The Thing With Feathers is both an entertaining and scientifically based look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world.
Forget the phrase “bird brain”. Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As scientists come to understand more about the secrets of bird life, they are unlocking fascinating insights. This book highlights some of them.
The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatross, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature.
Noah Strycker makes a interesting point in The Thing With Feathers, his book about bird behavior. "A recent shift in scientific thinking about animal behavior encourages us to concentrate less on the uniqueness of humans and more on what the human animal shares with other animals," he writes. Activities once considered strictly human, such as dancing to music, recognizing one's own reflection and creating art "are now recognized in birds," he adds. "This isn't anthropomorphism at all; anyone who suggests otherwise is ignoring a large part of what it means to be a bird."
Beautiful and wise, funny and insightful, The Thing with Feathers is a gripping and enlightening journey into the lives of birds. I really enjoyed this book. You might as well….. provided you’re a bird watcher or just plain curious about the natural world around you.