The Thing With Feathers

The Thing With Feathers

The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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An entertaining and profound look at 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 fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.

The Thing with Feathers 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.

Noah Strycker 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. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds.

Beautiful and wise, funny and insightful, The Thing with Feathers is a gripping and enlightening journey into the lives of birds.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2014.
ISBN: 9781594486357
Branch Call Number: 598. 07234 STR
Characteristics: xiv, 288 p. : ill.

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d
DorisWaggoner
Oct 24, 2014

"The Thing with Feathers," (a quotation from Emily Dickenson bout hope) is a lovely, well written book about several species of birds, their characteristics, and how these characteristics relate to human characteristics. He mixes scientific literature, his own childhood curiosity (about how vultures find food), and poetic imagery (how albatrosses mate for life while spending most of their time alone on the wing). Having been interested in birds all my life, and read lots of books about birds, I found this probably the most informative about the species covered, and the most uplifting. A winner all around. I'll be looking for others by Stryker.

beebee40 Sep 10, 2014

interesting tidbits,enjoyable,delightful reading

multcolib_alisonk Jun 18, 2014

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.

c
cr421
May 14, 2014

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!!!

d
delfon
Apr 27, 2014

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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