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The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds…
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The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and… (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Colin Tudge

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159675,058 (3.89)3
Member:rightantler
Title:The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and How They Live
Authors:Colin Tudge
Info:Crown (2009), Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:Stewart's Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:birds, nature, Y10

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The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and How They Live by Colin Tudge (2009)

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Synopsis All animals are equal - but some, as George Orwell said, are more equal than others, and birds, most people would surely agree, are in the very first rank. They can do almost everything that mammals can do - and more. By mastering flight, they have a way of living that encompasses the whole world. In The Secret Life of Birds, Colin Tudge explores the life of birds, all around the globe. From the secrets of migration to their complicated family lives, their differing habitats and survival techniques to the secrets of flight, this is a fascinating account of how birds live, why they matter, and whether they really are dinosaurs. Colin Tudge shows how birds - who are like us in the general sense but very different in the particulars - live and think. For birds have minds: they feel, they are aware, they work things out. And so, by considering the birds, asking how and why it is possible for them to be so different, we gain insight into ourselves. Birds are beautiful, lively, intriguing - and all around us. This rich and endlessly absorbing book opens up their lives to everyone.
  anandganapathy | Feb 21, 2013 |
Too pedantic for me. Definitely picked up some interesting bits about the life and history of birds. The amusing asides mostly were distracting. ( )
  Rosinbow | Jun 12, 2011 |
Colin Tudge's The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and How They Live (Crown, 2008) has to be one of the oddest books I've read in a while. It reminded me a bit some of Richard Fortey's stuff, with its mix of scientific jargon and witty, anecdotal banter. There were parts of it that got a bit dry, but on the whole it was an amusing survey of bird evolution, lifestyles, and taxonomy.

Mostly I enjoyed this book, although the sharp transitions from dry scientific exposition to breezy asides sort of threw me for a loop. This is, I suppose, one of the dangers in trying to write popular science books: you want the reader to feel like he's learning something, but not like he's reading a textbook. It's a delicate balance.

I found Tudge's final chapter, which serves as a sort of call to arms on conservation funding and efforts, the most compelling section of the book, and I'm sure for people who are looking for a (mostly) accessible introduction to ornithology this would probably serve quite nicely.

http://philobiblos.blogspot.com/2010/10/book-review-bird.html ( )
  JBD1 | Oct 16, 2010 |
This book is incredible! The subtitle says it's about who birds are, where they came from and how they live - it does all of that and more!

The book is full of fascinating little pieces about individual birds. This is a book to savour - the richness of the stories, descriptions of the birds and what they get up and why is inspiring. I want to go through the whole book highlighting paragraphs! I guarantee that there would be more text highlighted than left unmarked!

The chapter: All the Birds in the world: An annotated cast list took a lot of reading but will become a superb reference work. The chapter on the Mind of Birds was the biggest highlight for me in a book full of highlights!

Buy this book, read this book and treasure this book - an outstanding piece of work! ( )
1 vote rightantler | Apr 5, 2010 |
With some 200 bird books in my natural history library, The Bird will remain on the top of the heap. A beautifully written, fascinating history of these feathered creatures. ( )
1 vote lmnop2652 | Feb 13, 2010 |
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A gift-appropriate follow-up to The Tree explains the evolutionary origins and future prospects of the avian class, covering such topics as the first proto-bird-dinosaurs and the differences between birds and mammals, in a guide that also introduces bird taxonomic order.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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