Author: Jennifer Ackerman Genre: Science Publisher: Penguin ISBN: 9781101980842 Book Pages: 352 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
An award-winning science writer tours the globe to reveal what makes birds capable of such extraordinary feats of mental prowess Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. At once personal yet scientific, richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures. Ackerman is also the author of Birds by the Shore: Observing the Natural Life of the Atlantic Coast.
Author: Jennifer Ackerman Genre: Nature Publisher: Penguin ISBN: 9780735223028 Book Pages: 368 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds -- how they live and how they think. “There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.” But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries –– What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They are also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own: deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play. Some of these extraordinary behaviors are biological conundrums that seem to push the edges of, well, birdness: a mother bird that kills her own infant sons, and another that selflessly tends to the young of other birds as if they were her own; a bird that collaborates in an extraordinary way with one species—ours—but parasitizes another in gruesome fashion; birds that give gifts and birds that steal; birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves; birds that build walls of sound to keep out intruders and birds that summon playmates with a special call—and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter. Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, from the tropical rainforests of eastern Australia and the remote woodlands of northern Japan, to the rolling hills of lower Austria and the islands of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay, Jennifer Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being. In every respect, in plumage, form, song, flight, lifestyle, niche, and behavior, birds vary. It is what we love about them. As E.O Wilson once said, when you have seen one bird, you have not seen them all.
Author: Nathan Emery Genre: Science Publisher: Princeton University Press ISBN: 9781400882861 Book Pages: 192 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
Why birds are smarter than we think Birds have not been known for their high IQs, which is why a person of questionable intelligence is sometimes called a "birdbrain." Yet in the past two decades, the study of avian intelligence has witnessed dramatic advances. From a time when birds were seen as simple instinct machines responding only to stimuli in their external worlds, we now know that some birds have complex internal worlds as well. This beautifully illustrated book provides an engaging exploration of the avian mind, revealing how science is exploding one of the most widespread myths about our feathered friends—and changing the way we think about intelligence in other animals as well. Bird Brain looks at the structures and functions of the avian brain, and describes the extraordinary behaviors that different types of avian intelligence give rise to. It offers insights into crows, jays, magpies, and other corvids—the “masterminds” of the avian world—as well as parrots and some less-studied species from around the world. This lively and accessible book shows how birds have sophisticated brains with abilities previously thought to be uniquely human, such as mental time travel, self-recognition, empathy, problem solving, imagination, and insight. Written by a leading expert and featuring a foreword by Frans de Waal, renowned for his work on animal intelligence, Bird Brain shines critical new light on the mental lives of birds.
Author: Jim Robbins Genre: Nature Publisher: Black Inc. ISBN: 9781925435825 Book Pages: 320 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
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 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, 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 many of our 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. A natural storyteller, Robbins illuminates how qualities unique to birds make them invaluable to humankind—from the Australian brush turkey, which helped scientists discover how dinosaurs first flew, to the eagles in Washington D.C. that rehabilitated the troubled teenagers placed in charge of their care. From the “good luck” ravens in England to the superb lyrebird, whose song is so sophisticated it can mimic koalas, crying babies and chainsaws, Robbins shows our close relationship with birds, the ways in which they are imperiled and how we must fight to save them for the sake of both the planet and humankind. ‘In this deeply felt and well-supported argument for avians’ value to humankind, science writer Robbins (The Man Who Planted Trees) hits the full trifecta for engrossing and satisfying nature writing. He displays a personal involvement with and ‘soul-stirring wonder’ about his subject, a fondness for the sometimes-obsessed researchers who dive deeply into specifics of anatomy and behavior, and a smooth and engaging writing style through which he conveys a huge amount of factual information while keeping his narrative flowing ... The world ‘is fantastically rich and alive with meaning,’ Robbins reminds readers, offering correctives to ‘our inability to sense it’ as well as pointers on where to look.’ —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. ‘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, Wall Street Journal ‘Engaging, thoughtful ... this work is worthy of a place alongside David Attenborough’s documentary The Life of Birds or Graeme Gibson’s The Bedside Book of Birds ... Of wide-ranging significance, this offering will appeal to naturalists, anthropologists, linguists, and even philosophers as well as to lay readers.’ —Library Journal ‘Fittingly for a work about birds and what they can teach us, The Wonder of Birds soars beyond its putative subject into realms once regarded as mystical.’ —Fiona Capp, The Sydney Morning Herald
