The Genius of Birds (Paperback)
  • The Genius of Birds (Paperback)
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The Genius of Birds (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 416 Pages
Published: 04/05/2017
  • 10+ in stock

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Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. In fact, according to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight.

In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research - the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the great tit communities of the United Kingdom and the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states - 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 revolutionizing our view of what it means to be intelligent.

Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark's nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember where it put them several months later; the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours; the well-known pigeon, which knows where it's going, even thousands of miles from familiar territory; and the New Caledonian crow, an impressive bird that makes its own tools.

But beyond highlighting how birds use their unique genius in technical ways, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They display a strong sense of fairness. They give gifts. They play keep-away and tug-of-war. They tease. They share. They cultivate social networks. They vie for status. They kiss to console one another. They teach their young. They blackmail their parents. They alert one another to danger. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve.

This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science. Ackerman delivers an extraordinary story that will both give readers a new appreciation for the exceptional talents of birds and let them discover what birds can reveal about our changing world.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781472114365
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 196 x 124 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

This book is a delight . . . Like a brainy corvid, we can learn much from this book . . . Ackerman has a florid turn of phrase, and she revels in it . . . There is another world of intelligence out there, and this is a great introduction to it. - The Guardian

If you're a bird lover, this enchanting book is a must. If you're not, Ackerman's enthusiasm will make you an instant convert. - Daily Mail

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“The Genius of Birds”

Great intellectual storytelling on the behaviour of birds. A thoroughly engaging and enjoyable read!

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 79
KimG9

“Brilliant insight into the minds of birds”

If you've ever wondered what goes on in the brains of birds, wonder no more! The Genius of Birds illustrates how being a bird brain is actually a compliment, not an insult. With a vast array of stories, studies... More

Paperback edition
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