Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Wisdom of Birds

A rather lovely book on the history of ornithology has been published in England. Click here to listen to an extraordinary recording of German bullfinches mimicking a German folk song. Here is an excerpt from the Guardian review:
Tim Birkhead's wonderful book The Wisdom of Birds explores themes such as migration and almost every other facet of avian science. However, rather than simply telling us what we now know about birds, the author prefers to unravel the issue of how we have come to know what we know. The difference may seem minor, but the implications are massive. As the story of the swallow makes plain, the intellectual journey to our present understanding has been almost as exotic and eventful as the bird's own transcontinental odyssey out of Africa.

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