An inspiring message for all ages: Find your inner bird. If you’re looking for wisdom and joy in your life, go straight to Sesame Street and heed the words of its most beloved and profound resident, Caroll Spinney, who has spent the past thirty-four years in a bird costume (and a trash can) as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Three decades inside a giant puppet have taught Spinney a valuable and surprising lesson: Being a bird can make you a better person. In The Wisdom of Big Bird, the living legend of Sesame Street describes how we can all find our inner bird (or grouch). Each chapter illustrates a piece of useful wisdom Spinney has gleaned from a career in feathers. The lessons Big Bird teaches children every day on Sesame Street are the same ones that have brought Spinney success and satisfaction in his own life. Warm, witty, and affirming, Caroll Spinney’s memoir proves that being a bird can make you a better and happier person. “Every day on Sesame Street, we strive to give our innocent young audience the basis of a lifelong education. It is no accident that spending the past thirty-four years in the Bird suit teaching these lessons to others has taught me a few things, too.”—from The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch)
Author: David Allen Sibley Genre: Nature Publisher: Knopf ISBN: 9780525520290 Book Pages: 240 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
The bird book for birders and nonbirders alike that will excite and inspire by providing a new and deeper understanding of what common, mostly backyard, birds are doing--and why "Can birds smell?" "Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?" "Do robins 'hear' worms?" In What It's Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often. This special, large-format volume is geared as much to nonbirders as it is to the out-and-out obsessed, covering more than two hundred species and including more than 330 new illustrations by the author. While its focus is on familiar backyard birds--blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees--it also examines certain species that can be fairly easily observed, such as the seashore-dwelling Atlantic puffin. David Sibley's exacting artwork and wide-ranging expertise bring observed behaviors vividly to life. (For most species, the primary illustration is reproduced life-sized.) And while the text is aimed at adults--including fascinating new scientific research on the myriad ways birds have adapted to environmental changes--it is nontechnical, making it the perfect occasion for parents and grandparents to share their love of birds with young children, who will delight in the big, full-color illustrations of birds in action. Unlike any other book he has written, What It's Like to Be a Bird is poised to bring a whole new audience to David Sibley's world of birds.
Author: Tim Birkhead Genre: Nature Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA ISBN: 9780802779687 Book Pages: 288 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other. Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses--vision and hearing--but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird's sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth's magnetic field? Or the extraordinary ability of desert birds to detect rain hundreds of kilometres away--how do they do it? Bird Sense is based on a conviction that we have consistently underestimated what goes on in a bird's head. Our understanding of bird behaviour is simultaneously informed and constrained by the way we watch and study them. By drawing attention to the way these frameworks both facilitate and inhibit discovery, Birkhead identifies ways we can escape from them to explore new horizons in bird behaviour. There has never been a popular book about the senses of birds. No one has previously looked at how birds interpret the world or the way the behaviour of birds is shaped by all their senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of observation and a unique understanding of birds and their behaviour that is firmly grounded in science.
Author: Candace Savage Genre: Nature Publisher: ISBN: 1771644257 Book Pages: 152 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
Internationally celebrated nature writer Candace Savage presents the Corvid family-- surprisingly bright, brassy, and colorful birds--in a remarkable collection of full-color, close-up photographs by some of the world's best wildlife photographers. Birds have long been viewed as the archetypal featherbrains--beautiful but dumb. But according to naturalist Candace Savage, "bird brain," as a pejorative expression, should be rendered obsolete by new research on the family of corvids: crows and their close relations. The ancients who regarded these remarkable birds as oracles, bringers of wisdom, or agents of vengeance were on the right track, for corvids appear to have powers of abstraction, memory, and creativity that put them on a par with many mammals, even higher primates. Bird Brains presents these bright, brassy, and surprisingly colorful birds in a remarkable collection of full-color, close-up photographs by some two dozen of the world's best wildlife photographers. Savage's lively, authoritative text describes the life and behavior of sixteen representative corvid species that inhabit North America and Europe. Drawing on recent research, she describes birds that recognize each other as individuals, call one another by "name," remember and relocate thousands of hidden food caches, engage in true teamwork and purposeful play, and generally exhibit an extraordinary degree of sophistication.
Author: Frans de Waal Genre: Science Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company ISBN: 9780393246193 Book Pages: 320 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
A New York Times bestseller: "A passionate and convincing case for the sophistication of nonhuman minds." —Alison Gopnik, The Atlantic Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition—in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos—to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.
Author: Jennifer Ackerman Genre: Science Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN: 0547526067 Book Pages: 272 Format: PDF, ePub & Mobi
Did you know that you can tell time in your sleep? That women have more nightmares than men? Or that up to half of the calories you consume can be burned off simply by fidgeting? In Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream, acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ackerman takes us on an astonishing and illuminating tour of the human body during a typical day, from waking in the morning to the reverie of sleep and dreams. Most of us are familiar with the concept of circadian rhythms, the idea that the human body maintains its own internal clock. Recent scientific advances reveal the importance of synchronizing our actions with our biological rhythms — and show how defying them can cause us real harm. With Ackerman as our guide we learn the best time of day to take a nap, give a presentation, take medication, and even drink a cocktail, along with a host of other useful and curious facts. Entertaining and deeply practical, this book will make readers think of their bodies in an entirely new way.