Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Friday, May 2, 2014

The Thing With Feathers


 
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.
Troutbirder (on left) and birding friends after spotting a rare (for Minnesota) female summer tanager.  Such excitement.....:)
 

 

 

24 comments:

  1. Oh, I'll bet that is an interesting read! I might have to check it out!!

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  2. Sounds like a good read. Love the photo!!

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  3. Hah! Just this morning, I saw a clip of elephants grooving to music.

    http://onenameglobal.com/a-man-played-music-next-for-elephants-what-they-did-next-will-amaze-you/

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  4. Definitely going on my list. Thanks

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  5. Hope its at my library, this is right up my alley.

    Thanks Troutbirder!

    Jo

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  6. I have never seen a tanager ever but do know they show pictures in the books. I think northern Iowa could have some but we don't in central Iowa.

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  7. Years ago when I was working in the office of a freight terminal in Fergus Falls, I had gone in back by a stand of trees and saw a scarlet tanager. There was nobody else around at the time and I was so jazzed that I had to tell someone. So the next customer who came in to pick up freight got to hear about it. He was mighty unimpressed.

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  8. I am going to look for that. I have so many questions. Thanks.

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  9. A Scarlet Tanager!! love them and I hope they stop in my yard for just a day or two! It is great to have friends that are as excited as you are! :)

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  10. I love the comment that comparison does not necessarily equate to anthropomorphism. And I have to put this book on my list.

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  11. I am not a serious birder, but I am curious about nature. I might have to check this out.

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  12. I know how exciting it is to see a NEW bird... Love it...

    Sounds like a great book --and I KNOW how smart the birds are (at least most of them)... Not sure though about Mourning Doves... They may be lacking something!!!! ha

    My birds are so smart, they are even picky about what I feed them. They know to ONLY like the expensive Suet --and not the cheap stuff I love to purchase... ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  13. Yes, this book sounds like a winner. I recently read To See Every Bird in the World by Dan Koepel. It's a good read.

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  14. The book is a must for me since me and mine are avid birdwatchers. Unfortunately we can no longer go out birdwatching so I have turned a third of the garden over to the wildlife and the binoculars are right by my chair! I love to watch the antics the birds get up to and how newcomers adapt.

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  15. Will check to see where I can find a copy, sounds real good.

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  16. What a happy photo ...3 guys out hunting ... not a poor deer, but a rare bird !! Wonderful.

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  17. I only watch birds that come to my garden and those I see when out walking but anybody who does as much as that would be able to say that birds are clever creatures.

    I love ‘my’ birds and do everything I can to attract them to my garden.

    In fact, at this time of year, I have almost too many. My hedges are proper tenements.

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  18. I just this week was able to get up close and personal with an unusual bird! So, I know how exciting it is. Come see the photos I shared if you find time.

    The book sounds like one I'd love reading.

    Oh, and the previous post of the cranes...that blew me away!

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  19. Great photo of the birders. Imagine you have some wonderful birding spots that you return to on a regular basis. -- barbara

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  20. I never really thought about birds being smart but truly they must be to accomplish all they do. Very interesting.

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  21. Kia ora TB,
    Hope you are well...I found this post quite synchronistic to my home here in New Zealand, as we have no natural predator type animals or snakes and the bird life can be quite stunning. Though introduced species such as stoats, rats, possums, cats, ect...have taken a heavy toll in places. Much of the bird life here at one time even shed the need for wings, such as the Kiwi. Not many of those left either. Just returned from the mountains where on the river was treated to a display from the pair of whio that made me feel very welcome. Intelligent indeed. Hope the spring comes soon and please have a lovely summer.
    Ka kite,
    Robb

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