While we have dabbled in studying birds and can name and identify quite a few by sight or call Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds is the story of a quest to find an Ivory Billed Woodpecker. This is a whole new level of birding. It wasn’t as quirky as I would have guessed. On the other hand, most people don’t traverse the Midwest in search of a bird. The story chronicles his year-long quest and includes a trip to the Field Museum.
This is a detailed account that naturalists (especially birders) will love and relate to. I can see this book being one that you could hand a high school student studying natural history.
The author is an expert, but he includes plenty of information that would be useful to a beginner including stories of his own mistakes, exact good birding spots (if you are lucky enough to be near Wisconsin/ Illinois) and a bibliography that would be useful no matter where you live.