The Genius of Birds

The Genius of Birds
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781101980842
Release: 2016-04-12
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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.

The Genius of Birds

The Genius of Birds
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781925307146
Release: 2016-05-16
Editor: Scribe Publications

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 PEN/E.O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD For decades, people have written off birds as largely witless, driven by instinct and capable of only the simplest mental processes. But this just isn't true. In fact, according to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence and social smarts. They make complex navigational decisions, sing in regional accents, and use tools. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They kiss to console one another. They share. They give gifts. They teach. They blackmail their parents. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve ... And they do it all with brains so tiny each would fit inside a walnut. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds. As she travels around the world, bringing together the latest science from lab and field, she reveals the intelligent bird behaviour that we can see in our own backyards, at birdfeeders, in parks, in city streets, and in country skies, if only we care to look. And in doing so, she reveals what a bird's intelligence may have to say about our own. Elegantly blending science and travelogue, Ackerman's extraordinary story provides a new appreciation for the talents of birds and what birds can reveal about our changing world. Incredibly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds richly celebrates the triumphs of these surprising creatures. PRAISE FOR JENNIFER ACKERMAN ‘The Genius of Birds offers an often awe inspiring tour … made the more affecting by the elegance and beauty of [Ackerman's] language … a fascinating book.’ The Sydney Morning Herald ‘Wide-ranging and engrossing … makes it clear that crows — and birds generally — have a lot more going on upstairs than we ever knew.’ The Weekend Australian

The Bird Way

The Bird Way
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780735223028
Release: 2020-05-05
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are
Available:
Author: Frans de Waal
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780393246193
Release: 2016-04-25
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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.

Bird Brain

Bird Brain
Available:
Author: Nathan Emery
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781400882861
Release: 2016-08-23
Editor: Princeton University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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.

Ah Choo

Ah Choo
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pages: 256
ISBN: 0446574015
Release: 2010-09-02
Editor: Twelve

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Some colds are like mice, timid and annoying; others like dragons, accompanied by body aches and deep misery. In AH-CHOO!, Jennifer Ackerman explains what, exactly, a cold is, how it works, and whether it's really possible to "fight one off." Scientists call this the Golden Age of the Common Cold because Americans suffer up to a billion colds each year, resulting in 40 million days of missed work and school and 100 million doctor visits. They've also learned over the past decade much more about what cold viruses are, what they do to the human body, and how symptoms can be addressed. In this ode to the odious cold, Ackerman sifts through the chatter about treatments-what works, what doesn't, and what can't hurt. She dispels myths, such as susceptibility to colds reflects a weakened immune system. And she tracks current research, including work at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, a world-renowned center of cold research studies, where the search for a cure continues.

Chance in the House of Fate

Chance in the House of Fate
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pages: 252
ISBN: 0618219099
Release: 2002-04
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Examines the diverse ways in which human heredity is linked to the rest of the natural world and analyzes how the science of genetics affects everyday life.

The Wonder of Birds

The Wonder of Birds
Available:
Author: Jim Robbins
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781925435825
Release: 2017-08-01
Editor: Black Inc.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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

Science Comics Crows

Science Comics  Crows
Available:
Author: Kyla Vanderklugt
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781250781581
Release: 2020-03-24
Editor: First Second

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

That's something to crow about! Learn all about these genius birds in Kyla Vanderklugt's Science Comics: Crows, the latest volume in First Second’s action-packed nonfiction graphic novel series for middle-grade readers! Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic—dinosaurs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, robots, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you're a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you! Did you know that crows make their own tools, lead complex social lives, and never forget a human face? Scientists are just beginning to unlock the secrets of the crow's brain to discover how these avian Einsteins can be as smart as some primates, and even perform some of the same cognitive feats as human children! Crows have problem-solving skills that will make you you rethink what it means to be a bird brain!

The Wisdom of Big Bird and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch

The Wisdom of Big Bird  and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch
Available:
Author: Caroll Spinney,Jason Milligan
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9780307417541
Release: 2007-12-18
Editor: Villard

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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)

Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream

Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pages: 272
ISBN: 0547526067
Release: 2008-10-02
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

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.

