I just finished the National Audubon Society's The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, illustrated by David Allen Sibley, edited by Chris Elphick, John B. Dunning, Jr., and David Allen Sibley. Well, I kind of finished it. I read this for a grad class. I finished part I and selected chapters from part II.
The book was essentially divided into two parts. PART I, the World of Birds, discussed birds in general. The topics were (1) Flight, Form and Function, (2) Origins, Evolution, and Classification, (3) Behavior, (4) Habitats and Distributions and (5) Populations and Conservation. PART II, Bird Families of North America, described Bird Families of North America, e.g. ducks, hawks, hummingbirds, etc.
Each chapter was written by different authors, experts in each respective bird discipline and species.
Within each chapter, the book was broken down into smaller sections. The chapters may be read in pieces to facilitate the interest of the reader.
The book was written in an academic and accessible style. You don't need to any any prior expertise in ornithology to be able to learn from this book.
Overall, if you have an interest in learning more about birds, I would highly recommend this book. It cultivated my interest. I even went bird watching one day...and liked it! I used to make fun of bird-watchers (because of my own ignorance) but I think that I am beginning to understand people's fascination with these beautiful creatures. This book is a great introduction to the world of ornithology. Good times.
And again, if you read this review, drop a comment or a 'like'. It encourages me. :)