whether the material is strong enough for your environment, and how you might use the journal in the field.

It would help if you also decided whether things like style or attractiveness are vital to you in your journal. For example, does your journal need beautiful pictures of each listed bird, or can you do without them? Pictures do help with identification but may also take up room that could be taken by more journal space. Balancing your needs with the book’s design is critical for ensuring you get what you want here.

Before you embark to your birding journey, you may want to review some birdwatching rules and etiquette.