Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Apr 24, 2012 - Science - 288 pages
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Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but few of us are aware of the other sensations that make being a bird a gloriously unique experience. What is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate by using an innate magnetic compass?

Tracing the history of how our knowledge about birds has grown, particularly through advances in technology over the past fifty years, Bird Sense tells captivating stories about how birds interact with one another and their environment. More advanced testing methods have debunked previously held beliefs, such as female starlings selecting mates based on how symmetrical the male's plumage markings are. (Whereas females can discern the difference between symmetrical and asymmetrical markings, they are not very good at detecting small differences among symmetrically marked males!)

Never before has there been a popular book about how intricately bird behavior is shaped by birds' senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of fieldwork experiences, insights, and a unique understanding of birds, all firmly grounded in science. No one who reads Bird Sense can fail to be dazzled by it.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - emmakendon - LibraryThing

This was given to me as a gift because I'd really enjoyed "The Wisdom of Birds". What I'd loved about that book, and what stays in my mind, is the fun you have reading about people's superstitions ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lauralkeet - LibraryThing

I am a bit of a bird nerd, so this book definitely piqued my curiosity. The author examines birds' senses, from the "basic five" to magnetic sense, and even emotions. I picked up several fun facts ... Read full review

Contents

YP
134
Prefizce
142
Hearing
150
Postscript
203
Notes
211
Bibliography
231
Glossary
252
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Tim Birkhead teaches animal behavior and the history of science at the University of Sheffield. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the author of several books, including The Wisdom of Birds; The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology, which won the McColvin Medal; and The Red Canary, which won the Consul Cremer Prize. He lives in Sheffield, England.

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