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The Thing With Feathers

The Surprising Lives of Birds, and What They Reveal About Being Human
Strycker, Noah K. (Book - 2014 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Thing With Feathers
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Explores the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world and deep connection with humanity. 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 insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself. This book 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. The author is a birder and naturalist who has traveled the world in pursuit of his flighty subjects. Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, he spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and reveals the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. He shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds. This is an enlightening journey into the lives of birds. -- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Strycker, Noah K.
Title: The thing with feathers
the surprising lives of birds, and what they reveal about being human
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA),, 2014.
Characteristics: xiv, 288 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm
Content Type: text
still image
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: part one: Body. Fly away home : how pigeons get around ; Spontaneous order : the curious magnetism of starling flocks ; The buzzard's nostril : sniffing out a turkey vulture's talents ; Snow flurries : owls, invasions, and wanderlust ; Hummingbird wars : implications of flight in the fast lane
part two: Mind. Fight or flight : what penguins are afraid of ; Beat generation : dancing parrots and our strange love of music ; Seeing red : when the pecking order breaks down ; Cache memory : how nutcrackers hoard information
part three: Spirit. Magpie in the mirror : reflections on avian self-awareness ; Arts and craftiness : the aesthetics of bowerbird seduction ; Fairy helpers : when cooperation is just a game ; Wandering hearts : the tricky question of albatross love.
Summary: Explores the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world and deep connection with humanity. 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 insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself. This book 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. The author is a birder and naturalist who has traveled the world in pursuit of his flighty subjects. Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, he spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and reveals the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. He shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds. This is an enlightening journey into the lives of birds. -- Provided by publisher.
Local Note: 15 29 35 53 60 74 109 118 133 148 151 172 182 210 226 228 231 264
ISBN: 9781594486357
1594486352
Statement of Responsibility: Noah Strycker
Copyright Date: ♭2014
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 267-280) and index.
Subject Headings: Birds Behavior. Birds Psychology. Bird watching Anecdotes. Human-animal relationships.
Topical Term: Birds
Birds
Bird watching
Human-animal relationships.
LCCN: 2013030320
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Jun 18, 2014
  • multcolib_alisonk rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

If Strycker was talking about humans he'd be your go-to guy to get the latest dirt on your neighbors. And in fact, he is talking about your neighbors - your feathered neighbors. In human form that awe-inspiring, delicate creature the hummingbird would be an intimidating bully, likely to shake you down for lunch money. Though there are rumors that the birds in the corner house are having extramarital affairs, the Albatrosses (though they are never home - they regularly make trips of thousands of miles without stopping) really do mate for life.
Strycker does a great job of introducing you to the secret lives of birds. You'll look at your feathered neighbors with a new eye after reading this book.

May 14, 2014
  • cr421 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

this is a terrific read. The author gives us a birds eye view and makes the subject close and real. A most fun read indeed!!!

Apr 28, 2014
  • delfon rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fascinating easy,eantertaining read on the complexities of some species of Birds.<http://www.eBird.com> Author is an orthinologist himself, and has spent time in various environments studying these intriguing creatures; who, may be the sources of some Human habits. From finding home (Pigeons), theimportance of 7 and theHeisenberg model(starlings flocks) smelling food (buzzards), constant fighting and working to eat(hummingbirds), transient movers (Arctic Snow Owls), appreciating music and dance (Parrots), Fear (Penguins), Remembering up to 5,000 items(Nutcrackers), Self-recognition and trick plying (Magpies), building that ideal house(Bower birds), helping othes, altrusim in the wild (Fairy Wrens), Love for long life up to 100 years long (Abatross). Old books like Moonwalkding with Einstein, the Meme Machine,Game Theory (Tit for Tat) etc are mentioned, compared and related to 'the thing with feathers'.

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