The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Futureby Published 30 May 2017
|The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future.pdf|
|Publisher||Spiegel & Grau|
A fascinating investigation into the miraculous world of birds and the powerful--and surprising--ways they enrich our lives and sustain the planet
Our relationship to birds is different from our relationship to any other wild creatures. They are found virtually everywhere and we love to watch them, listen to them, keep them as pets, wear their feathers, even converse with them. Birds, Jim Robbins posits, are our most vital connection to nature. They compel us to look to the skies, both literally and metaphorically; draw us out into nature to seek their beauty; and let us experience vicariously what it is like to be weightless. Birds have helped us in so many of our human endeavors: learning to fly, providing clothing and food, and helping us better understand the human brain and body. And they even have much to teach us about being human in the natural world.
This book illuminates qualities unique to birds that demonstrate just how invaluable they are to humankind--both ecologically and spiritually. The wings of turkey buzzards influenced the Wright brothers' flight design; the chickadee's song is considered by scientists to be the most sophisticated language in the animal world and a "window into the evolution of our own language and our society"; and the quietly powerful presence of eagles in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Anacostia, in Washington, D.C., proved to be an effective method for rehabilitating the troubled young people placed in charge of their care.
Exploring both cutting-edge scientific research and our oldest cultural beliefs, Robbins moves these astonishing creatures from the background of our lives to the foreground, from the quotidian to the miraculous, showing us that we must fight to save imperiled bird populations and the places they live, for the sake of both the planet and humankind.
Praise for The Wonder of Birds
"A must-read, conveying much necessary information in easily accessible form and awakening one's consciousness to what might otherwise be taken for granted . . . The Wonder of Birds reads like the story of a kid let loose in a candy store and given free rein to sample. That is one of its strengths: the convert's view gives wide appeal to those who might never have known birds well."--Bernd Heinrich, The Wall Street Journal
"Engaging, thoughtful . . . worthy of a place alongside David Attenborough's documentary The Life of Birds or Graeme Gibson's The Bedside Book of Birds . . . This offering will appeal to naturalists, anthropologists, linguists, and even philosophers as well as to lay readers."--Library Journal
"In this deeply felt and well-supported argument for avians' value to humankind, science writer Robbins hits the full trifecta for engrossing and satisfying nature writing."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Using enchanting stories and rich historical references, Jim Robbins explores the role of birds on the evolution of human self-awareness."--Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
"It's one for the birds--what a wonderful book! It will give you wings."--Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Rubyfruit Jungle
"The Wonder of Birds provides a great and well-timed gift: a portrait of the quiet miracles around us on each day of our ordinary lives."--Michael Punke, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Revenant
"Jim Robbins writes masterfully, with lucid prose and deep insight into the human psyche and natural world."--Peter Stark, author of Astoria
"The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future" Reviews
The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future by Jim Robbins is journey of love and fascination between mankind and birds. A journal where man has benefited by watching our feathered friends in different ways and how they have enriched our lives, how they have helped our planet, and have pleased our eyes and warmed our hearts. It is written so warmly, and tenderly, I can feel the love for the feathered creatures from far away and it warmed me...As a bird lover, nature lover, this is a treasure! For everyone, this book will delight and open their minds to our magical friends of a feather. The author takes us, hand and wing, on a journey through differences and changes that link us together. It is amazing how we are linked together in this amazing thing called life. Thank you NetGalley for letting me read this book.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
The wonderful world of birds - in an easy-to-read, accessible format.
Birds are fascinating creatures. Direct descendants of dinosaurs, they're capable of not only flight but a myriad of other impressive things - yet we often take them for granted.
This book highlights, in wonderfully accessible language, just why birds are so remarkable. Each chapter is devoted to a different attribute - flight, eggs, intelligence and so forth. Some chapters were particularly fascinating, such as the one on Corvids and their ability to create tools - amazing! The chapter on the USA's 'broiler belt' and the cruelty to chickens was likewise interesting and very hard-hitting.
All the contents are backed up by scientific research and statistics, including some interviews with known experts in the field. However, at no point did I feel bamboozled by jargon - I loved that it was so easy to read.
Only one tiny thing - I was bemused when the author said he liked to hunt birds. This seemed rather at odds with someone who professes to love them. But there you go, takes all sorts.
Absolutely fascinating. I kept having to set bookmarks so that I could read passages to my husband. I have a new appreciation for my feathered friends. Highly recommended.
I’ve always enjoyed watching birds at my feeders and while out hiking but I’ve never considered myself a proper birder. I may up my game after reading this book and learning more about them! The author does a great job of explaining the scientific research about birds as well as their impact on culture and people’s lives. An easy read with lots of accessible information and unexpected inspiration. I’ve always loved “my wild bird friends” but after reading this book I appreciate all the more the wonder of their complexity and beauty. Even pigeons haha! 🦆🦅🦉🐓🦃🕊
A fantastic journey describing the extremely diverse range of nature's wonderful flying creatures, describing incredible statistics about how flocks maintain their form, how birds can handle the most extreme conditions, and how ravens and crows have evolved intelligence and emotional states. The statistics were incredible about the sheer stamina of birds during migration and how we can learn about ourselves by observing the lifestyles of birds such as the bee eater.