How to Know the Birds

How to Know the Birds
Available:
Author: Ted Floyd
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781426220043
Release: 2019-03-12
Editor: National Geographic Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Become a better birder with brief portraits of 200 top North American birds. This friendly, relatable book is a celebration of the art, science, and delights of bird-watching. How to Know the Birds introduces a new, holistic approach to bird-watching, by noting how behaviors, settings, and seasonal cycles connect with shape, song, color, gender, age distinctions, and other features traditionally used to identify species. With short essays on 200 observable species, expert author Ted Floyd guides us through a year of becoming a better birder, each species representing another useful lesson: from explaining scientific nomenclature to noting how plumage changes with age, from chronicling migration patterns to noting hatchling habits. Dozens of endearing pencil sketches accompany Floyd's charming prose, making this book a unique blend of narrative and field guide. A pleasure for birders of all ages, this witty book promises solid lessons for the beginner and smiles of recognition for the seasoned nature lover.

Bird Brains

Bird Brains
Available:
Author: Candace Savage
Pages: 134
ISBN: 0871569566
Release: 1997
Editor: Three Rivers Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Argues that the birds' powers of abstraction, memory, and creativity are equal to many mammals

Gifts of the Crow

Gifts of the Crow
Available:
Author: John Marzluff,Tony Angell
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781439198742
Release: 2013-02-05
Editor: Simon and Schuster

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A University of Washington professor of wildlife science taps the findings of his extraordinary research into crow intelligence to offer insight into their ability to make tools and respond to environmental challenges, explaining how they engage in human-like behaviors from giving gifts and seeking revenge to playing and experiencing dreams.

Notes from the Shore

Notes from the Shore
Available:
Author: Jennifer Ackerman,Karin Grosz
Pages: 208
ISBN: 0140177884
Release: 1996-05
Editor: Penguin Group USA

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A portrait of the terrain and wildlife of Lewes, Delaware, interweaves personal reflection with descriptions of such local phenomema as ghost crabs, shore birds, sea worms, and whales

Deep Survival Who Lives Who Dies and Why

Deep Survival  Who Lives  Who Dies  and Why
Available:
Author: Laurence Gonzales
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780393354218
Release: 2017-01-10
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

“Unique among survival books . . . stunning . . . enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading.”—Denver Post Over a decade since its original publication, Laurence Gonzales’s bestselling Deep Survival has helped save lives from the deepest wildernesses, just as it has improved readers’ everyday lives. Its mix of adventure narrative, survival science, and practical advice has inspired everyone from business leaders to military officers, educators, and psychiatric professionals on how to take control of stress, learn to assess risk, and make better decisions under pressure. Now with a new introduction on how this book can help readers overcome any of life’s obstacles, Gonzales’s gripping narrative is set to motivate and enlighten a new generation of readers.

The Ascent of Birds

The Ascent of Birds
Available:
Author: John Reilly
Pages: 340
ISBN: 9781784271701
Release: 2018-04-16
Editor: Pelagic Publishing Ltd

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,600-plus species we recognise today ― from the largest ratites to the smallest hummingbirds? Based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by personal observations, The Ascent of Birds sets out to answer these fundamental questions. The Ascent of Birds is divided into self-contained chapters, or stories, that collectively encompass the evolution of modern birds from their origins in Gondwana, over 100 million years ago, to the present day. The stories are arranged in chronological order, from tinamous to tanagers, and describe the many dispersal and speciation events that underpin the world's 10,600-plus species. Although each chapter is spearheaded by a named bird and focuses on a specific evolutionary mechanism, the narrative will often explore the relevance of such events and processes to evolution in general. The book starts with The Tinamou’s Story, which explains the presence of flightless birds in South America, Africa, and Australasia, and dispels the cherished role of continental drift as an explanation for their biogeography. It also introduces the concept of neoteny, an evolutionary trick that enabled dinosaurs to become birds and humans to conquer the planet. The Vegavis's Story explores the evidence for a Cretaceous origin of modern birds and why they were able to survive the asteroid collision that saw the demise not only of dinosaurs but of up to three-quarters of all species. The Duck's Story switches to sex: why have so few species retained the ancestral copulatory organ? Or, put another way, why do most birds exhibit the paradoxical phenomenon of penis loss, despite all species requiring internal fertilisation? The Hoatzin's Story reveals unexpected oceanic rafting from Africa to South America: a stranger-than-fiction means of dispersal that is now thought to account for the presence of other South American vertebrates, including geckos and monkeys. The latest theories underpinning speciation are also explored. The Manakin’s Story, for example, reveals how South America’s extraordinarily rich avifauna has been shaped by past geological, oceanographic and climatic changes, while The Storm-Petrel’s Story examines how species can evolve from an ancestral population despite inhabiting the same geographical area. The thorny issue of what constitutes a species is discussed in The Albatross's Story, while The Penguin’s Story explores the effects of environment on phenotype ― in the case of the Emperor penguin, the harshest on the planet. Recent genomic advances have given scientists novel approaches to explore the distant past and have revealed many unexpected journeys, including the unique overland dispersal of an early suboscine from Asia to South America (The Sapayoa’s Story) and the blackbird's ancestral sweepstake dispersals across the Atlantic (The Thrush’s Story). Additional vignettes update more familiar concepts that encourage speciation: sexual selection (The Bird-of-Paradise's Story); extended phenotypes (The Bowerbird's Story); hybridisation (The Sparrow's Story); and 'great speciators' (The White-eye's Story). Finally, the book explores the raft of recent publications that help explain the evolution of cognitive skills (The Crow's Story); plumage colouration (The Starling's Story); and birdsong (The Finch's Story)

My Book of Birds

My Book of Birds
Available:
Author: Geraldo Valerio
Pages: 48
ISBN: 9781526360502
Release: 2017-05-04
Editor: Hachette UK

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

"An enchanting book" Joanna Lumley "Full of amazing facts and beautiful clear illustrations. A book to inspire the young and indeed the old!" Alison Steadman "Will not fail to ignite young imaginations" David Lindo Full of stunning illustrations and incredible facts, My Book of Birds is a glorious celebration of birds. From majestic golden eagles and snowy owls to brilliant red crossbills and puffins to the tiniest of hummingbirds, the book covers them all. Meet cormorants that can dive underwater for up to 30 seconds at a time, and ptarmigans whose feathers turn completely white in winter, so they can blend in with their snowy habitat. Beautifully designed, and with a debossed wibalin cover, this is an ideal gift for bird lovers of all ages! If you've loved Beautiful Birds, or The Genius of Birds, or Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to British Birds, then you'll love this. Incredible collage illustrations from Geraldo Valério show a variety of feathered creatures in their natural habitats as they hunt for food, impress their mates, nest and care for their young. The concise, accessible text is ideal for children aged six and above, and provides information ranging from clever techniques for finding food to remarkable physical features to fascinating behaviours. But above all, Geraldo Valério shares his passion for birds in this lovingly created album, inspiring young readers with their beauty and the excitement of discovery. Includes an introduction, glossary, index and sources for further information.

A Sky Full of Birds

A Sky Full of Birds
Available:
Author: Matt Merritt
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781473503328
Release: 2016-04-07
Editor: Random House

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

'Prose from a poet and a personal take on the spectacles' Chris Packham, author of Fingers in the Sparkle Jar Shortlisted for Richard Jefferies Society & White Horse Bookshop Literary Prize 2017 Longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2017 Britain is a nation of bird-lovers. However, few of us fully appreciate the sheer scale, variety and drama of our avian life. From city-centre hunters to vast flocks straight out of the Arctic wilderness, much-loved dawn songsters to the exotic invaders of supermarket car parks, a host of remarkable wildlife spectacles are waiting to be discovered right outside our front doors. In A Sky Full of Birds, poet and nature writer Matt Merritt shares his passion for birdwatching by taking us to some of the great avian gatherings that occur around the British isles – from ravens in Anglesey and raptors on the Wirral, to Kent nightingales and Scottish capercaillies. By turns lyrical, informative and entertaining, he shows how natural miracles can be found all around us, if only we know where to look for them. A Sky Full of Birds is the perfect read for avid birdwatchers and a beautiful gift for lovers of nature and poetic prose.

For a Little While

For a Little While
Available:
Author: Rick Bass
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780316381178
Release: 2016-03-01
Editor: Little, Brown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Winner of the 2016 Story Prize A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice 100 Recommended Books of 2016 -- San Francisco Chronicle "A literary titan...Bass is, hands down, a master of the short form, creating in a few pages a natural world of mythic proportions." -- New York Times Book Review Long considered one of the most gifted practitioners of the short story, Rick Bass is unsurpassed in his ability to perceive and portray the enduring truths of the human heart. Now, at last, we have the definitive collection of stories, new and old, from the writer Newsweek has called "an American classic." To read his fiction is to feel more alive -- connected, incandescently, to "the brief longshot of having been chosen for the human experience," as one of his characters puts it.These pages reveal men and women living with passion and tenderness at the outer limits of the senses, each attempting to triumph against fate. Bass provides searing insights into the complexity of family and romantic entanglements, and his lush and striking language draws us ineluctably into the lives of these engaging people and their vivid surroundings. The intricate stories collected in For A Little While -- brimming with magic and wonder, filled with hard-won empathy, marbled throughout with astonishing imagery -- have the power both to devastate and to uplift. Together they showcase an iconic American master at his peak.